From Angie: the 15 year old daughter of one of our members is speaking out! Milani Cook supports the "Colorado Crown Act" (HB 1048):
From Angie: My home state, Maryland, is doing something about the statues that celebrate slavery:
From: Karen Steinhauser
Subject: FW: MSU Denver story is posted
Date: January 23, 2020 at 3:48:25 PM MST
Hi Angie. Happy New Year. Hope you had good holidays. I wanted to share this story with you for a few reasons. Most of all I'm very proud of this man my father but also thought his history might be something that the symposium would be interested in.
-------- Original message --------
From: Sheldon Steinhauser
Date: 1/15/20 4:43 PM (GMT-07:00)
Subject: Fwd: MSU Denver story is posted
From: Phare, Cory
Cc: Carroll, Timothy
Sent: Wed, Jan 15, 2020 2:34 pm
Subject: MSU Denver story is posted
Hope you had a good weekend! Wanted to let you know the MSU Denver RED story just went live – I think it turned out well; please let me know if there are any final questions/concerns about it. We’ll start sharing out with folks soon; feel free to do the same!
Cory Phare | Staff Writer
Strategy, Marketing and Communications
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Campus Box 86, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217-3362
(303) 605-5540 (office)
From: tuneishia harris
Subject: Re: Modern day debtors prison? Mississippi is only state to still jail people for unpaid debt
Date: January 24, 2020 at 7:56:24 PM MST
To: Angela Arkin
Hi Angie, here is good video on Race Conflict.
On Jan 9, 2020, at 9:53 AM, tuneishia harris wrote:
I came across this article and found it to be infuriating and heartbreaking. It shows that there is still a lot of work to be done in our country. Enslavement still exists but is often masked as something else.
Let me know what you think.
Have an amazing day!!
From: Ruth Abram
Subject: Fwd: A potential speaker for the Symposium on Race
Date: December 12, 2019 at 3:58:22 PM MST
RE: Symposium on Race
Angie, I think you will agree that this is fascinating. I would be delighted to try to interest Brian Donovan in speaking to the Seminar. If race is indeed primarily a "social construct," we will need to find new words to describe what we mean.
I am also in touch with a woman who participates in a Fund for Reparations. Made up of the descendants of slave owners, the group explores way to make amends. This too might be interesting for our Seminar. Again, I would be pleased to make the connection.
Does the Seminar have a speaker's fee? If not, perhaps we could start a tradition of "sponsored" programs. I would be delighted to sponsor Donovan. Ruth
On Nov 4, 2019, at 3:07 PM, Heidi Kutcher wrote:
Two bits of good news!
1. Velveta Howell will be inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in March 2020.
2. Michael Roche has been submitted to the governor for possible appointment to the new 18th District Court position.
From: Catharyn Baird
Subject: Article for the group
Date: October 21, 2019 at 10:08:04 AM MDT
To: Angie Arkin <email@example.com>
Cc: Catharyn Baird
This article describes systemic injustice based on fining protocols. I think looking at the way that systemic injustice plays out in our communities and figuring strategies to change would be a great conversation for our group.
"UPDATE FROM THE CEO
This month, the ABA released its annual Profile of the Legal Profession. There's a lot of great information, but I wanted to share a quick snapshot of some of the data related to diversity.
* Female attorneys: in 2019, 36% make up the profession (no change since 2016).
* Racial or ethnic minorities attorneys: in 2019, 15% of all attorneys are diverse, US population is 23% diverse. Almost all racial/ethnic groups of attorneys are underrepresented versus their US population percentage: African American - 5%/13.4%; Asian - 2%/5.8%; Latinx - 5%/18.1%; Native Americans - 1%/1.3%.
* Diverse law firm attorneys: associates- 20%/24%; partners - 6%/9%, in 2009 and 2018.
* Attorneys with disabilities: 0.50% in 2019 and 0.25 in 2009, 2016 American Community Survey estimates 12.8% of Americans have disabilities.
* LGBTQ+ attorneys: associates- 2.3%/3.8%; partners - 1.4%/2.11%, in 2009 and 2018, data obtained through NALP survey. 2017 Gallup poll concludes 4.5% of adult Americans identify as LGBTQ+.
* Law students: 52.4% of law students were female in 2018, continuing the enrollment increase of female students since 2016. 37% of law students are racial/ethnic minorities; it was 6% in 2018.
* Federal Bench: in 2016, 20.1% of judges were diverse, while 19.9% are diverse in 2019. For women, their percentage was 25.9% in 2016 and 27.0 in 2019.
Bottomline, there's still work that needs to be done.
Karen H Hester, JD, LLM in Taxation
Chief Executive Officer
Center for Legal Inclusiveness"
"Angie. This is a thorough and compelling joint article with the New Yorker Magazine about systematic real property dispossession of blacks for over a century. Important reading for all."
Julie Waggener, Esq. (Ret)
From Julie Waggoner, an article about significant ongoing racial discrimination in farming by the USDA:
We mourn the devastating loss of our friend, SOR member and great leader Judge Wiley Daniel, who left us on May 10, 2019. Here are some links that tell us about his incredible life and legacy:
To those of you who made donations to our wonderful young presenters in April (the "We The People" group from Grandview High School), here is a "Thank you" letter from their teacher/coach:
"Hi Angie. Now that my students and I have returned from Washington, I'm writing to thank you and your group of contributors one final time for your financial support. I had two goals in mind as we approached the We the People national finals. One of them was financial, namely that families ought not be burdened merely because their children are engaged in an academic competition. With your help, we achieved that goal.
The other goal was academic, namely that the students would take their responsibilities seriously and perform well at that national competition. That goal, too, was achieved, as the students' presentations were simply masterful. In all, 56 high schools competed in Washington. Of those schools, only 15 were recognized for the excellence of their overall performance. Grandview was one of those 15, receiving the Mountains and Plains States regional award.
