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Color caste

My Mixed Evolution 

A country divided black, white, red, brown, yellow 

It’s nothing new for I am divided too

Head spinning heart searching for my little piece of home 

I run toward you

take me in, teach me, love me, embrace me, accept me

no

My shade too bright too light for your sunshine, my depth irrelevant

I dust off my pain lace up my boots and begin again

Maybe this time I will fit in

Maybe what was superficial will somehow be meaningful, my pedigree will somehow be forgotten and I will finally be enough to measure up to the great white hype

No

I Fall, desolate is this road I walk

Where is my village, my pack, my pride

Little do I know that my sanctuary is in Time

Every step is preparation for the revelations to come

Each tear I cry is a seed planted in my spirit 

Courage

Strength 

Compassion 

Gratitude 

All growing 

Until one day 

I

Rise

My mixed half black half white courageous strong compassionate grateful self

I rise, and as I rise in MY skin 

I See MY family 

My black, white, brown, red, yellow, MIXED family 

And I embrace you 

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.

 

Unite Against RacismBreaking Down Walls and Building Community

  
Challenging Racism and Islamophobia

Join us for the second in our three part series Unite Against Racism: Breaking Down Walls and Building Community; Challenging Racism and Islamophobia.Given the growing divide along racial and religious lines in this country and globally, we will focus this seminar on examining where the breakdowns in communication and understanding are occuring specifically between blacks/whites and Muslims/Non-Muslims. Sevgi Fernandez of Together We Stand and Dr. John P. Fernandez of ARMCGlobal, global leaders on racism, sexism and diversity training, will be facilitating. The emphasis will be to create GolbalTREE, Trust, Respect, Empathy, Ethics, through a multifaceted approach using individual and group exercises.

Please RSVP to Diversewc@gmail.com, we will be emailing attendees an exercise to do prior to the workshop.
Register now, space is limited!!!

Unite Against Racism: Breaking Down Walls and Building Community

When

Saturday, Jan. 23rd 2016 at 2:30-5:30pm

Where

2930 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, CA
Agenda
Welcome – Introductions

Individual – Group Exercises

Break

Documentary

Group discussion

Closing – personal commitments to change

Western Institute for Social Research

Since 1975 WISR, the Western Institute for Social Research, has been a multicultural academic institution of higher learning devoted to social change and community improvement. WISR, is a community-based, globally connected degree granting institution of higher learning. WISR’s students can earn Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in a variety of disciplines related to community improvement and leadership, educational innovation, counseling psychology, and progressive social change.

2930 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA, United States Mail@wisr.edu 510 655-2830 wisr.edu

Advanced Reaearch Management Consultants

Advanced Research Management Consultants Global, LLC– is a full service human resources, executive coaching, diversity, mentoring, marketing, e-learning and video production firm. We specialize in assisting organizations realize their competitive advantage on a local and global scale.

ARMC Global develops and delivers seminars in such areas as leadership, global virtual teams, teambuilding, communications, generation gap, GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender), work and life balance, cultural clashes, conflict resolution, Proactive Inclusion® and GlobalTREE℠ (Trust, Respect, Empathy, and Ethics).

701 West Allens Lane, Philadelphia, PA, United States JPF@Globaltree.com 215 247-4547 armcglobal.com

Sevgi Fernandez – Together We Stand – Diverse World Coaching

Diverse World Coaching specializes in working with blended, cross-cultural and interracial families as well as individuals struggling with racial identity formation, anxiety and depression.

Together We Stand advocates for victims of racism, discrimination and police brutality across the country. We are developing a youth leadership academy that will train participants to become social change agents and prepare them to enter college with an excellent foundation in social justice advocacy.

Together We Stand also offers the following workshops:

Racism and White Privilege

Parenting Mixed Race Children: Understanding their Racial Identity Development 

Navigating the Blended Family

Youth Empowerment through Community Action

Richmond, CA, United States diversewc@gmail.com

The Myth of the White Majority

The white “race” has structured and manipulated their own thought processes and conceptual patterns, as well as those of the entire non-white world majority, so that the real numerical minority (whites) illusionally feels and represents itself as the world’s majority, while the true numerical majority (non-whites) illusionally feels and views itself as the minority.
Salem Mattaniah

Colorism: Light-Skinned African-American Women Explain The Discrimination They Face

 Jan 13, 2014 | Updated Jan 23, 2014
OWN

 

On a recent episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” Iyanla Vanzant joined Oprah to discuss the issue of colorism, the prejudices people can face based on the lightness or darkness of their skin tone. While many understand colorism as the discrimination against darker-skinned African-Americans, two of Oprah’s lighter-skinned audience members surprise Iyanla with the colorism discrimination they face as well.

Though one of the women has seen first-hand how some of her darker-skinned family members are treated, she says that she, too, struggled with discrimination. “Being a light-skinned girl, you get called names,” she tells Iyanla. “You get called ‘lite-brite,’ you get called ‘high yellow,’ ‘redbone.’ This is a reality every day.”

Having longer hair or lighter skin, she continues, makes others in her community assume she thinks she is prettier than them — something she says simply isn’t true. “You’re alienated from your own people. You’re never black enough,” she says. “But we’re still black in America. None of us feel advantaged.”

 Iyanla finds this prejudice against lighter-skinned black women very interesting. “Both the dark and the light are experiencing the same thing at different ends of the spectrum,” she says before turning to the woman who had shared her story. “You got insulted by being called ‘high yellow’ or ‘redbone,’ but somebody [darker] being called a ‘coon,’ a ‘jiggaboo,’ and a ‘monkey,’ –

“We’re called that too,” another light-skinned audience member interrupts. “We’re called ‘coon’ and ‘jiggaboo’ and all those same things too. We’re still called that on top of ‘light bright’ and all those other things.”

“So the outside world that sees you as just a black person heaps the black stuff on you and then within the community, you get it,” Iyanla says. “Wow.”

Also in the video, one of the audience members explains the only way she believes real healing can begin, prompting Iyanla to give Oprah a “tweetable moment.”

For video- http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4588825

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