Thursday, February 25, 2016

uncomfortable conversations and gentrification

A friend sent me this link: Awkward, uncomfortable conversations about racism worth it from

It reminds of the Knapsack group agreement: lean into discomfort. We still meet to talk, even when it isn't easy.

We discussed diversity in our neighborhoods during the 4th Anti-Racism in the ‘Burbs meeting last Sunday. It was not easy. I got a headache and it lasted all evening. Because this work is not easy...and I care so much and don't know how much we are helping the fight for equality among the races with our conversations. The link I posted above says that the conversations matter. Others tell me that too.

One of the things we discussed during the meeting was that it was easy to say we support diversity in our neighborhood.  

But, it was asked, how do People of Color (POC) benefit when white people move in to neighborhoods POC are the majority of? This can lead to gentrification, which is not so good for POC. We did a reading from Colonize This! about the gentrification of the Mission District in San Francisco. It was informative. I recommend reading this book, or at least that chapter if you are interested in learning about gentrification from the perspective of someone who didn't benefit when white people took over a neighborhood.

And, it was asked, what are we willing to give up so that people who generally have less privilege can have equal rights and opportunity? I would give up: comfort, time, privileges, money...

I want to hear your responses to this. Please comment below.

Our next Anti-Racism in the ‘Burbs meeting is Sunday, March 20, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (held in Medfield, MA). Use the link above to to learn more and sign up.  The March meeting topic is covert and overt racism, micro aggressions (sharing our personal experiences). It probably won't be an easy conversation, but it will matter.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

"What was once overt and thought to be right is now thought to be wrong but has become covert." ― Frank H. Wu, Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White

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