Posts Tagged ‘activism’

The Swirl team is happy to welcome its newest chapter on board – SwirlStarkville (in Mississippi)! And at its helm, Sheena Gardner (pictured at left).

The establishment of SwirlStarkville comes at a time when an increasing number of individuals are identifying as multiracial in a state which traditionally sees race in black and white. Because the chapter is located in a college town, the organization will focus primarily on serving the student population. (more…)

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by Christopher Bowers

As I have gotten deeper into anti-oppression work I find that I am discovering  more and more subtleties and complexities than I ever considered. Learning to be a good ally is not a linear education with some sort of graduation or certification at the end. It is a process full of experimentation, humility, confusion, challenge, and clarity. This list is by no means complete. It’s really just a few suggestions on how to turn your mind towards solidarity. (more…)

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Magnifying glass by Jen Chau, originally published at The Time Is Always Right

This is – I think – our favorite game to play when it comes to race. Locate the racist, focus on the racist, blog and tweet the crap out of that racist, and shame that racist as much as possible. The racist shouldn’t be able to carry on life as he knew it. I too hope for change in the person who took a misstep, but I think we are missing the bigger picture. We use magnifying glasses to focus on individual events rather than seeing the connections and the patterns that point to larger societal problems.


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Making the 2010 Census Count

by Lynda Turet

The 2000 census marked an apparent victory for multiracial America. By gaining the ability to “check all that apply,” many gained legal recognition for racial identities which were formerly rendered invisible by rigid “check one only” rules.  Many in the multiracial community heralded the change as one of the few tangible advocacy gains of the emerging community’s efforts for recognition. The “check all that apply” rule allowed self-identifying mixed-race people the ability to count, and thus recognized as both ingredient and evidence of this complex and messy racial plutocracy we call America. (more…)

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fistWe’ve been running an experiment. What happens when you put five people in a room to read, learn, debate and struggle with how to translate our multiracial community into a catalyst for action? (I know what you’re thinking, and no, arm-wrestling was not involved). Five brave SwirlNYC members gave four afternoons of their lives (and then some) to collectively developing an analysis on race, justice, and what it means to do something about it. Led by Jen Chau (Founder and Executive Director of Swirl) and Lynda Turet (former Managing Director of Swirl), we piloted a semester of learning called “SwirlCamp,” meant to serve as a boot camp for Swirl members ready to take their involvement to the next level. Our sessions ran the gamut of exploring structural racism to discussing the impact (or lack thereof) of having a black and multiracial president. We also sharpened our leadership skills through self-reflection and skill-building. Our purpose was simple: how do we make our collective need for community into a tool to change what has impacted us all–racism? (more…)

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fistFrom time to time we are compelled to stand up for what is right and condemn what is wrong. Swirl is a committed ally of the LGBT community. Therefore we felt compelled to voice our outrage about the recent Atlanta Police Department raid of the Atlanta Eagle, a long-standing LGBT establishment in the Atlanta community.



Dear Citizens:

As directors of the Atlanta and Philadelphia chapters of Swirl Inc, a national multi-racial organization focused on challenging notions of race through community building, education and action, we are outraged by the Atlanta Police Department’s raid of the Atlanta Eagle on September 10, 2009. We are troubled by the lack of transparency from City Government and Law Enforcement, as there has been little clarity about the charges filed against the owners of the Eagle or those who were arrested. (more…)

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Jen Chau, Founder and Executive Director of Swirl, Inc.
April 10, 2009  

Imagine swastikas and racial epithets spray-painted on your car right outside of your home. It’s scary and very upsetting.   This describes precisely the recent hate crime committed against an interracial family in Los Alamitos, Calif., two days ago (Gleeson, 2009). As frightening and disconcerting as this is, it is important that we shake off our blinders and acknowledge the reality of racism today. We can wonder how something like this would happen in a “nice” neighborhood. We may question why these things are still happening when we have an African-American president of mixed heritage. And we could ask ourselves why people still see color.

Or we can use our time instead to try to understand how racism continues to function in our lives in this country. (more…)

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