Because of your financial support, our We the People students had the experience of a lifetime, in the process bringing honor on themselves, Grandview, and the state of Colorado. I'll close with one of an almost endless number of accolades which the students have shared about their WTP experience: "Before this class, no class in my academic career had ever challenged me at all. This was the exception. Did I want to cry several times during the program? Yes. But it was exhilarating. It was fascinating. I loved this program more than any class I have ever taken." Decades from now, when the memory of high school has long faded, these wonderful students will recall the trip you helped bring about. On their behalf, I'm profoundly grateful.
Wonderful seeing you again! Here is the info about the book: Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things): Anastasia Higginbotham: 9781948340007: Amazon.com: Books
I gave my copy to Bob Russell after he said he wanted to get it for his black, white, and biracial grandkids.
I am really impressed with what that author has achieved! Take care! spike
From: Ruth Abram <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 10:26 AM
Angie, I am passing on this excellent article on immigration and race just published by the NY Daily News. It is written by my eloquent friend, Kevin Jennings, President of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in NYC. I founded the Museum some 30 years ago expressly to draw connections between the past and the present pertaining to “the stranger in the land.” Kevin does this so well in this piece. I hope you will distribute it to all the members of the Symposium on Race and to the presenters at last night’s Symposium. Thank you. Ruth
I thought you might find this op-ed I published in today’s NY Daily News of interest.
Grandview High School
20500 East Arapahoe Road
Aurora, CO 80016
December 21, 2018
Dear Ms. Arkin,
My name is Aliyah Cook and I am writing on behalf of the Grandview High School We the People program to request a donation for our national We the People trip, scheduled for April 26-30th. Your donation will help pay for the cost of this important trip the We the People students will be taking to Washington D.C., to compete the National We the People competition.
This year I learned more about the Constitution and U.S. Government and Politics than ever before. For the past few months, my teammates and I have been working every day to research Federalist Papers, Supreme Court decisions, laws, executive orders, and current events. I have never experienced something as mentally challenging, satisfying, and rewarding. This program is teaching me how to work in a group setting, write in a sophisticated way, find primary sources that support my argument, speak confidently, and think critically. I hope to make myself and my community proud at the national competition.
I would greatly appreciate any donation you can make. Should you donate for the trip, please note that all donations will be considered a charitable contribution. We will also provide a donation receipt letter with Grandview’s tax-exempt ID number for your records if requested. For your convenience, I have placed the donation link below to easy access for your online giving. If you are specifically donating to me, please make a note of that in the comments/memo box provided on the online form, otherwise, your donation will go into a pool donation fund.
If you have any questions or need further information, please contact me at email@example.com. On behalf of the We the People program at Grandview High School, thank you for your consideration.
PLEASE CONSIDER INCLUDING THESE GRANDVIEW STUDENTS IN YOUR DONATION PLANS FOR 2019. ANY AMOUNT HELPS!!! WE WILL BE MEETING THESE AMAZING KIDS IN APRIL, BUT THEY WOULD LOVE OUR CONSIDERATION, NOW.
THANKS SO MUCH,
Al Harrell suggests the following article about Latinos in America:
Lynch Mobs Killed Latinos Across the West. Descendants Want It Known.
Here is the link to the ad only - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPPf3sZIo-Q
On Jan 13, 2019, at 12:48 PM, lana h wrote:
I thought some of the good folks of the symposium might find the following article interesting:
It's from an online art newsletter regarding an exhibit in New Jersey.
Best regards and Seasons Greetings. Jim T
Angie: Two items to pass along this snowy Monday morning.
#1 Over the weekend I attended a viewing of a documentary (I Am Not Your Negro) based upon James Baldwin's unfinished work Remember This House. I believe the good folks participating in the symposium would find this interesting and thought provoking.
#2 I read that Tom Brokaw apologized for a comment he made on Meet the Press, and that folks are condemning Chuck Todd for his "failure" to immediately call out Brokaw. I did not see the segment in question, but after reading a partial transcript, am left wondering if Brokaw's comments reflect his own bias and were in fact "racist." Or are his critics hyper sensitive? Perhaps we can touch on this at the next meeting.
Don’t know if you subscribe to NY Times, but they just started a newsletter on issues involving race. Thought I would bring it to your attention if you did not already know.
my best wgm
Last meeting, Arthur asked a critical question. He asked why is it important to learn about W.E.B. Du Bois. Here for the group is a link to an article by Charles Blow from The New York Times called “The White Rebellion.”
Blow’s article offers one small answer to the question Arthur asked in his presentation. Ignoring for our purposes the article’s reference to Donald Trump, I believe Blow’s description of “the petrifying fear young white men feel” expresses a vestige of slavery that goes a long way to illustrate why it is so important to learn and understand our authentic history. In other words, it gives us one of many reasons why is it important to learn about W.E.B. Du Bois.
Two additional questions to consider as we learn from Arthur are these:
1. What is the relationship to fear and privilege as described by Blow of 246+ years of life in a slave based economy compared to the 153 years in an economy that followed the abolition of slavery?
2. What is the relationship of fear and privilege as described by Blow to the conversation of implicit bias we are now having?
Thank you Arthur for asking a question that each of us must answer as we move deeper into this discussion of race.
New York Times Opinion Page “OP - DOCS”
Really interesting article!
Subject: Here was an interesting article from NJC
Should judges be warning jurors about unconscious bias? Our poll says few are
Unconscious bias has been in the headlines since Starbucks closed all its stores nationwide for an afternoon late last month to conduct racial-bias education for employees.
The training came in response to a racial incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. A pair of African-American men were waiting for a business meeting and hadn’t purchased anything, which is a common scenario with patrons of all kinds at the coffee shops. The store’s manager asked them to leave and then called the police when they did not comply.
