Challenging & "Bridging" Conversations
The U.S. is going through a lot of changes. Since these changes have significant impacts on how people live their lives, they are often met with anxiety. Bridging: Towards a Society Built on Belonging , a short video created by the Haas Institute, shows how our responses to change can be vastly different depending on whether we react (to, for example, demographic changes) with fear or with openness and curiosity to how our world is shifting to welcome a new understanding of community.

How can we become more open and curious community members as our communities change? Some things we can do are:
  • Educate ourselves through reading, and getting to know new neighbors and community members;
  • Focus on and practice listening skills;
  • Use privilege where we have it to speak up when harmful things are said and not addressed (including one-to-one interactions); and
  • Utilize our skills and compassion to have "bridging" conversations.

When something harmful is said and we decide to take the opportunity to "call someone in" or "bridge", our options for a conversation depend on the circumstances. If we're in a group setting waiting to have a conversation privately might be more harmful than saying something in the moment, there may not be time to pull someone aside later, we may not have the capacity, or we may not be in a relationship with the person that allows for "calling in". So how can we respond when a group member, friend, or colleague needs to be told to stop their actions or has no idea that what they said is problematic and/or hurtful? This guide on STANDING UP: What is calling in versus calling out? from Australia's Project Rockit, a youth-driven movement against (cyber)bullying, is a helpful start to figuring out best next steps.

Creating communities around belonging that offer everyone access to resources and support for healthy outcomes requires a different kind of work from those of us that are already privileged. Spending some time on self-reflection, and learning about and practicing "bridging" conversations can help us to be more open and welcoming community members.
Bridge: to make the difference or division between two things smaller or less severe.
- Cambridge Dictionary


We [can] only process so much change in a short period of time without experiencing anxiety. We can respond to these changes either as a threat or as an opportunity. The first response is breaking. The second is bridging. Breaking perpetuates isolation, hardens racism and builds oppressive systems while driving our politics and institutions toward anti-democratic and inhumane practices. [B]ridging...calls on us to imagine a larger more inclusive "we". When we bridge we see demographic change and our diverse identities as positive and enhancing who we are. Bridging calls on us to engage in healthy dialogue, requires us to listen deeply. when we bridge we not only open to others, we also open up to changes within ourselves so we can participate in a society built on belonging.
-john a. powell


December Reading & Watching List
Here is a great link with a list of children's books by Indigenous writers.
The New York Times created this list of "15 Books to Read by Black Female American Writers."

We have compiled a list of books (nonfiction and fiction), articles, TV shows, podcasts and feature films that can be read, viewed and enjoyed this Fall/Winter.

NONFICTION READING
The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games exploration of representation in media for children and young adults by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

Looking for Lorraine: A Life of Lorraine Hansberry biography of the playwright best known for A Raisin in the Sun, by Imani Perry . A brief excerpt can be found here

I'm Afraid of Men meditations on gender and structural transmisogyny by Vivek Shraya

FICTION READING
The Friend a novel by Sigrid Nunez. Just announced as a National Book Award winner

Everyday People:The Color of Life - A Short Story Anthology a collection of short stories by writers of color. Edited by Jennifer Baker

A State of Freedom a novel by Neel Mukherjee which weaves together five stories

Washington Black a novel by Canadian writer Esi Edugyan

ARTICLES
White Lies: Ijeoma Oluo on Privilege, Power, and Race Sun Magazine interview with the author of So You Want to Talk About Race

I Love America. That's Why I Have to Tell the Truth About It a meditation on transnational identity and holding the complexity of national histories by Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer

They Can Only Stretch the Bond. They Can't Break It a Colorlines piece on Michael Africa Jr. and his parents who are two of the MOVE 9

Detailed Maps Show How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life New York Times piece on how where a child grows up is a huge predetermining factor of life outcomes

When Compliments Are Racist post by James Mulholland from his blog Note to My White Self

TELEVISION
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj a new late night series from Netflix

FILM
Dawnland documentary on the first Truth and Reconciliation Commission to "address Indigenous tribes’ relationship with child welfare institutions in the United States"

If Beale Street Could Talk an adaptation of the James Baldwin novel by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins

Jinn writer-director Nijla Mu'min's debut about a young woman whose mother converts to Islam

