Public Presentations were free events on a variety of antiracism topics with local relevance.
Racial Healing Across Segregated Places and “Midwest Nice” Faceswith Amanda Florence Goodenough. Follow Amanda on her journey of navigating, naming, and disrupting the polite racism that is seeped into every corner of the most racially segregated state of Wisconsin. From colorblindness to conflict-averse culture, Amanda will highlight barriers for achieving racial justice and the collective healing that must take place along the way.
The Power is Yours with Tashyra Bernard and Shamawyah Curtis. The message of this presentation is "you are already approved" to go out and make change. Stop waiting for someone to come along and qualify you; the power is already yours! We know that there is a lot of work that still needs to be done in this journey of equality. Everyone has an important and unique part to play on this journey, no one is absolved of their responsibility and you're the only person that can do your part!
The Socialization of Racewith Dr. Ben Burns. In this presentation, participants will explore the roots of race and how our understanding of, and more importantly our use of, race has evolved over time. Part history lesson, part critical thinking exercise, the goal of the presentation is to educate about the origins of race, and empower individuals of all races to begin or keep progressing through their own racial identity development.
Waking Up White - Through the Eyes of an Interracial Couplewith Dr. Bee Lo and Lynette Prieur Lo. Presenters will share their personal stories of times they have seen racism and white supremacy show its ugly face in our community. Living as a biracial couple for the past 30 years they have too many stories to share. Dr. Bee will graciously and vulnerably share some of the things he has experienced as the target of racism from white folks toward him as a HMong person. Lynette will share her journey of understanding the racism and white supremacy that lives within her, as well as share stories of the ghastly racist experiences she has witnessed from strangers and loved ones. Hopefully their sharing of these stories will help you to open your eyes to the racism and white supremacy that lives within and around us, and motivate you to take action.
Returning to Ourselves with Dr. Roger Kuhn. In honor of Indigenous People's Day and National Coming Out Day, Dr. Roger Kuhn spoke. Sponsored by the UWL Pride Center, Rainbow Unity, Transform, and the Native American Student Association. Dr. Roger Kuhn (he/him) is a Poarch Creek Two-Spirit Indigequeer soma-cultural sex therapist and sexuality educator. Roger's work explores the concepts of decolonizing and unsettling sexuality and focuses on the way culture impacts and informs our bodily experiences. In addition to his work as a licensed psychotherapist, Roger is a faculty lecturer of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. He is a board member of the American Indian Cultural Center of San Francisco, a community organizer of the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirit powwow, and a member of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
Cultivating Cultural Empathy to Overcome White Supremacy Thinking with Dr. Suthakaran Veerasamy. Our current Western-based rational, linear style of learning, which is shaped by White supremacy thinking, is only suited to promote what I call “cultural sympathy,” the intellectual understanding of another person’s thoughts and feelings. As a result, learning about race and racism often devolves into nothing more than an intellectual exercise where a White person is made to feel even more alienated to people from other cultures and responds by saying, “As a White person, how can I possibly feel what they must feel?” In order to fully understand the life experiences of a person of color, a White person has to go beyond what it means to effectively learn (i.e., book-learning), as defined by White supremacy thinking, to culturally empathize and not just simply culturally sympathize. Cultural empathy is the ability to not only intellectually understand the thoughts and feelings of a person from a different culture, but to also feel the other’s emotional condition from the point of view of that person’s racial or ethnic culture. Thus, a White person has to not only intellectually understand why a person of color is feeling a certain emotion but has to also actually feel what they are feeling. It is the ability to empathize at the intellectual and affective levels that enables White people to connect with the humanness that they share with a person of color. Towards this end, the use of analogies, metaphors, and narratives will be explicated as a strategy to enhance cultural empathy and mitigate White supremacy thinking.
Grass-Rooting in Predominantly White Communitieswith Shaundel Spivey and Jazzma Holland. It is imperative that communities understand the importance of coming together to address systemic racism and inequality. It is equally important for communities to understand that there is work for us to do together and there is also work that needs to be done in our own salient communities. Organizing in communities where we have historically been left out of the conversation, left out of history, and often ignored, and seen as a problem is not easy. Therefore, it is imperative that White communities learn to break down white walls that hinder the success of Racially diverse people and organizations.