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Diverse World Coaching

Bringing People Together

Where Is The Truth?

Tyre King, Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott; the one undeniable truth is that these black males are dead. Killed by police. After that we have opinions, and lies, where is the truth? Tyre King,…

Source: Where Is The Truth?

Social Justice Bloggers Wanted!!

National advocacy organization Together We Stand is looking for social justice bloggers!

Check us out at togetherwestand.nationbuilder.com


For more info email Twstherevolution@yahoo.com

TWS sending activists to the Dakota Pipeline

For those of you who are able to help with donations to get some of our TWS members to the Dakota Pipeline protest you may make your donation to our PayPal account Twstherevolution@yahoo.comMessage me if you want a receipt of your donations for your records. I will post an accounting of all monies received and dispersed on our website.

Togetherwestand.nationbuilder.com

Thank you👊🏿👊🏾👊🏽

We are hoping to help out the following members who wish to go:

Gabriel Black Elk

Joe Cadreau

Ian Frank – will be photographing and documenting

The Luxury of Colorblindness 


Written by: Sevgi Fernandez
 It is a luxury to walk through life not having to constantly be aware of your race. As a mixed woman, racial labels have followed me wherever I’ve gone, and I’m keenly aware that the darker a person’s skin, the more this statement is true.  
“I am Colorblind” or “I don’t see color”, are statements many of you have either heard or have said yourselves. I truly believe the only people who can “choose” to be colorblind, are whites. It is a luxury not to have to think about race. In a workshop I held last fall, we watched the documentary, A Conversation with White People on Race. Some of the statements, although simple, were profound. For example, a thirty something white man said, “I don’t think about being white, I just don’t.” This was followed by a middle aged white woman who said, “I really did not know I had a racial identity. I had no idea what that meant, how that shaped my outlook on life, my sense of optimism, sense of belonging, sense of safety.”

 

Now, I can all but guarantee that every single black person on this earth, knows they are black and is reminded of that fact each and every day. I think black people are very aware of our racial identity, and we are aware of how our racial identity dictates how safe we are, what type of education we can get, what type of healthcare we receive and what types of jobs we can attain. Race is of course not the only factor in any one of these, but it’s often the deciding factor.

Racism is a social construct developed to oppress. It has evolved over the centuries, but in essence, the process of labeling and stereotyping a person based on the color of their skin to keep them subservient to the dominant white race, has stayed the same. I’m going to share a pivotal event in my childhood that truly awakened me to the fact that the world saw me in the context of “race” not “person”.

Standing in line at school, the red faced white boy in front of me asked,“What are you?’

“Im half black, half white.” I said, feeling a little uncomfortable. The boy then scathingly stated,

“Well at least I can respect HALF of you,”And he turned to laugh with his friends. At that moment I felt a myriad of emotions jumping rapidly from one to another, shame, embarrassment, humiliation and when I landed on rage, my 12 year old fist connected with his 16 year old face. I’m not sure who was more shocked!

I share this as a way of illustrating that even as children we are shown we are different, we are less than. That certainly wasn’t the first time I became aware that my race, my skin color, played a part in how people would treat me, and still to this day, as a 43 year old soldier in the war on racism, I know that the future holds much more of the same.

We run every person through a set of implicit and explicit biases that we have developed over time. Implicit and explicit biases have been part of history since our inception. We are seeing the implications of these biases throughout the world and here in the United States. It seems to me that as we make more strides in this country towards tolerance, inclusion and equality for all i.e. electing our first Black President and legalizing same sex marriage, we become more divided as a society as race and racism become more prominent.

The effects of this systematic racism are apparent in the African American community across the country, wherever you look. It’s in the hopelessness of our youth, in the violence within our communities, and at the hands of the police. It’s in the educational system that is set up to fail our children and the healthcare system that is either unattainable or so discriminatory many fear ever seeking out the care they so desperately need. Rather than educating and nourishing the minds of our young people of color, the system is feeding the school to prison pipeline. So it is unlikely that you will come across a black person who says they are “colorblind”.

