PWC NOW Joins in new local community relations efforts

Hala Ayala, President of PWC NOW, shared this summary of discussion of relations across race in her community with a focus on race and power. An ongoing effort and conversation has resulted in a new Facebook group: Community Conversation. The response grows out of the shocking decision in the Michael Brown and Eric Gardner cases, and our renewed concern over the well being of all of our communities.

The panel discussed the recent cases mentioned in the link and how it relates to our community.  We chatted about what we could do as a community to ensure that we improve police relations.  We also discussed racism, cultural inequities and the lack of diversity in leadership (police, boards and commissions..etc).   As a PWC NOW member and board member, I discussed ways and opportunities that we could improve upon race relations in our community as well as encourage our community members to be involved.  The consensus among everyone that attended is that “You cannot be what you cannot see.”   We all agreed (the panel) on ways we could become “change agents” in our community. Our communities and nation is constantly changing.  We need to consider not only leaders from diverse backgrounds but also how to lead diverse constituents or community members.  This may be only one component to race relations, there are many more dynamics to this topic and is a conversation that we will continue to have.

You can read the full article at Potomac Local.

Workshop on Roles for White Allies — Saturday from 11-1

This Saturday, DOE Policy Advisor, educator, and Split This Rock Board Member Charles Doolittle offers a workshop and action planning session for white allies concerned about state violence, especially in communities of color. Please join if you can. Below, his invitation to the event.
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My name is Charles Doolittle and I am currently working as a Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Education. Before my current role, I taught in Milwaukee Public Schools and then in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, exclusively and humbly in under-served communities.

My difficult decision to leave the classroom was driven by a number of things, one of which was the murder of Trayvon Martin. The middle school I taught at was a feeder into Trayvon’s high school. This hit close to home for my students and me, literally. The devastating effects on my kids led me to pursue a position where hopefully I could contribute to change on a more systemic level.

Before that tragedy and since then, like many of you, I have witnessed the institutionalized racism that continues to oppress our students, colleagues, friends, loved ones, and fellow human beings. The most recent manifestation of this injustice has taken place in my home-state of Missouri. The grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson this past week was simultaneously deeply saddening, illogical (really, I hope everyone takes the time to read and analyze the transcript ) and yet frankly unsurprising.

I have to remind myself that this is not about Trayvon or Michael, at least not solely. Every 28 hours a person of color is killed by a police officer, security guard, or self-appointed vigilante in the United States. Further, while police brutality and death is undeniably horrendous, overt and covert racism manifest in a plethora of ways that continue to denigrate individuals and communities of color. If we as a nation are to truly rebuild this broken system, it will take sustained dialogue and action.

White allies have a unique role to play and yet often times white people remain silent, or engage in an ineffective or inappropriate manner. Please join me Saturday, December 6th, from 11:00-1:00 at Teach For America’s 7th floor office located at 1805 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 (RSVP). This space will be used for a convening of white allies to discuss our role in addressing the systemic racism and injustice that repeatedly leads to the oppression of minority groups and individuals. This will be the first of ongoing, frequent meetings towards action.

While this action-oriented discussion will include reaction to the decision of the grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson, it is primarily about initiating sustained dialogue and tangible steps to contribute to the rebuilding of our broken system. Also, this is part of an effort to create and develop a larger organization; more on that to come.

During the conversation we’ll discuss:

  1. What is an ally?
  2. What is the role of white allies in the fight to correct systemic racism and injustice?
  3. How can we begin to organize and take action?

Schedule:

11:00-11:30……..Meet and Greet

11:30-12:30……..Program and Discussion

12:30-1:00……….Action Plan

To be clear, this event will be led by an alumnus but is NOT exclusive to Teach For America alumni or corps members. Please feel encouraged to forward this message and/or bring other white allies along.

If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by Friday, December 5th at 5 PM.

Mothers March to Demilitarize Police

Hosted by Mothers Against Police Brutality, CODEPINK, National Congress of Black Women and Hands Up DC Coalition, mothers who have lost their children to police brutality will travel to Washington DC from December 9-11 to call for police accountability, policy reform and justice for victims’ families.

Complete information: at this link.

Schedule:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Strategy meeting from 4:00-6:00pm
This is not a public meeting, just for organizations working on issues related to police brutality. EmailAlli@codepink.org for location details if you would like to attend as a representative of your organization.
Public forum with the mothers at First Trinity Lutheran Church, 7:30-9pm
More information and RSVP on the webpage for the event!

Wednesday, December 10
Congressional briefing from 9:30am-12:30pm: In House Building Rayburn 2226 co-sponsored by Representative Conyers, Ellison, Johnson, Jackson Lee, and Rangel. Open to press and Congressional staffers only.
Congressional meetings: 1-4
Public vigil at Department of Justice: RSVP and invite your friends here!

Thursday, December 11
Meetings and media interviews.

Hashtags, State Violence

To listen, to learn: ‪#‎FergusonDC‬, ‪#‎DCFerguson‬ ‪#‎WeCantBreathe‬,‪#‎CrimingWhileWhite‬, ‪#‎BlackWomenMatter‬, ‪#‎Blackmotherhood‬,‪#‎BlackKidsMatter‬, ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, ‪#‎butdothey‬, ‪#‎Ferguson‬,‪#‎FergusonNext‬, , ‪#‎shutitdown‬, ‪#‎solidaritywithferguson‬,‪#‎JusticeforMikeBrown‬ ,‪#‎JusticeforEricGardner‬, ‪#‎DC‬, ‪#‎every28hours‬,‪#‎policebrutality‬, ‪#‎blackpoetsspeakout‬, ‪#‎ThisIsAmerica‬,‪#‎CheckYourPrivilege‬, ‪#‎blacktwitter‬

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