Our June Question of the Month asked judges if they do anything to alert jurors to unconscious or implicit bias before they render a verdict. Of the 338 judges who voted, 71 percent said they do not alert jurors to potential implicit bias.
As the preface to the poll question noted, some states, including California and Washington, require that juries be informed about implicit bias. And one judge shared the instructions that he himself issues to jurors.
Of the 125 respondents who posted comments (mostly anonymous), several said they don’t consider it necessary to talk about unconscious bias because they feel counsel often address it adequately in voir dire. Others seemed unsure how to bring up the topic with jurors.
Iowa District Court Judge Jeff Neary (Sioux City) said he starts by talking about overt bias before turning to the implicit or unconscious form.
“[I ask] folks from this area to raise their hands if they consider themselves Iowa Hawkeyes fans, Iowa State Cyclones fans or Nebraska Cornhusker fans. And then I use that show of hands—and the typical joking that takes place—to talk about how we feel about those who might not like a team we like or point out how we take sides in such contests and may generally feel or react to others who do not see things as we do.”
Several judges said that they would like to discuss unconscious bias but haven’t figured out how to do so. They worry about calling attention to the fact that a witness or a defendant may be subject to bias. They don’t want to plant a seed of bias in jurors’ minds
“I address [bias] during jury orientation [but] not as thoroughly as I would like to,” wrote one judge, who self-identified as an African American from a southern state. “I don’t get the sense that jurors are as open to me addressing this with them.”
Another judge cited a study that, according to the judge, found that “alerting” jurors to their unconscious or implicit biases can exacerbate them.
The overwhelming weight of research shows the opposite, according to Kimberly Papillon, a judicial professor who has taught about neuroscience in decision-making for the NJC for 10 years. She said numerous studies show brain reactions change and fairness increases when people are alerted to bias.
“This is particularly true when people make decisions that will be scrutinized in public, like jury verdicts,” she said.
* Each month the College emails an informal, non-scientific, one-question survey to its more than 12,000 judicial alumni in the United States and abroad. The results summarized in the NJC’s monthly Judicial Edge are not intended to be characterized as conclusive research findings.
Elizabeth A. W
Subject: Re: Symposium on Race group Fwd: June 21st Use of Force Seminar: New Details!
I just finished a great book that I think the symposium would love:
Author: Michael Eric Dyson What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America
In 1963 Attorney General Robert Kennedy sought out James Baldwin to explain the rage that threatened to engulf black America. Baldwin brought along some friends, including playwright Lorraine Hansberry, psychologist Kenneth Clark, and a valiant activist, Jerome Smith. It was Smith’s relentless, unfiltered fury that set Kennedy on his heels, reducing him to sullen silence.
Kennedy walked away from the nearly three-hour meeting angry – that the black folk assembled didn’t understand politics, and that they weren’t as easy to talk to as Martin Luther King. But especially that they were more interested in witness than policy. But Kennedy’s anger quickly gave way to empathy, especially for Smith. “I guess if I were in his shoes…I might feel differently about this country.” Kennedy set about changing policy – the meeting having transformed his thinking in fundamental ways.
When we met for lunch a few weeks ago you mentioned that at one of the earlier gatherings a couple of people discussed their different approaches in previous roles as prosecutors. The following link is one of my favorite talks and one I think may be of interest to the group related to their discussion.
Thanks, Kate B
Ted Talk by Adam Foss, “A prosecutor’s vision for a better justice system”
This 4 minute Heineken ad (and real experiment) is brilliant (it's not about beer)... I'm happy to play it at the beginning of one of our next meetings or if you prefer, would you please share this link to the video with our symposium? The concept is what we discussed at our last symposium: we can't just expose diverse individuals to one another if we want change... we need to get diverse individuals to interact with each other and appreciate our shared experiences.
As I mentioned in our symposium tonite, this book is powerful. "REAL AMERICAN" a Memoir by Julia Lythcott-Haims. Heard her interview first on NPR interview with Teri Gross. Julie
Closer to home, you and I recently attended the Sam Cary Bar Association’s Homecoming. During Homecoming, some of the lawyers recalled with pride that they were in the class with the largest number of first year Black students in the history of the Sturm College of law.
Yet, I remember how difficult it was for Mary Ricketson, who, as Dean of the law school, recruited and successfully increased the percentage of diverse students entering law school during that time. Simply put, Mary ran into the buzz saw of “merit” from tenured faculty. I know it was not easy. I know it took a toll on her. Most importantly, I know why she did it. She often said to me, “this is the right thing to do.”
Subject: RE: Tenured Penn law professor keeps job disparaging black students | Daily Mail Online
Ted Ruger was a law school classmate of mine and is one of the most principled, ethical, and progressive people I have ever known. Amy Wax and I have been opponents in academic battles for decades. She has long had a reputation for sitting on the extreme side of the “merit” argument against the values of diversity and inclusion. The conflict reflected in these stories is a fascinating microcosm of what is happening in education all over the country. What is sad, and I think is reflected here, is that people arguing the “principles” of the debate rarely reflect on how their stated positions reflect something about what they must think of the students in their classrooms.
On Mar 14, 2018, at 5:53 PM, F, Jordan M. wrote:
We still have a lot of work to do ... please share as you think appropriate
Twenty Ninth Meeting
"Creating spaces of change to deal with the psychological and biological consequences of racism" (the health effects of repeated experiences of racialized trauma and economic inequality and the role that plays in the criminal justice system). Here are the links:
1). "Why the myth of meritocracy hurts kids of color", M. D. Anderson
2). "Why are black students punished so often? Minnesota confronts a national quandary", by E. L. Green
3). "Racism hurts", by K. Kowalski
Twenty Eight Meeting:
Our first 2020 Symposium is January 8, 2020, the second Wednesday, from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver. The topic will be: "The Truth About the Confederacy in the United States." John and Emily Baker and Hon. Chris Cross will be presenting.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOPGpE-sXh0
Twenty Seventh Meeting: Holiday Potluck!