Black people have been systematically oppressed, discriminated against and brutalized simply because of their race since they were brought to this country as slaves. The system was set up to deny what should be our human rights, and that system is still at play today. We as people of color certainly believe All Lives Matter, yet All people haven’t had the daily struggles faced by blacks in this country. All people aren’t being shot, hung and choked to death by police. These are facts that cannot be denied. The reality is that our lives truly don’t matter outside of our own communities for the most part, and as we internalize the racism and oppression, they begin to matter less and less to us.

I do believe there are a great owing number of whites who are concerned about this racial divide and equality for people of color. I see more whites challenging themselves and asking the hard questions regarding their white privilege and implicit biases everyday. I think the movement from the black community over the past year specifically, has garnered much needed attention in mainstream and social media. This has enabled our messages related to the extreme state of racism and inequality in this country to reach whites whom otherwise would have continued on unaware. I am seeing more and more whites participating in protests and dialogues on the issues and I work along side many whom I respect deeply for their courage, commitment and humility, their ability to ask questions, to be wrong, to learn. It is quite exhilarating and gives me great hope. So although our country is arguably as polarized as it was 60 years ago or some may even say, 400 years ago, today a revolution is underway. Today people, be they black, white, yellow, red, brown or all of the above, are coming together as one, to challenge the machine that is Institutionalized racism. Each day that a step is taken together, a brick in the foundation of white supremacy that this country was built upon is removed.Until we can all have the luxury of being colorblind, because the day has come when in fact, All Lives Do Matter, and they matter Equally, the statement and movement Black Lives Matter is relevant and necessary.

 

Why Black Lives Matter Too!

***************** RELEASING JUNE 19, 2016 ******************  
We are pleased to announce our soon-to-be-released multi-contributor anthology, “Why Black Lives Matter (Too)”! Recognizing that the fight for social justice and equality is bigger than any one person and that there is room for diverse talents and expertise of anyone who is committed to freedom, this multi-contributor anthology comprises curated essays written by 50 social justice advocates from across the nation.
Our release date, June 19th, is set to coincide with Juneteenth—also known as Independence Day or Freedom Day—a holiday commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African American slaves throughout the Confederate South.
Book Summary: The Black Lives Matter movement evolved as a protest against police brutality against unarmed Black men. This book extends beyond police brutality to revolutionize the national conversation about racial injustice and inequality and advocate for freedom and justice for all Black Americans. Addressing a range of hot button issues and racial disparities that disproportionately impact the Black community, this is a call to action that will challenge you to confront your long-held values and beliefs about Black lives and confront your own white privilege and fragility as you examine racial justice and equality in a revolutionary way.
All proceeds will benefit The Sentencing Project, a leader in the effort to bring national attention to disturbing trends and inequities in the criminal justice system through the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns and strategic advocacy for policy reform. Our gift to the organization will support their efforts to promote reforms in sentencing policy, address unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocate for alternatives to incarceration.
Stay tuned, and please consider purchasing this book, when available, to support the vital work of The Sentencing Project.
#VoicesForEquality #WhyBlackLivesMatterToo

“What are YOU?” Black, White, Other?

By Sevgi Fernandez 

 

“What are you?”

The question that’s been on repeat since I burst into this world

A little caramel girl who would grow up with the weight of two worlds

“What are you?”

I’m LOST between two worlds at war with one another

I’m lost between two worlds that made me, yet neither will claim me

 If I listen to you………

I’m too light, 

like I’ve blinded u with my high yellow ass

I’m too dark, 

like the pit of your soul

I must be uneducated, unemployed, and unloved

I must be stuck up, a sell out and all the above

If I listen to you I,”talk like a white girl”
Yet my “white girl speech” doesn’t erase the melanin in my skin 

What are u?

Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian?

I must be black….no I must be white….no no that’s right,

I’m other.

I’m so tired of the labels

I’m so tired of you trying to find out what I am so you can decide whether I’m worth your respect

What am I?

I’m a mother…a daughter… .a sister….

What am I? 

