Category Archives: Social Issues

Social causes, activism, and projects

Juneteenth Message – by Elwood Watson

Remember Rashard Brooks and Other
Black Victims of Police Brutality

In 1964, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to sweep the country, the arc of justice needs to bend more quickly in the case of Rayshard Brooks and other African Americans who have been killed by police. This is especially important as the country commemorates Juneteenth.

The justice system must send a clear message that overzealous police cannot get away with targeting and treating Black men and women as second class citizens. Every American must fully comprehend that all Black lives matter.
Continue reading Juneteenth Message – by Elwood Watson

Leaning in and speaking out – by Hanadi Chehabeddine

In the wake of the killing of George Flyod and the civil unrest that followed, communities of color around the country are feeling more empowered to speak out on issues of racism that make their everyday life harder and even painful. These bitter experiences are not limited to the dominant culture but also take place within communities of colors themselves.

Speaking within the Muslim community, voices echoing sentiments of injustice started rising on the maltreatment of black Muslims under the patronage of Arab leadership. Among the stories that have been circulating offensive social media posts among Arab employers, lack of participants representation among mosque dwellers and incidents of verbal offense among school board members towards black students or their parents.

Continue reading Leaning in and speaking out – by Hanadi Chehabeddine

Eyes and Ears Wide Shut – by Mauricio Velásquez

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING

I have always specialized in hostile or militant audiences but from time to time even I have to step back and pause for a second.  Current events are always “fair game” in my workshops; it is what makes my sessions current, electric and never boring.  Recent moments of truth in my sessions lead me to pen and update to the original article I wrote many years ago.  The recent rash of horrible racial injustices (some say pattern) of Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor to George Floyd to Amy Cooper has erupted into a national conversation about racial injustice, white privilege, inequity, diversity, inclusion, and more.

Comments like – “I don’t care about BLM – Black Lives Matter, I am trying to run a business” or “White Lives Matter” or worse “White Lives Matter More (WLMM)” when people mention “Black Lives Matter” has led many to the politicization and polarization of these horrible atrocities and we these acts continue a horrible pattern of racial injustice.  You have to go back to “Rodney King had it coming!” and “Tayvon Martin, who cares.”  Today, you must be a “liberal” or a “conservative” – ouch! 

Continue reading Eyes and Ears Wide Shut – by Mauricio Velásquez

White Allyship and Racism – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes, Margie Crowe

 Relationship Status: It’s Complicated

Racism is real; it has always been on display even if some continue to deny its existence. Our society has accepted, allowed, sanctioned, and even encouraged discrimination and violence against Black people for over four hundred years. When we see or hear people chant Black Lives Matter, they are essentially saying that sanctioned or unsanctioned, covert or overt racism, continued discrimination, conscious or unconscious and violence against Black people must come to an end. These people who have seen and experienced racial inequality in all aspects of their lives in a society where the discriminatory practice is embedded within federal, state, and local communities recognize how profoundly their lives have been affected on a daily basis and in some cases, lives that have been lost.  Continue reading White Allyship and Racism – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes, Margie Crowe

Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

For the past two years I have been writing a series of columns about the complicated intersection of inclusive diversity and robust speech.   Although my last column appeared just two months ago, in some respects it seems like ancient history.  Maybe it is.

Because on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis Police Officer named Derek Chauvin jammed his knee against the neck of George Floyd, an African American man, for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, until Floyd was dead.  Those 526 excruciating seconds, recorded and widely disseminated, may have changed the course of U.S. history.  That incident has certainly changed the way that we are currently talking about race in particular and about diversity in general. 

Continue reading Diversity & Speech Part 12: Systemic Racism – by Carlos E. Cortés

Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?

Part 2: The Present and A Way Forward

The continuum of violence against African Americans and the Black Community

What has happened in the past is not different from what continues to happen today because racism is generational.  Racists who have committed crimes use all the tools of systems of privilege built in their favor to avoid being held accountable. In doubtful circumstances, lawyers have changed venues for trial to predominantly White communities where their White accomplice juries can unconsciously and consciously exercise bias. 

Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 2 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Understanding Systemic Racism Part 1 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Is this the beginning of a revolution that finally addresses racism honestly?

Part 1: Understanding Our Shared History

When people say, “enough is enough!”, Do we really understand why? Why is it that we consistently deny the traumatic experience of racism that pains African Americans every single day? Why do we vote for leaders who effectively support policies and practices that are racist or discriminatory? What propelled so many Americans of all ethnicities including White, African Americans, Asian American, European American, Hispanic Americans to come together despite the Covid-19 pandemic to protest on the streets? Why do African Americans continue to endure racist and discriminatory practices generation after generation? These are some of the questions we ponder here given the recent events and the Black Lives Matter movement that has taken the world by storm even as a pandemic rages, propelling people to deprioritize their personal safety in order to stand up against racism and a history of subjugation and discrimination.

Continue reading Understanding Systemic Racism Part 1 – by Joseph Nwoye, Sabah Holmes

Some of us – by Rosalyn Leavell-Rice

I am not happy when I read some of your posts and ask who are these people? Have they always felt this way about me and my people? Some of us are minimizing what happened and trying to justify police officers brutal attacks. However, this particular policeman had no concern for another human being’s life as we all watched his face that lacked any emotions. Yes, there are good and bad people period but this is not about that it is about watching a black man die before the WORLD’s eyes by the hands of corrupt police officers.

This is being done on a regular basis like it is open hunting season on black males. Some of us want to bring up George Floyd’s past to once again minimize what happened as I have stated before if he was butt naked running through the streets, screaming he did not deserve to die like that. Some of us want to question the looting and rioting. Believe it, a lot of that has been agitated by people who infiltrated in the peaceful protest with one agenda to make it chaotic.

Continue reading Some of us – by Rosalyn Leavell-Rice

At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

 WHICH ROAD TO TAKE

We are at a crossroads of Good and Evil in civilization. Standing with Faust. Robert Johnson, and  Joe Hardy. Do we continue to sell our souls to the devil or do we defeat him?

We are in the middle of a war against evil. Some of this evil is external and in the media hourly. However much  is internal, homegrown, Godless feelings that I’m better than you based on my race, creed, national origin, faith, or which side of the tracks I live on.  Continue reading At the Crossroads of Good and Evil – by Howie Comen

Allyship through social networking – by Deborah Levin

Allyship is an inclusion and diversity strategy through which individuals with privilege support members of underrepresented groups in positive ways.  Implementation of allyship strategies in work environments is increasing. There are many opportunities to use this strategy beyond the workplace, particularly in person social networking and media activities, to combat hatred toward underrepresented groups. 

Hate, as a noun, is a passionate dislike, disgust, hostility or learned moral resentment of someone or something.  As a verb, hate is to feel intense dislike, resentment, or hostility toward someone or something. Hatred is a demonstration of these feelings.  Typically, hatred toward a group or class does not begin with extreme behaviors; instead, there is an incremental escalation which begins with less severe activities. 

Continue reading Allyship through social networking – by Deborah Levin