DECEMBER SYMPOSIUM ON RACE: POT LUCK DINNER ON DECEMBER 11, 2019 AT THE HOME OF BETSY CRANE. COME MEET AND GET TO KNOW YOUR FELLOW MEMBERS (children who are old enough to participate in a Symposium on Race conversation are also welcome). Feel free to wear casual holiday attire! ADMISSION: 1 DISH ( feeds 3 – 4).
All are also invited to bring a tax-deductible donation (cash or check) to St. John’s Lutheran Church to say “Thank You” for another year of hosting our Symposium on Race.
Twenty Sixth Meeting:
Symposium on Race Denver
Second Year End Organizing Meeting
1. New Ideas:
a. Calendar at least 4 months of Symposiums in advance, so folks can be sure they can attend.
b. Have more discussions based on movies/videos/Ted Talks; discussions and sharing ideas with other are the most important aspects of the Symposium (Movies mentioned include “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Harriet,” “American Son,” “The Truth About the Confederacy,” etc.)
c. Schedule field trips outside of the regular monthly discussions if folks want to attend them (to movies, plays, events in the community such as CO Women’s Hall of Fame Dinner inducting Velveeta Howell, trips to a local Mosque, the Smithsonian museums in D.C. or the Lynching Museum in Alabama).
d. Include more information about “The Other,” (folks and communities that are not as mainstream or who may be less known by the Symposium members, such as folks from minority religious or immigrant communities, meeting and having conversations with inmates in the Denver County jail).
e. Have a “book club” or corner on “Goodreads” to allow members to recommend important/interesting/enlightening books to one another (books mentioned were “Tell Me Who You Are,” and “Between the World and Me”).
f. Seek grants to bring nationally known speakers to the Symposium.
2. Ideas for future Symposia:
a. Discussion about “The Truth About the Confederacy.”
b. Discussion about 100 years of Women’s suffrage during Women’s History Month.
c. Discussion of the movie “Harriet.”
d. Discussion about/with immigrant communities in the Denver metro area.
e. Discussion about disparities in medical treatment on the basis of race.
f. Discussion of musical origins, influences and impacts by Americans of color.
g. Inviting young people who have visited important civil rights museums and memorials to share and discuss their experiences.
3. Other issues:
a. For our next Symposium, everyone is encouraged to bring a new member, or someone who has not attended in a while.
b. Al and Angie will talk to Dion about food for future Symposia.
c. Ideas on how to improve the www.symposiumonracedenver.com website are always welcome.
Twenty Fifth Meeting:
Presenters/presentation as follows:
A person was sitting in a car in a covered residential garage very late at night. The landlord had requested that Denver police monitor the garage due to problems the building was having. Two police officers arrived at the garage as part of routine patrol, saw the car parked in a spot not assigned to that car, ran the plate, and were heard on tape to say, "the car was registered in Aurora, so we knew he didn't belong there." Two officers approached the car. Dion Jones, an African-American, would not fully roll down his window, so he was ordered out of his car. He did not move. The police officers, who were white, raised their voices, informed him he was ignoring a lawful order, again ordered him out of the car, and when he didn't, one officer yanked opened the car door. As Mr. Jones began to get out of his car, he reached back toward his backside with his right hand. The officers immediately pulled their weapons, began screaming at Mr. Jones, pulled him out of the car, and put him on the ground. Other officers arrived. The incident was caught on three body-cams. You will see the body-cam videos. Mr. Jones will relate what went through his mind when the guns were drawn.
Were the officers' actions reasonable? You will be asked to make the call.
David Lane, Colorado's noted civil rights lawyer, and Dion Jones will argue the actions were unreasonable. Retired Judge Christopher Cross will argue the prosecution's side that the officer's actions were reasonable.
Twenty Fourth Meeting
“Boogeyman: Islamophobia in the Age of Trump.”
A Q and A format and discussion. Presenters: Hon. Don Toussaint, John Baker, Esq., and "Special Guest," Qusair Mohamedbhai, Esq., of Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC.
Twenty Third Meeting
On August 7, 2019. Michelle Sylvain and Velveta Howell presented: "Moving beyond Binary Thinking."
Materials to read and view:
"How We Limit Ourselves when We Think about Racism as Binary" Talk: Race in America, https://goodmenprroject.com
No One Believes They're being Racist: The Good/Bad Binary, by Sara Kim
What are You Saying with Where are You from? to Ask about Ethnicity, by Sara Kim
July 10, 2019: Karen Steinhauser and Karen Hester are presenting on "Implicit Bias" as only they can! Here are their preparation materials/comments:
"Although there are many organizations that address implicit bias, Harvard University through its partnership with the non-profit, Project Implicit, uses a platform of testing that has been on the leading edge of this issue. As part of this month’s Race and the Law Symposium, each participant is directed to take two tests through Project Implicit (no cost), to get a better understanding of the concept, challenges and consequences of implicit biases. Follow the link to get to the tests. https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
When you do the test, you will then receive results showing what, if any biases, you have on these subjects. Don’t be upset or surprised by the results. We all have biases and having an implicit bias doesn’t make you a bad person. At the symposium, part of the time you will be in small groups discussing the results with the following questions in mind:
Were you surprised by the results of the bias? Why or why not? How can having this bias impact you or others in your working outside the home or non-working environment? How can you interrupt the bias? Discuss a situation where you were either a victim of, a witness to, or participant in a bias situation. Would you handle it differently after this evening’s discussion?"
Judge Addison “Spike” Adams presented on: "Interrogating Whiteness."
I was just tossing about some of the things that I plan to touch upon in my presentation with Jamie, and she remarked,” Sounds like it’s going to be heavy.” It will be, particularly, when I quote from a book or newspaper article. So, regardless of what race one identifies with, selected readings could be challenging for some people to hear.
Again the talk is, “ Interrogating Whiteness.” I only need to highlight ugly moments in the history we call American by bringing those shameful moments to light. It will be up to folks to process what they hear and that, hopefully, will be accomplished in breakout groups."
A few videos of interest:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mDZUBX_nY_0 History of White People
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pqlD-eZm1ck Black Face: A Cultural History of a Racist Art Form
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TM6ehzu3p4c Birth of a White Nation
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8iZDapgQdFo. Why White People are called Caucasians
Being Black and German https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pcfPVj5qR1E
An article worth reading!
The First White President The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.
Our presenters were Adrian Miller, Catharyn Baird and Judge Robert (Bob) Russell
Life at the Intersection
Catharyn Baird and Bob Russell, who are in their 43rd year of an interracial marriage, facilitated a conversation about concerns and best practices for those who intentionally straddle two worlds. They were joined by Adrian Miller, an acclaimed author and Executive Director of the Colorado Council of Churches, who shared his experiences and strategies for responding to those in the Black community who say that he’s “too white” and sold out. His most current example will come from the world of BBQ where he has been criticized by blacks for working with the Board of the BBQ Hall of Fame (which is way white), who want Adrian to help them to bring more pit masters of color to recognition.
Our April 3, 2019: Symposium on Race: "See me: A Discussion of Race by Diverse High School Students in a Predominantly White School District," Was wonderful. Thanks for joining us to talk with these wonderful, thoughtful young people.
Eighteenth Meeting (This meeting was cancelled because of snow, and will be rescheduled in the next few months).
Join us for the next Symposium on Race March 13, 2019 at 6:00 PM: "Recognizing and Interrupting Implicit Bias in Ourselves and in Others," Presented by Karen Hester and Karen Steinhauser.
Seventeenth Meeting (This meeting was cancelled because of snow, and will be rescheduled in the next few months)
Our February Symposium will be our usual first Wednesday, February 6, 2019, from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver. with (Judge) Don Toussaint, John Baker, and April Jones. They will discuss: - What brings you here? What has been your experience with race?
Please join us in remembering our dear friend and enthusiastic member/attendee, Tony Van Westrum. Tony left us suddenly on Sunday, when he fell while hiking and taking photos near his home in Golden. His family requests, in lieu of flowers, that you leave your thoughts and memories of Tony at the following website: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/wheat-ridge-co/anthony-van-westrum-8135609
Angie and Al
Sixteenth Meeting (Unfortunately, our presenter was sick, so we hope he will reschedule)
Hello! Final Reminder!
Our next Symposium is on 1/9/2019 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
Judge Addison “Spike” Adams will be presenting on:
Privilege, Power, and Oppression 101.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Spike Adams
Happy Holidays, Angie!
A few ideas for folks to consider. When you get to the NY Times video, unfortunately, brief advertisements need to be endured. Also, if no sound, you only need click the speaker icon. I may send a few more items.
What is Privilegehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ
A Conversation on Race: A series of short films about Identity in America https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/your-stories/conversations-on-race
Kimberle Crenshaw - On Intersectionality- Keynote
Subject: Last Two Videos
For those you have time and who are not "race fatigued", two more illuminating videos for self-reflection and self-awareness.
If you can obtain an overhead projector where I can display a chart or two on the wall that would be great. Also, can I access the internet during the presentation. I might want to play a 3 minute reading by Andre Lourde?
What time do I need to arrive? I'm not eating.
White Men: Time to Understand Your Cultural Blind Spots
How Studying Privilege Systems can Strengthen Compassion
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Our next Symposium is on 12/5/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
We just finished three amazing sessions with our excellent presenter Arthur MacFarlane, great-grandson of W.E.B. Du Bois, speaking on the great man’s relevance today (THANK YOU ARTHUR!!!!). All discussions were fascinating, informative, thought provoking, amazing, and challenging in the best possible way (see a follow-up note from one of our members, below).
Our December 5, 2018 Symposium On Race at our usual time and place will be a review of our first year, and a discussion of our future! Please join us to celebrate these amazing conversations!!!!! And bring your ideas for new topics, and what we need to continue to discuss.
We will serve heavy hors d’oeuvres for all (including vegetarian and gluten-free folks) and sparkling (non-alcoholic) liquid refreshments to toast our first year.
If you wish to bring a donation, we will be contributing to St. John’s Church to thank them for our use of their community room this past year, and for their continuing support of important progressive issues and causes in the Denver Community.
Happy Holidays and Warm regards,
Angie and Al
Our next Symposium is on 11/7/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
Our excellent presenter will again be Arthur MacFarlane, great-grandson of W.E.B. Du Bois, speaking on the great man’s relevance today. The first discussion was fascinating. Part II was very direct, thought provoking, and challenging in the best possible way. Please join us for part III, which I am sure will be an amazing final chapter. Please don’t hesitate to join us even if you missed Part I and/or Part II.
Please join us!
Our next Symposium is on 10/3/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
Our excellent presenter will again be Arthur MacFarlane, on W.E.B. Du Bois: His relevance today. The first discussion was fascinating, and Part II promises to be excellent, also. Please don’t hesitate to join us even if you missed Part I. Arthur suggests some additional reading materials below.
The best resource on W.E.B. Du Boisis David Levering Lewis’ two-part biography. Aldon Morris’ book “A Scholar Denied" is also very good.