I am done with the labels, the stereotypes, the games

No longer will my self worth be determined by your shame 

I am the bridge between two worlds 

Not black….white…..other

But

Black….White……Together 

I am Found, no longer bound by the fear and ignorance that surrounds 

No longer will I take the bait to hate myself because u fear what I am and what I will become

I am found

I am found



Image source 

http://www.kennyonline.net


Segregation 2015

   

By Sevgi Fernandez

As I look at the state of our country and the racial divide I can’t say I’m surprised. In fact, although formal segregation hasn’t been at play in many years, racism has never left and it plays out in our schools everyday.

With the majority of students in k-12 public schools being of color and the majority of the teachers in these schools being white, the racial biases the teachers hold are cause for great concern. Aside from parents, one could argue that teachers are the next most influential people in our children’s lives. They lay the foundation for how our young people view education and what they are capable of becoming in the future. They are pivotal in how far reaching our children’s dreams will be.  

Institutional racism is a pervasive machine that begins to work on a child’s sense of self worth the moment they begin school. It’s a machine that’s been well oiled and perfected over the years.  With knowledge comes power and one need only look at the history of racial oppression in this country to see why the white dominant society would want to create and perpetuate a system that makes getting a quality education equal to that of their own extremely difficult to attain for people of color.  

“So while our education system is highly problematic—it is neither fair nor equal—it’s not broken. It does exactly what it was deliberately built to do.” C. Royal

If we look back at the history of education in the U.S., we can clearly see how the systematic approach to keep people of color uneducated began.

  
“Most White Southern slaveholders were adamantly opposed to the education of their slaves because they feared an educated slave population would threaten their authority.”H.A. Williams, 2005

Although many slaves and free Africans found ways to self teach and there were whites who aided them in their education, there was a significant amount of time in which there were few schools available to them.
In the 1600-1700’s there was a steady increase in schools and educational options for blacks yet by the early 1800’s leading up to the imancipation proclamation, many southern states outlawed the education of blacks both free and slaves. These laws had steep penalties for anyone caught aiding in the education of blacks as well.

In the interest of keeping this an article and not having it turn into a book, I’m go to skip around a bit. So let’s fast forward to 1954 and Brown vs The Board of Education. On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in schools. Did that change things? Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately the statistics aren’t all one would have hoped. 

 

 
It’s telling that we live in a country where it took a Supreme Court order to desegregate our schools. What’s even more abhorrent is the fact that since over 200 school districts (mostly in the south) were released from this court order, many quickly returned to their segregated ways.    


“But while segregation as it is practiced today may be different than it was 60 years ago, it is no less pernicious: in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere, it involves the removal and isolation of poor black and Latino students, in particular, from everyone else. In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.” (N.H. Jones)

The effects of this systematic racism are apparent in the African American community across the country, wherever you look. It’s in the hopelessness of our youth, in the violence within our communities and at the hands of the police. It’s in the educational system that is set up to fail our kids and the healthcare system that is either unattainable or so discriminatory many fear ever seeking out the care they need.  Rather than educating and nourishing the minds of our young people of color, the system is feeding the school to prison pipeline .

“Young Black men — across the board — score below their counterparts in other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to graduation rates, literacy rates and college preparedness. And many African American men, in turn, are virtually locked out of employment and are filling up the nation’s prisons in disproportionate numbers.” (J. Daniels)  
  

“Nearly 75 percent of imprisonment spending happens at the state level, where dollars are drawn from a general fund that is meant to pay for a range of public needs, including health care, housing, public assistance, and education.” S. Hawkins

 So when people wonder what all the protests are about, what black people are so upset about, just open your eyes!!!! Why are our youth rioting??!!! It’s not just about police brutality, it goes much deeper.  Look at the reality these young people face everyday. Poor quality education, teachers who don’t understand them culturally, who don’t believe in them, who tell them what they cannot be.  

