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Current Events and Exciting Presentations ahead

By Richard Myers
Posted: 11/20/2023
Tags: racism

There was no formal agenda and topics in the news cycle were identified as possible starting points for discussion.  These included: upcoming elections and issues surrounding free elections, the conflict between Israel and Hamas particularly the rise in antisemitism and changes in how racism is playing out in society.

 It was noted that the news media had a role in reporting the current events and noted that the State of California had recently adopted a set of teaching standards focused on media literacy.  Unlike the content standards of the State, these standards are scattered throughout the curriculum allowing students to develop the skills to look at and think critically about sources of information across many content areas.

 This led to a discussion about recent decisions by school boards limiting access to content or establishing specific approaches to teaching content.  The role of the group “Moms for Liberty” was discussed.

 The group next discussed concerns about AI and impacts on elections. Of concern was the use of information in a racial context.  Concerns discussed included: the rise in hate crimes particularly during the presidential election period, the "Trump platform" and its effects on voters and bias among voters and the effects on elections and civil discourse more generally.

 General concerns were discussed which included smash and grab robberies and mail fraud.  With attendees noting concerns and impacts on communities. The impact of the robberies was noted with examples from participants including shoppers being followed while in stores. This led to an experience share based on participation in a community forum when a participant who is white was asked by a participant who was African American, "how do you move in space".  This led to several examples and a discussion of what participants notice and how they respond to being in uncomfortable situations. A participant noted that people live what they learn and may not recognize bias in their actions.  It was noted that the Village has a blog where members can post writings about their experiences with race. It was suggested that this concept of how we move in environments, what is noticed and how discomfort is handled would be a good panel discussion at a future meeting.

 The discussion group will have a number of future presentations which will include:

 December 1, 2023.       Dick Price and Sharon Kyle discussing Wokeism and Critical Race Theory 

January 5, 2024.        Brian Biery discussing Pasadena history and the Tvonga people  

February 2, 2024.       Larry Duplechan discussing his book "Movies That Made Me Gay" 

February 16, 2024       Ricky Pickens will discuss The Violence Interruption Program in Pasadena 

March 1, 2024.              Helene Rhinegold discussing Black representation in European art 

March 15, 2024.           Possible Panel Discussion 

As you can see from these notes, the discussion in this group is very wide ranging. We do not discuss the 1619 Project as such but rather racism and discrimination in our society, the reference to 1619 is a framework to help us understand where our current cultural and societal patterns of today are derived from. Because of this we are considering changing the title used and would like to solicit opinions from you, our constituents and supporters.  One thought that has come to mind is ”1619: What is means to us now” or “1619: What does it mean to us now?” These are just two possibilities being considered but they show the direction we are moving in with the titling of the group. These are only ideas under consideration, and we would like to hear you opinion of these and any suggestions or comments you might have about other ideas. Send your suggestions to me via email.

 

As you can see, we have an exciting schedule of presentation ahead of us and we hope to see you all there when you can make it.

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