Combating Racism – Understanding History Part 2

Last week I shared the ways that Jim Crow laws and discriminatory federal legislation created today’s systemic racism. Now I share some of the Supreme Court decisions and landmark legislation that ended Jim Crow laws and tried to eradicate, although unsuccessfully, the systemic racism created by our earlier history.

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Combating Racism – Understanding History

To combat racism, it is important to acknowledge our history and understand the ways it impacts our current realities. Systemic Racism (also called “institutional racism” and “structural racism”) refers to systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantage certain groups, in this case Black Americans. Systemic racism began with the colonization of this...
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Erasing Racism – Communication

Systematic change is necessary to create the equality that marginalized communities deserve. When it comes to tackling the issue of racial equity, honest, open-hearted and open-minded conversations can inform us about the fundamental issues related to racism, can help bridge the divides, can help us heal, and can begin the lengthy process of change. Communicating with empathy...
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Erasing Racism – Combating Homelessness

The impacts of the coronavirus have disproportionately impacted black Americans – higher rates of death, higher rates of unemployment – and now another drastic consequence is spreading: homelessness. The hardest hit are those Black Americans who had low incomes and little savings even before the pandemic, and who were also more likely to work in sectors...
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Erasing Racism – Ways to Contribute

For those of you who, like me, are staying away from in-person protests due to being immune compromised, or are worried about contracting the coronavirus but want to make a difference, consider joining one or more of the organizations listed below or donating funds and/or your energies to help promote their missions. This is a...
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Eracing Racism – Making a Committment

Yesterday we celebrated our Independence Day –the 4th of July – honoring that day in 1776, when delegates from the original 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence. Since 1776, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American Independence. Sometimes it’s easy to forget the words of the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths...
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Erasing Racism – Take A Stand

What’s more degrading than being targeted with harassment because of your race, sex, religion, color, gender, size, orientation, disability, age, or origin while surrounded by bystanders who see what is happening, but then do nothing? It doesn’t have to be that way. At this moment in history, we are witnessing a spike in disrespect, harassment, and hate...
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Erasing Racism – Police Reform

There are so many pathways to erasing racism in our country, with each pathway destined to be a marathon, rather than a sprint, that it can be hard to decide where to focus.  At least for now, I’m focusing my energies on police reform since the killing of unarmed black men by white police officers...
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Erasing Racism – Finding Courage


Effecting change takes time.

Changing a 400-year history of racism in our country will take time.

And it will take courage.

  I want to share a personal story – not one I’m proud of. Decades ago I was riding on public transportation in the Washington, DC area when two well-dressed white men in...
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Examining Ourselves – Part 1

As I think about what I can do to help eradicate the racism that has plagued this country since its founding, I am coming at change from multiple directions, from the micro to the macro. This means looking first at myself, then my community, my county (including my local police force) and the country. This is...
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