“When black teachers and white teachers are asked to sum up black high school students’ potential, white teachers are much less likely to see black students as college material. And that’s true even when they’re discussing the same students.” L. Nelson

They face a school system that has been designed for whites to excel. A system that is funneling our children of color into prisons at epic proportions.  A curriculum that is culturally irrelevant to a huge percentage of those it’s there to teach. A system that is funneling money into prisons while subsequently starving the programs that could keep our kids out of prison. They are insuring the continuance of the cycles of poverty, illiteracy and hopelessness. 
This system is purposeful. There have been plenty of studies that have examined why the system is failing African American children and plenty that have offered solutions, yet here we are.

For example, the “No Child Left Behind” law that instituted mandatory testing with the purpose of accountability, has failed miserably. The number of African American drop outs increased by 10% in its first 10 years. One study shows only 50% of the nations girls of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent are actually graduating high school. The statistics for boys are much lower.                   W.B. Harvey 

Why?

  1. The curriculum is designed by whites for whites.
  2. The testing is based on this curriculum and once again was designed by whites for whites.
  3. Schools are concerned with test scores only, not the child, not the education
  4. Most of our urban public schools are non-white and subsequently underfunded
  5. Many African American children are misinterpreted and mislabeled due to racial stereotyping 
  6. These children feel the effects of this stereotyping and begin to feel dumb because they are labeled dumb

If we examine this list, we can see why our African American youth are in the state they are in.  I was fortunate to sit on the thesis committee of an incredible educator, Chilufiya Safaa, she summed up what these children are facing with heart piercing accuracy:

The children act out; they take on the labels of being dumb or trouble. They then become vulnerable to the streets, jail, and death.  They start fighting each other rather than fighting against the stereotypes and the system which is oppressing them.  It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Wake up folks. We are steadily heading backwards. Racism and segregation are very real and our young and vulnerable are faced with it everyday. We can’t just complain, or close our eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist. It takes critical thinking and community action. What can you commit to do in your community to address these issues and bring about change? If you don’t know here are some places to start:

  
Sources:

  1. Tavis Smiley Reports. EPISODE 5: Too Important to Fail.  Fact Sheet: Outcomes for Young, Black Men.  Tamika Thompson
  2. SELF-TAUGHT, African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. HEATHER ANDREA WILLIAMS. CHAPEL HILL: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS, 2005. 
  3. http://www.nationalcenter.org/brown.html
  4. The Impact of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision on Postsecondary Participation of African Americans. William B. Harvey, Adia M. Harvey and Mark King. The Journal of Negro Education,Vol. 73, No. 3, Special Issue: Brown v. Board of Education at 50 (Summer, 2004), pp. 328-340
  5. http://m.ourweekly.com/news/2013/oct/03/whats-african-american-literacy-rates/. What’s up with African American literacy rates?Story by David L. Horne, PH.D. 10/3/2013
  6. Racism in K-12 Public Schools: Education Series July 12, 2011,       JessieDaniels,racismhttp://www.racismreview.com/blog/2011/07/12/racism-k-12/
  7. Racism in the classroom: the “soft bigotry of low expectations” is just regular bigotry.  Libby Nelson, August 19, 2015, @libbyanelson libby@vox.com
  8. Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica, April 16, 2014, 11 p.m.
  9. http://m.prospect.org/article/education-vs-incarceration. Steven Hawkins
  10. http://magazine.good.is/articles/our-education-system-isn-t-broken-it-s-designed-to-create-winners-and-losers. Our Education System Isn’t Broken, It’s Designed to Create Winners and Losers. Camika Royal.

Together We Stand

 We advocate for victims of racism, discrimination and police brutality across the country. We also hold workshops on dismantling racism and building community. We plan to incorporate a youth leadership academy that trains participants to become social change agents and prepares them to enter college with an excellent foundation in civil and social justice advocacy. We will also offer participants mental health services that allow them to process the issues they see in their communities and in their lives. Our hope is to develop a successful model that can be implemented in cities across the country. We are raising money to cover the filing, legal costs, and the various other needs that come with starting a non profit. We hope that you will help us on this journey! Just click the link below, and please SHARE! 
 https://www.gofundme.com/TogetherWeStand1

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