Roma a film by Alfonso Cuarón that centers on Cleo, who works as a live-in nanny and domestic worker for one family in Mexico City

PODCASTS
How to Survive the End of the World hosted by sisters Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown on "learning from the apocalypse with grace, rigor and curiosity"

Media Indigena a weekly roundtable from Rick Harp on Indigenous issues and events

Long Distance a new collection of Filipino American's stories from journalist Paola Mardo
Me And White Supremacy Workbook
From Layla F. Saad
This free workbook from Layla F. Saad came out of her 28 day Instagram challenge #MeAndWhiteSupremacy. You can download the book via the link below.
" Part education, part activation, the Me And White Supremacy Workbook is a first-of-its-kind personal anti-racism tool for people holding white privilege to begin to examine and dismantle their complicity in the oppressive system of white supremacy."

Below are a couple testimonials from folks who have used Saad's workbook:

Doing the #MeAndWhiteSupremacy was profoundly impactful. I uncovered and committed to unravelling so many of my inherent biases and colonising ancestry and still do so. It was worth every moment of feeling uncomfortable and stretched and I truly believe it is something that every white person should do.
— Julie Parker, Melbourne, Australia

I am an Indigenous woman, but visually presenting as white. This challenge helped me to recognize & accept how White Supremecy plays a role in my daily life, even when I don’t realize it. During this challenge, I learned to stop avoiding hard conversations about race & learned to give the voice to BIPOC rather than speaking for them. Layla’s knowledge, honesty, and strong direction helped me do my own hard anti-racism work. Hard work that every person should do. Thank you, this will follow me for the rest of my life.
— Bryanna Lee, Utah, USA
EA Roundtable
Imagining A World of Racial Inclusion
Thursday, January 3, 2018 from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Have you struggled to find opportunities to deepen your understanding and conversations about race and racial inequities? The Equity Alliance of the North Coast sponsors Racial Equity Roundtables the first Thursday of every month from 5:30-7:30 p.m., offering an opportunity to discuss race in an open and brave space of learning and dialogue for both the newcomer and the experienced. Each month we explore a different topic. Attendance of previous roundtables is not required.

As we begin the New Year, please join us on a journey of historical exploration and re-imagining new possibilities for the coming year. The Racial Inclusion Roundtable will focus on learning about and creating a world that values everyone's humanity and celebrates our differences. Racial inclusion actively works to disrupt dominant ways of thinking, which have historically deprived people of color of their distinctive cultures and world views. As such, we will incorporate racial identity affinity groups into part of our discussion. During our time together, we will learn about existing (and historical) intentionally racially mixed communities; discuss whiteness and its pervasive manifestations in our society and communities; examine modern visions of forward-thinking societies; and together imagine a future of new possibilities for equitable racially mixed communities.

Facilitated by Melissa Meiris and Ron White. Register in advance below, space is limited! Low cost options and scholarships are available. Child care is provided by the Equity Alliance.
Upcoming Events
The Garden Group
at the RAVEN Project
Mondays through December 17 (3:15-5:00 p.m.)
Help kids learn how to garden and prepare the food they grow. The Raven Project is a free drop-in center aimed at helping the youth of Humboldt County ages 10-21. 707-443-7099. Contact the RAVEN Project for more information.
Legal Name/Gender Change Workshop
Thursday, December 13 (6:00 p.m.)
Thinking of legally changing your name or gender? Intimidated by all the paperwork? This friendly, accessibly workshop will walk you through all the steps!
All are welcome to this free workshop hosted by Outer Space in Arcara. Contact Outer Space for more information. [email protected]
Lessons in Systems Change through an Equity Lens
Webinar from Stanford Social Innovation Review
Wednesday, December 12 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.)
In this Stanford Social Innovation Review Live! program, leaders from three different organizations will describe the tangible lessons learned, challenges faced, and paths forward in their attempts to break down structural and systemic inequities while changing systems. This webinar is $59, click here or below to register and for more information.
  Email [email protected] to share upcoming events you know about related to racial equity and we will post it on our website!
Equity Alliance of the North Coast| Humboldt Area Foundation | (707) 442-2993 | equitynorthcoast.org |[email protected]
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Equity Alliance of the North Coast is supported by these sponsors: