Thinking About Race 2011

I Can Fix It!
(January 2010)
Conversations on racism often bring up the question of, "What can I do?" Learning about the history of science's role in racism and the cultural barriers we erect around race can lead to feelings of guilt, anger, and frustration. damali ayo is an artist, author, and speaker who has some constructive antidotes to these unproductive emotions. In her work with groups discussing these issues, she has asked people for 5 things individuals can do to help end racism. Here are the solutions in their own words. - From “I Can Fix It!” at or .

For White People: Admit It: You have a race that makes a difference in your life too.
Educate Yourself
Broaden Your Experience
Take Action

For People of Color:
Get Real
Speak Out
Educate Yourself
Build Ties
Take Care of Yourself

A DuBoisian Proposal
(February 2011)
One goal of the Working Group on Racism is to deepen our understanding of what white antiracism means and how to go about it. A professor of philosophy at Gustavus College in Minnesota, Lisa Heldke, takes a close look at what a predominantly white (what she terms a “persistently white”) school or college might do to create a “truly antiracist place.” She takes inspiration from W.E.B. DuBois’ call for “an education [that] can actively contribute to the creation of a more just society.” From her article:

“… at the institutional level, there is no discussion of white racism running parallel to the discussion of the need for diversity and multiculturalism. …. [This] seems to suggest that ‘the problem’ for the historically Euroamerican college is simply and clearly a lack of diversity; the solution is for people of color to come there.

“Actually, racism does enter the diversity conversation, but sideways, indirectly. Sometimes, at College X, efforts to diversity seem motivated by a fear that focusing on anything else – say, on white students’ attitudes – will be, or be perceived as, racist. Of course, actively resisting efforts to diversify would constitute racism. But simply seeking to diversity the campus population … definitely does not take the next step, namely actively cultivating an antiracist climate.”

To read her suggestions on how to cultivate that climate, see the full 14-page paper or email Elizabeth DuVerlie for the Word version.

The Baltimore Yearly Meeting Working Group on Racism meets most months on the third Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, usually at Bethesda Friends Meeting or Friends Meeting of Washington. If you would like to attend, either on a regular or a drop-in basis, please contact Elizabeth DuVerlie.