Also I mentioned Traces of the Trade, the movie about the slave ship owning family (The DeWolf's). Here's a link to their website. http://www.tracesofthetrade.org
Our next Symposium is on 9/5/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
Our presenters will be Arthur MacFarlane on W.E.B. Du Bois: His relevance today.
The best resource on W.E.B. Du Boisis David Levering Lewis’ two-part biography. Aldon Morris’ book “A Scholar Denied is also very good. This time period also includes the publication of Suppression of the African Slave Trade, The Philadelphia Negro and The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois.
Our next Symposium is on 8/1/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
We will be continuing our discussion of Race relating to people “just being there."
Our presenters will be again be Tuneishia Harris and Lana Hailemariam, who did a fabulous job the last 2 months.
Our next Symposium is on 7/11/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver. We will be continuing our discussion of Race relating to people shot by police, and people “just being there."
Our presenters will be again be Tuneishia Harris and Lana Hailemariam, who did a fabulous job last month. I am re-sending links to our materials (SEE BELOW). Please join us.!
Woman Assaulted Black Boy After Telling Him He ‘Did Not Belong’ at Pool, Officials Say
The New York Times The South Carolina woman was nicknamed Pool Patrol Paula after a viral video captured her threatening to call the police. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/us/pool-patrol-paula.html
Our next Symposium is on 6/6/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
We will be continuing our discussion of Race and Education (focusing on school discipline). Our presenters will be Tuneishia Harris and Lana Hailemariam:
Hi Angie! Tuneishia and I have been working hard to prep for this Wednesday's symposium! We have a few items for the attendees this week so if you wouldn't mind sending this out, we would be MOST appreciative.
ALL READING/PREP MATERIALS ARE BELOW (viewer discretion advised for Philando Castille videos):
Race & Reality in America
Roughly half of Americans say racism is "a big problem" in society today, according to a new nationwide poll conducted by CNN and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
PHILANDO CASTILE #1 - https://youtu.be/PEjipYKbOOU
Philando Castile Police Shooting Video Livestreamed on Facebook
Video Live Streamed Over Facebook Shows the Moments After a Black Man Was Shot Dead By Police | The Governor of Minnesota said he believes the victim, Philan...
PHILANDO CASTILE #2 - https://youtu.be/Vd7zW4aRlYE
PHILANDO CASTILE #3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGYYZHDxfAo
Castile Family Reacts To Yanez Acquittal
Valerie Castile, Philando's mother, gave an emotional speech outside the courthouse Friday, Reg Chapman reports (2:33). WCCO 4 News At 6 – June 16, 2017
STARBUCKS #1 - https://youtu.be/8p33IWE1OLM
FULL VIDEO Of 2 Black Guys Being Arrested At Starbucks In Philadelphia LEAKED!!
Two black men walked into a Starbucks in downtown Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon and sat down. Officials said they had asked to use the restroom but beca...
STARBUCKS #2 - https://youtu.be/xWBVxTEgoYk
Social media video shows arrests of black men at Philadelphia Starbucks
Video posted to social media shows police officers arresting two black men as they sat in a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia. The arrests prompted some ...
BBQ - https://youtu.be/gaivdlEBl8w
Woman Called Police for BBQing, Cries at the End (FULL VIDEO)
Woman Called Police for BBQing, Cries at the End (FULL VIDEO)
YALE - https://youtu.be/gFcfJr6YhxM
YALE Student Lolade Siyonbola Feared For Her Safety Went Facebook Live
Black student interrogated after napping at Yale: I posted video 'for my safety': EXCLUSIVE https://abcnews.go.com/US/black-student-interrogated-napping-yale...
Air BnB - https://youtu.be/JWhhGA-XeXw
Hear neighbor explain why she called 911 on black Airbnb guests
Guests who were staying at an Airbnb in Rialto, California, react to the reason a woman called 911 on them.
We are excited for Wednesday's Symposium!
Our next Symposium is on 5/2/18 from 6pm to 8:30 pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver.
We will be continuing our discussion of Race and Education. Our presenters will be the terrific Anthony Doane and the wonderful Connie Talmage.
They did such a terrific job that we are asking them for Round two. Please join us, even if you missed part one!
Our next Symposium is on 4/4/18 at 6pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin Street, Denver. Our presenters will be Connie Talmage and Anthony Doane.
· Suggested readings: https://www.dropbox.com/s/1ssd2rlr2vtkxzv/Suggested%20Reading%20April%204%20Symposium%20on%20Race.pdf?dl=0
· Additional Resources: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ajpggxmfsp3dq8m/Symposium%20on%20Race%20April%204%20Additional%20Resources.pdf?dl=0
Constance C. Talmage, Esq.
Executive Director, Colorado Lawyers Committee
Hi everyone. Due to Easter, we are changing our meeting location for March 7, 2018, ONLY. Our leaders will again by Chris Cross, April Jones and Melina Hernandez.
The Symposium will be 6pm to 8pm on 3/7/18 at:
Rathod | Mohamedbhai LLC
The building is called Laundry on Lawrence (2701 Lawrence Street).
Thanks to Chris Cross and Siddhartha Rathod for finding/offering the space.
Please RSVP by 3/5/18 if you are attending and having dinner.
I am attaching the materials again, for your convenience.
Remember we are getting together for “Black” at the Curious Theatre on 2/21/18 from 6pm to 8pm (THANKS to Chris and Nancy Cross!). They will have refreshments and drinks for purchase, and will accept donations.
Our Presenters will be Mag. Melina Hernandez, April Jones, Esq., and Hon. Chris Cross (Retired), from JAMS. Below are the links for our review this month.
