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Technology: the New Frontier of Inequality or the New American Promise?

April 5, 2013
Two score and ten years ago, a prophet named Dr. Martin Luther King stood before thousands of people—poor people, rich people, Black people, White people, people of different cultures,  gay people, straight people, but mostly hopeful people—He stood before all of them at the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital. This prophet, this “drum major for peace,” this “drum major for justice”, this “drum major for righteousness” as he sometimes referred to himself.
 He presented America  a vision of hope.  He gave us a dream on that fateful day in 1963; he gave us a dream in which he articulated his belief in a racial equality and social justice. In his own words:
“ I have a dream.  It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day out in the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
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Original Post: 21 January 2013, The Skanner 
 

Walk Right In DVD reflects summer of 1969

March 10, 2013

Irma McClaurin '69, Lucy Flower Vocational High School, West Side of Chicago
  (Photo credit: mcclaurin solutions)

In the summer of 1968, 140 students from inner city and rural America gathered at the Yale University Divinity School to participate in an educational experiment. White, Black, Puerto Rican, Indian American, and Asian American students, labeled by New Haven newspapers as "underachievers," were introduced to a "Great American Books" curriculum that included The American Constitution, Native Son, Antigone, and The Communist Manifesto. No one told them they weren't supposed to excel, and so they did.

The group of 110 boys and 30 girls (the first women to attend Yale before it went co-ed) participated in "T" (therapy) discussion groups to tackle the messy topic and tensions of race and social justice following the largest period of civil unrest in America after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Safe within the walls of Yale's Divinity School, the YSHS students, encouraged by the staff, found their voices and the inspiration to succeed academically.
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Original Post: 25 February 2013, Insight News
 

JustSpeak: Unlearning racism requires taking positive (affirmative) action

March 10, 2013

Dr. Irma McClaurin by fellmanstudio.com    Dr. Kesho Scott (Grinnell College) by De Dudley
 
The recent racist incident at Washburn High School of Minneapolis, in which a black doll was hung (lynched), is disturbing. We are living in the 21st century. And yet, not too long ago in 2003 Duluth, MN built a memorial to commemorate the unlawful and unjustified lynching of three young Black men in 1920. Despite this example of racial reconciliation, in 2008 an effigy of Presidential candidate Barrack Obama was found hanging from the Duluth memorial. Whether playing video games, watching movies set in the "wild" West, reading about suicide or violence in general, a reasonable child and adult knows that placing a noose around anything is no laughing matter. The "lynching" of a Black doll at Washburn High in Minneapolis, given Minnesota's recent history, is NOT a matter to be taken lightly or to gloss over as "kids will be kids" or "they had no idea how bad this was."  
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Original Posting: 25 February 2013, Insight News
 

Justspeak: Eliminating the Rolodex of inequality

February 3, 2013
At a recent networking event for women in Raleigh, I listened as a panel of experienced women executives shared their experiences with the audience. One question posed was about how non-profit and corporate board members were recruited. One response stood out in my mind. The speaker indicated that she often recruited board members by tapping into her friends and colleagues. The answer affirmed a thesis of mine—there exists in our society what I call the “ Rolodex of inequality,” and what it produces is homogeneity or sameness.
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Original Posting: 01 February 2013, Insight News
 

Artspeak: New Year’s promise: “Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Fully”

January 26, 2013
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The three maxims in the title greet me each morning. They are kitchen magnets placed above my stove, meant to guide me on the attitude I should carry into my day and into life generally. I take them to mean: 1) do not overly complicate my life (with work, obligations, possessions, other people's problems, or needless drama); 2) find joy and fun in my daily routines; and 3) make time to be connected and deeply embrace the passions that arise from friendships, family, and special friends/partners/lovers. Read More 
Original posting: 05 Jan 2013, Insight News
 

Justspeak: (RE)Visioning a World without Violence Against Women

December 27, 2012
The senseless murder of 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins by her boyfriend, Kansas City Chief's linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, and his subsequent suicide, is a double tragedy that highlights the degree to which domestic violence has permeated our culture. Perkins was also the mother of a three-month old daughter fathered by Belcher, and according to news reports, his mother and the child witnessed the murder. What is unique about this case is that most of the original media coverage focused on Belcher, the perpetrator—who, why, what? Questions about his motivations, state of mind, etc., pre-occupied the airways.

That is until some Black feminist women and (some feminist-leaning men) stepped in and said hey—this should not be about him, it should be about his victim. You haven't even mentioned her name.
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Original Posting: 21 Dec 2012, Insight News
 

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