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Posts Tagged ‘racism’

Originally published at The Time Is Always Right

by Jen Chau

In the past couple of years, I have noticed a certain complacency that I never noticed before, in my eleven years of leading Swirl. The same passion and the same excitement around building multiracial communities had faded a bit. In the one year leading up to the Presidential election, we launched five new chapters (the norm had been a chapter every year or every other year). People were excited by the energy created by Obama’s campaign, and they were motivated and eager to be a part of creating supportive and inclusive multiracial communities. (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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school

by Jeff Garrett

Fifty-five years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case that school segregation policies are unconstitutional.  Yet despite the moral victory of the Brown decision, in the decades since 1954 we have failed to create educational equality in America.  Despite countless initiatives, hundreds of billions of dollars invested in various school improvement efforts, and the passage of a federal law that mandates that no child be left behind, we continue to see gaps in educational opportunity that disproportionately impact the lives of low income communities and communities of color across the fifty states.  

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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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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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