by Jocelyn Morris, Co-Chair, NOW Combating Racism Committee
Our committee, with the National NOW Board’s approval, would like to help organize Combating Racism Workshops for NOW at the regional, state and chapter levels in the coming year.
We need workshops to educate our members and the local communities about institutionalized racism and “white privilege” gained by whites in our society.
I personally feel that Shirley Sherrod would not have been asked to resign without the facts being checked by her boss, the USDA director, or the NAACP president if she had been any employee other than a black female. Think about it.
Kaolin, the author of a book titled Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives, has developed a workshop format for our committee to use to do racism workshops for NOW. She said: ” …one never really adapts to racism. With each occurrence we are required to assimilate every nuance of it, then process it and then continue to assimilate into a culture that might prefer to believe that it does not exist. In fact, due to President Barack Obama being biracial, I have been told that we are in a post-racial era, meaning racism is truly behind us. Many say we have enough evidence of that in the fact that our President is a man of color therefore we can move on, don’t make waves or fuss about the legacy of slavery whose affects we have each inherited; or, the continued assaults on people of color that exist in politics, in our communities, in our institutions and often times in our own families.”
In Talking About Race … you will find the chapter titles map out a road for you to follow that involves your active involvement in the book. For example, Kaolin asks you to define racism in the beginning of the book and then again at the end of it. Why? Because your impression of racism changes as you read, and so do you. She asks you to recognize racism, resist racism, to talk about your insecurities regarding racism (we all have them) and to shape your own identity where racial equality is concerned. There is a fine glossary and workbook questions in each chapter with plenty of room for you to jot down your own ideas while you record your own race-story. Everyone has one.
Kaolin is one of many feminists who are returning to their membership with NOW, and we need to reach out to others to do the same. We need everyone to make the quest for women’s rights and wellness a reality. I hope you will contact her with any questions or comments you might have about her book. Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives is being sold at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon books, IndieBound Bookstores and more.