Article: Law Enforcement and Violence: The Divide between Black and White Americans
Blogpost: I, Racist
Podcast: The 'Thumbprint of the Culture': Implicit Bias and Police Shootings
Extra Credit-- Not required watching: Documentary: Baltimore Rising
List of Biases and Prejudices from Third Meeting:
Hello, Judge Harrell asked me to send a list of all the biases and prejudices people wrote down. Note, I drafted the below biases as they appeared on the paper, including punctuation. We would like to thank everyone again for their participation during the December Symposium. We would like everyone to continue to challenge themselves by stopping and making a note (whether physically or mentally) of your biases and prejudices as they become apparent. The more we become aware of our prejudices and biases, the more likely we can learn to manage them and not allow them cloud our judgment when it matters most:
When I am in a large group of white people, I assume a chunk of them are a little racist When I hear American people who don’t speak English very well I assume they are ignorant
I take people who are extremely overweight to be poor
I think people who smell bad are poor or uneducated
People who expect the government to always provide for them
Muslims who separate themselves from normal culture
People who are overweight
African-Americans who pronounce the word “ask” as “axe”
Youth who wear saggy pants
Arrogance – entitlement
In hiring decisions I tend to favor young people who have a disadvantage.
To prevent my bias, I do a “blind” read of the writing assignment they provide (the job is research and writing) to minimize my bias (only my finalists are asked to provide the writing)
I tend to fear white people from the southern states, fearing that they have not evolved culturally and are products of their upbringing
People from deep south
One of my biases is against white men who I presume to be rich . . . especially born rich Older white men – I assume they will be sexist
I’m white and I’m biased against white men, thinking they don’t appreciate diversity Overzealous police officers
I think a lot of well meaning white people are clueless about racism despite their good intentions
Rich people, religion people, poor people
Erratic drivers (automobiles)
Not sure whether this is a bias, but I become ultra conscious of my whiteness around people of color and I sometimes feel like I overcompensate to make sure they know I’m a “good” white person. In other words, I assume automatically that that person does not like me just because of their race.
I find myself starting a description of an African-American as “Black” or “African-American” whereas with a white person I would not start with “white”
Seeing people walking sagging pants bug me makes me think that person is lazy
People of color who go to top level universities may be there because of affirmative action rather than merit
Being on a plane when two men appear to be of mideastern muslim race – concerns over safety of the plane
Young black or brown men with hoodies and sagging pants are carrying guns and are dangerous
Assume old white men who live in rural areas are conservative and racist
I have to consciously correct what I call unconscious racism which is that I assume that people of color are less educated and less well-off than I am. This also applies to people from Oklahoma.
I met the only black man in Sturgeon Bay, WI at the YMCA this summer – I started talking trash about Trump. It turned out he supports Trump.
I view people with weight issues as some how less: less intelligent, less driven, less successful, less worthy
When I see young white male in a “Make America Great Again” hat O assume he is privilege, ignorant, and uncultured
Symposium on Race. December 6, 2017
Hi everyone. For this month’s Symposium on Race, we will be turning the conversation inward and having a discussion about our own fears, concerns, predispositions, and prejudices. Not to worry however, you will not be required to raise your hand and disclose your own issues. We will anonymously make submissions the night of (like PostSecret for those that know of it) and then have a larger discussion about our experiences and perspectives.
There is only one podcast and two short readings for this month. It is helpful to first listen to the podcast, then do the "knapsack" reading as the podcast mentions the reading. The podcast is about 30 minutes. It is called, “Can We Talk About Whiteness?” The hosts and guests dig into why it's so hard to talk about white identity in America — and why it's really important that we figure out how.
You can listen to the podcast on your computer or on your smartphone. Here are the different ways:
1. Go to https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch and scroll all the way to the bottom. It is the May 31, 2016 episode “Can We Talk About Whiteness?” You can listen directly from there on your computer.
2. If you have an iPhone, Mac, iTunes, go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/code-switch/id1112190608?mt=2&i=1000369711480 and it will take you to the episode.
3. If you have a different type of smart phone, go to the app that provides you podcasts and search for NPR Code Switch, then scroll until you find the episode.
We have attached the reading “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” which is discussed in the podcast, as well a Washington Post article.
Symposium on Race. November 1, 2017
This meeting will focus on how we individually identify ourselves. In preparation, we ask that you consider and be prepared to share your answers to and thoughts regarding the below questions. We also ask that you view the websites via the links provided at the end.
Please know that the questions are not designed to have any correct answers, and we purposefully did not define any terms used therein.
Questions to consider:
What is your cultural tribe?
If race is not the definitive marker, then what is?
Do you have multiple cultural tribes and, if so, do you primarily define yourself with one?
Do you think nonmembers define you that way too?
In what ways is your cultural tribe doing better/worse than it had a generation ago?
How do you define success for your cultural tribe?
What has happened in America that impacted your answer?
Do you believe the success of your cultural tribe is directly impacted by the success of other cultural tribes?
If so… What tribes?
In what manner?
Do you think those tribes feel that way about yours?
Can both tribes be successful?
What do you want America to do for your cultural tribe?
Who would do it?
What responsibility does your cultural tribe have?
Do you think those efforts are underway?
Do you think your cultural tribe is generally taking responsibility for their part?
Do you think other cultural tribes agree with your assessment?
Readings, videos, and a test to review and consider:
“Latinos / Hispanics…What Next! Some Reflections of the Politics of Identity in the U.S.” by Martha E. Gimenez (1992). https://www.colorado.edu/Sociology/gimenez/work/heresies.html
Claudia Rankine’s keynote speech to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA)(2015), suggested to start the video at the 4:50 minute mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7E1MHSFJ10&t=391s
Project Implicit test, “Race (Black-White IAT) https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html
Interview of Royce Mann by CNN regarding his poem, “White Boy Privilege” (2016) http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/13/us/teen-slam-poet-white-privilege-hln/index.html
The Messy Truth podcast by Van Jones, Episode 2 (2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Cm7pPR9Ng
Prepared by Jessica Schmidt, Jordan Fox and Mychael Dave
Responses to the Agenda are in CAPS.
