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Combating Racism – Injustice in Criminal Justice

BACKGROUND - THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL

In June, 1961, Clarence Earl Gideon was charged with a felony for allegedly burglarizing a pool hall in Panama City, Florida. At his first trial, he was denied his request for a court-appointed attorney. Prosecutors produced witnesses who saw Gideon outside the pool hall near the time of the break-in,...
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Combating Racism – Even In Poetry

I’ve just returned from a two-week writing retreat conducted by one of my favorite authors, Natalie Goldberg, who is most well-known for her book, Writing Down the Bones, but has also authored many other incredible books about writing practice. During the retreat, she shared this poem, “The Blue-Green Stream” by Wang Wei (699–759), a Chinese poet,...
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Combating Racism – Eradicating Race Norming

Some people in our country argue that systemic racism isn’t real—that it happened in the past, during slavery and Jim Crow, but that it doesn’t exist today. Yet earlier this month, the National Football League (NFL) confessed to a practice of systemic racism in determining awards for injuries suffered while playing. This practice has been...
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Combating Racism – Celebrating Juneteenth & Father’s Day

This past Wednesday, Congress voted overwhelmingly to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday, marking the day—June 19th, 1865—when Union Army General Gordon Granger and his troops advanced into the remote, former confederate territory of Galveston, Texas and announced that slavery was officially over in the United States. "The...
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Combating Racism – Felon Disenfranchisement

Today, felon disenfranchisement laws continue to impose on the civil rights of felons – America’s most disadvantaged group. To be ‘franchised’ is to have the right to vote. This basic civil right is central to any democratic nation and essential to the fundamental principles of democracy. It’s how we – the people – exercise our power through a...
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Combating Racism – More Progress Is Needed

As a privileged white woman, I looked at progress that has been made to combat racism in the year since George Floyd’s murder as a glass half full, and wrote last week’s newsletter from that perspective. But since then, I’ve wondered, thanks to a conversation with a trusted Black friend, if I were a Black woman,...
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Combating Racism – Honoring George Floyd

This Tuesday will mark the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder and the anniversary of my changing my Best Self blog posts to Combating Racism blog posts.  Since May 25, 2020, Floyd’s death has sparked global protests about racial inequality and police brutality, and renewed pledges from some to fight racism. In this newsletter, I highlight...
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