Coalition on Race Helps America Face Reality of Racism with #DisruptRacism Advice1:42 AM
How is America going to thrive at a time when discrimination and racism are tearing the country apart?
To inspire and empower Americans to think differently and disrupt racism, the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race has compiled a list of 10 Ways to Disrupt the Cycle of Racism in America.
The Community Coalition on Race hosts quarterly Coffee House Discussions in restaurants for residents to discuss emerging racial integration and justice concerns within the community.
The SOMA youth group Movement with Purpose launched a #NotInOurTwoTowns open-mic event and community pledge in response to the recent race-based killings in the nation. In partnership with the SOMa Clergy Council, Community Coalition on Race, government officials and the police department, the event enabled residents to ask questions and bring up important issues in a safe environment and to sign the #NotInOurTwoTowns commitment banners.
The Coalition prints pocket-sized SPEAK UP! Against Bias pamphlets using language from Teaching Tolerance to guide the community on how to respond to everyday racism and stereotypes.
Monthly Integrated Playgroups for children aged 6 months to 5 years are hosted by the Coalition to build authentic relationships and create pathways to social integration for both parents and kids.
The Coalition launched Integration through the Arts to provide high-quality art experiences (e.g., Make a Shekere workshop, My Story videography classes/competition) for residents to break down the barriers of cultural and social segregation.
The annual XRootsFest (pronounced CROSS-Roots-Fest) in SOMA, a free festival open to the public, features regional musicians, dancers, storytellers, merchants and food vendors rooted in the cultures of four continents.
This year, retired Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Tatum presented a moving speech on race in America to 200 residents during the 16th annual Conversations on Race in SOMA. She reminded us that we are not living in a post-racial world, but rather in a 21st-century version of the Reconstruction era. Although there have been gains, some reactionary forces among racist populations are gaining ground and finding new leaders who echo their (oftentimes) silent hate.
Racially inclusive policies and practices should be in place to create and sustain integration. The Coalitions Annual Board of Education Candidates Forum, open to the public, presents candidates with a series of questions that challenge them to consider the relationship between school policies and integration in the SOMA community.
The Coalition hosts Talking to Children about Race, led by local experts, to help parents, educators and the community learn best practices for approaching this sensitive topic and brainstorm ways to improve anti-bias trainings in the school system.
The Coalitions Civic Engagement Institute provides training and education for underrepresented groups in the SOMA community to increase participation and the probability for success when volunteering and holding leadership roles in civic, community and government organizations.
These 10 tips are being shared as memes on social media with the hashtag #DisruptRacism between now and December. Paul Baron designed the memes. Connect with the Coalition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help spread the word.
About the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race
The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is celebrating 20 years of being a nationally recognized non-profit organization committed to building a unique, suburban community that is free of racial segregation in housing patterns and community involvement. The Coalition was founded in 1996 by a diverse group of citizens concerned about stagnating property values and a perceived decline in the quality of local public schools. Three key strategies were developed: promote strong and sustained robust demand by all racial groups for housing in every area of our community; build a community where the leadership of civic, governmental, business and community organizations is racially inclusive and values integration in policy and practice; and promote dialogue and understanding on race-related issues. To learn more, go to twotowns.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.