Saturday, December 24, 2016

Eat and Connect (monthly conversational gathering)

I started a new Boston Knapsack Anti-Racism Group meeting this December. Here is a link to it: Dec. 16 Eat & Connect (Framingham).

These gatherings at a restaurant are for building friendships and socializing with folks of various races....and for unpacking different topics each month together.

(Dec. topic) What is your understanding of privilege? What are your pre-judgements about other races? When have you noticed yourself acting out of a pre-judgement? How does racism impact all of us? 

(Jan. 2017 topic) Do we have any biases regarding what race we gravitate towards when making connections and friends...and if so, what are they and why do we think we have these biases?
(sign up here if you are interested: Jan. 20 Eat & Connect)

We want People of Color to feel welcome and as comfortable as possible so we will be keeping each monthly meal gathering to a maximum of 4 folks who identify as white (or 50% of the group). Each gathering has a max limit of 8 folks (including children) so we can all be part of one conversation.

Three other hosts are working with me on this, all are P.O.C.

"I trust you" video

Here is a video of a brave man making a statement and asking for support with a hug or a handshake. I found it very moving to watch. I am glad folks showed support.

Karim Sulayman - I trust you

Monday, December 12, 2016

Supporting Racism or Intentionally Working Against It

I have started a new book and I am really appreciating what the author has to say. Have you read "Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum?

She has a great metaphor about supporting racism (or not):

“I sometimes visualize the ongoing cycle of racism as a moving walkway at the airport. Active racist behavior is equivalent to walking fast on the conveyor belt. The person engaged in active racist behavior has identified with the ideology of our White supremacist system and is moving with it. Passive racist behavior is equivalent to standing still on the walkway. No overt effort is being made, but the conveyor belt moves the bystanders along to the same destination as those who are actively walking. But unless they are walking actively in the opposite direction at a speed faster than the conveyor belt – unless they are actively anti-racist – they will find themselves carried along with the others.”

Injustice Boycott

Shaun King started this boycott. I joined recently and got this email from Shaun:

"We just completed Week 1 of Phase 1 of the Injustice Boycott and you all really nailed it. I wanna take a second to highlight many of our successes and thank each of you for participating.

We launched on last Monday and grew our base to over 200,000 people in all 50 states and every major city in the country. Fast Company & Sojourners & Colorlines wrote strong pieces on the launch of the boycott.

On Tuesday, our first actions - simple online call outs - began. We demanded that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio fire NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. #FirePantaleo trended in 10 different cities.

On Wednesday, we moved our actions to San Francisco, and demanded that District Attorney George Gascon charge the officers who shot and killed Mario Woods. #GasconDoUrJob trended all over the country. Now one year after his murder, we also made "Mario Woods" trend in many cities nationwide.

On Thursday, we raised $336,367 for infrastructure and capacity needs in Standing Rock. I am still blown away by your generosity. It's already being put to amazing use by local leaders there.

On Friday, we helped educate the nation on the fact that New York is 1 of only 2 states in the country that automatically prosecutes ALL 16 year olds as adults. We made #RaiseTheAge trend and also helped Governor Cuomo see and hear us very clearly.

On Saturday, we sent you a list of every organization in New York fighting to #RaiseTheAge with all of their Twitter & Facebook handles. You doubled the following of dozens of organizations in one afternoon. I've been receiving thank you notes for 48 hours straight from leaders who were just elated to find that you care about their cause.

On Sunday, we did as we will often do, and simply asked you to take a moment to educate yourself about the depths of injustice in a particular city. We highlighted injustice in San Francisco and how the mayor, Ed Lee, and others have all but ignored the very clear, reasonable reforms set forth by the Blue Ribbon Panel that was convened this year.

This is good work you've done. We are just getting started. We are building our team, building our base, and building momentum for what's ahead. People will attempt to distract us or rush us or tell us that if they were us they'd do A, B, & C differently. Our goal, though, is to build something that will make a measurable, lasting impact in the cities we target. We are also trying to build a model for change that we can duplicate in cities all over the country. This takes time and care.

Let's follow the plan!"


If you can support this by joining Injustice Boycott, great. You might get an email a day if you do. Don't let that deter you. Just do what you can. This is important to support.

If you use Twitter and will hashtag those highlighted hashtags above, great.

Here are some more for todays action:

Dear @MayorEdLee -
Why have you ignored the 84 recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Policing. #WalkTheWalk