Introductions. EVERYONE INTRODUCED THEMSELVES AND SHARED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHY THEY CAME. WE HAD ABOUT 25 ATTENDEES OUT OF 35 “YES” RSVPS. WE PLANNED DINNER, DRINKS AND WINE FOR 30 PEOPLE.
Should we meet on a monthly basis? YES, FIRST WEDNESDAY NIGHT OF EACH MONTH, AT 6PM.
Who should participate? ALL WHO ARE PRESENT AND ANY OTHER INTERESTED FOLKS.
Should we meet at a designated place or conduct meetings in various locations? YES, WASHINGTON PARK LUTHERAN CHURCH, 700 South Franklin Street, Denver, AND ANY FUTURE PLACE WE AGREE TO MEET.
Should we have planned programs? YES, 2 OR 3 MEMBERS WILL PLAN A DISCUSSION EVERY MONTH ON WHATEVER ISSUE THEY WISH TO ADDRESS, AND WILL PROVIDE ALL ATTENDEES WITH ARTICLES TO READ OR PODCASTS TO HEAR. MYCHAEL DAVE, JORDAN FOX, AND JESSICA SCHMIDT WILL LEAD THE NOVEMBER 1, 2017 DISCUSSION. JUDGE ROBERTO RAMIREZ IS IN LINE TO LEAD THE DECEMBER PROGRAM.
Should we have trained facilitators in attendance (to keep us focused)? IF THE PROGRAM PLANNERS WANT HELP FROM A PROFESSIONAL, THEY CAN INCLUDE ONE.
What shall we call our discussiongroup? FOR NOW, “SYMPOSIUM ON RACE” UNTIL SOMEONE HAS A BETTER NAME FOR US.
Other issues/items for discussion? DINNER WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE MEETING LEADERS. **BILL MEYER (WHO GRACIOUSLY PROVIDED FOOD FOR OUR FIRST MEETING) SAID THE MEALS WILL COST APPROXIMATELY $15 PER PERSON, PER WEEK, SO ALL AGREED TO BRING $15 EACH TO REIMBURSE THE LEADERS FOR DINNER.**
Robert’s Rules of Race Symposium:
General Active Listening Rules:
Don’t assume you know what the person is going to say. Don’t finish the other person’s sentences. Don’t use discussion-stopping language like “Yes, but…,” or “I know exactly what you mean…” Do use “I” messages versus “people” or “everybody.”
Rules for Talking About Race:
Receiver up, transmitter down. Have the purpose of listening, learning and sharing. Identify your emotional investment in the conversation. Are you really having an old conversation with your relatives during the holidays or are you fully present? Check in – do you have more systemic privileges than the other person speaking? If so, they are taking a bigger social risk thank you are.
Don’t just do something; stand there.
Do Allow yourself not to have an answer. Stop the eruption. Know you’re suspicious.
Others see us as a representative of our race while we see ourselves as individuals. Take it personally, but don’t take it personally. When someone talks about the majority group, they mean you and not you.
Test: Can you empathize without taking it personally? Take it slowly if you don’t know whether the group can talk about privately-held assumptions without getting defensive.
Ego versus Role function Ego example: “my stomach hurts or I am burning to say something.”
Role example: Making this statement will get me closer to the goal of understanding what is being said.
The Question Game What if instead of responding, we had to answer with a question for ourselves? “Do I really believe that now or has that been my position for a long time and I just take for granted that that’s still what I hope is true?” “What if I’m wrong?” Or for others? “I’m not sure I understood what you were saying; would you mind saying that again?” REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE A RACIST. BUT THE QUESTION IS WHAT HAPPENED FOR THE PERSON WITH WHOM YOU ARE TALKING TO MAKE HER OR HIM SAY THAT YOU ARE. Or sexist, heterosexist, homophobic, etc. (Not an exhaustive list.)
Do ask “what have I done?” Identify your worst fear about being called a racist. What will happen if someone calls you a racist? This about the impact your position, color and gender have on people who might otherwise be honest with you. Mention privilege and sensitive subjects before someone else can. Don’t deny it when you are called a racist; race is always a possible player.
Rules Not to Break
Don’t ask any question you don’t want answered. “Was I rude to you?”
Don’t make promises you won’t keep. “I will back you up in the meeting.” Better to provide support than say you will.
Don’t make bargains you might regret “I want for us to tell each other exactly how we feel about each other.”
Build a community of people who keep you honest and help you stay on track. Someone who can help critique your behavior outside the difficult conversation. e.g. “[minority group of people] don’t owe you shit” for being an ally.
Conflict-Aversion Check Chart:
What Was Said
What Was Heard
2019 will be our Year of Action!
Thoughts and ideas:
-Internet Planning Group - so far Emily and Lana have agreed to do this, but additional members would be great!
-Emily will help Angie build a Symposium on Race Website (NO FACEBOOK PAGE!), to post past present and future materials, links and articles, and help with the Notices/RSVPs.
-Importance of facilitation skills: Lana will be our go-to facilitation expert for any presenters who need help/tips for their presentation!
-Having a series of racial/cultural discussions of many our members’ many different races and cultures
-Mixing people up: new folks will have a chance to meet everyone, all attendees will have a chance to meet one another.
-Tables will have #s with discussion questions for dinner conversation
-Presenters should incorporate small group time in all presentations
-Lisa Teech-Maguire needs to share the police brutality survey results, with a discussion.
-Include some sort of action-oriented part of each meeting (last 15 minutes every month)
-And/or dedicated action review meeting (every 4th month or so)
-Involving more young people in our conversations
-Having a conversation about the experiences of women of color (Velveeta and friend)