Tag Archives: African Americans

Los Angeles 1992: A Personal Reflection on the Riots

Aging is strange. It’s strange to have memories that are decades old – older than the very lives of many people I know, work with and pass on the streets. I’m still getting used to the fact I know things from firsthand experience, not just books or elders. I’m still getting used to my memories…

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Dismissal of the Women’s March and #BLM Uncovers Why They’re Needed

Mere days have passed since the historic global Women’s March, and one of the topics buzzing around social media is the discontent some non-participants felt about the event. One view is that the march was unnecessary because women have all the rights we need and the only thing stopping us is ourselves. While not surprising,…

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Let’s Get it Right: Bigotry is Not Racism

The word “racist” is getting a lot of air time lately.  From Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter and the latest police shooting of an unarmed Black man, accusations of racism abound.  But there’s an important distinction missing from these accusations that’s keeping us stuck and stoking anger: bigotry is not racism. In my work…

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How I Learned To Love Black People: Confessions Of A Good White Person

I read the title of this piece and feel uneasy. I can already hear the voices of my confused friends, my protesting colleagues and the bigots.  I’m writing it anyway.  More honesty is what’s needed to heal and move forward, and honesty requires courage. On paper I look like a model “Good White Person.” I’ve…

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‘The 6 C’s’ to Showing Up as a White Ally

Trying to be a good white person can be frustrating, challenging and downright bewildering.  White people have few role models — outside bigots and hate groups — on how to talk about race, behave with people of color, or be a white ally and doing so in the workplace is extra daunting because of the fear of…

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To Assimilate, or Not to Assimilate

I recently had lunch with a dear friend and colleague who used to be my mentee in a former role.  We celebrated his recent professional success, caught him up on mine, and explored next steps after he completes his master’s in public health. The topic of race came up a few times — he is…

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Dear White People: Exactly What Are We So Afraid Of?

Dear White People: I’m one of you, and I just don’t understand you some times. I understand you less and less lately.  When I heard of outcry over Beyoncé’s halftime performance, I was confused.  Did I  miss a titillating wardrobe malfunction due to some broadcast delay?  Had I been so preoccupied by Queen Bey’s big…

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Rachel Dolezal’s Transracial Deception: It’s Personal

For the last week, I’ve been unwillingly fixated on the Rachel Dolezal story. More people than normal have been asking my opinion and struggling with confusion. I’ve been struggling myself with writing this piece for days. Why? It’s personal. I could have been Rachel Dolezal. I am transcultural. Like Dolezal, my story begins early in…

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Unconscious Bias Training Is Anti-Racism Training

Unconscious bias training is in. It’s neat; it incorporates lots of cool new science. It’s sexy; it incorporates lots of cool images and eye opening exercises. It’s trendy; all the cool kids are doing it. And it’s safe; no one talks about racism. That’s where the legitimate criticism comes in. As with other “in” diversity…

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White people owe Black people a tremendous debt – still unpaid

It took me over a year to feel ready to see 12 Years a Slave. Two weeks ago I finally saw the Oscar winner. It was as brutal and stunning as I expected, and I sobbed through most of the last 15 minutes. On a roll, I watched The Butler a couple days later, and…

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