In this EA Newsletter

Equity Alliance Topic of the Month; February Reading & Watching List ; Toolkit; Next Racial Equity Roundtable ; Upcoming Events

Equity Alliance Topic of the Month
Four Dimensions of Racism: Structural
In the racial equity trainings the Equity Alliance has been hosting for local organizations and institutions, structural racism is one of the foundational concepts we cover. Yet, even with various multimedia explorations, structural racism can be difficult to understand for those who have not experienced it. In the video The Disturbing History of the Suburbs a succinct overview of the history and present consequences of the racist housing policies known as redlining is an accessible and powerful example of structural racism.

Beyond the racialized outcomes of specific institutions, what is even more universal and destructive is the history of systemic discrimination participated in by institutions, social narratives about populations that don't fit the dominant paradigm, and memes that establish what is socially acceptable. It is these societal messages that eventually influence and control social behaviors and public policy. This complex network of reinforcing policies and norms across institutions, geography and time is referred to as structural racism.

Awareness of structural racism and its historical implications for today is vital to having effective conversations about race and racism. In this short interview with Gene Demby from the CodeSwitch podcast, Demby and Ari Shapiro of NPR's All Things Considered discuss how racial dialogues can fall flat, spread misinformation and even further racialized imbalances of power, if they are not rooted in a structural context. Continuing our learning about structural racism and its effects so we can address inequities experienced by large numbers of people also helps us address racism's effects on ourselves and our relationships.
Race may be socially constructed, but it's not individually constructed. Individuals have some impact on how they're viewed, but we don't get to define our own racial identity. In the United States, race has been so important in terms of constructing identity that to be an American, early on, really meant to be white. It had religious connotations; it had class connotations; it had connotations of where you could live, who you could marry, where you could be buried, how you were educated.

I can't decide today not to be black, because the world will insist that I am black, and there are institutions and arrangements that define me that way. I can't decide not to be black and go in New York and hail a cab. The first cab drivers driving by are not inside my own psychology. So, the construction of race is extremely important, but it's not individually constructed; it's socially constructed, and that has material implications and consequences.
-john a. powell
February Reading & Watching List
One of the cornerstones of equity work and the constant personal learning needed to become aware of and dismantle our biases is learning about people, cultures and communities that have different experiences than us. With that in mind, those of us at the Equity Alliance have compiled a list of books (nonfiction and fiction), articles, TV shows, podcasts and feature films that can be read, viewed and enjoyed this Winter.

Biddy Mason Speaks Up in the newest book in the Fighting for Justice series of books for young readers, authors Arisa White and Laura Atkins introduce readers to Biddy Mason, a civil rights leader who was also a philanthropist, healer and midwife

All You Can Ever Know a memoir by Nicole Chung about her adoption and early life living in a predominantly white Oregon community

An Indefinite Sentence: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex Siddhartha Dube's memoir about being gay in India and the grassroots movements that sprung out of homophobic and AIDS-related persecution in the country

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive the debut memoir from Stephanie Land about navigating the precarious balance of living in poverty

The Collected Schizophrenias details author, Esm é Weijun Wang's experiences with her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and navigating stigmas around mental health

An Orchestra of Minorities the second novel by Man Booker finalist Chigozie Obioma weaves Igbo literary tradition with a retelling of Homer's The Odyssey to portray a transcontinental love story between a Nigerian poultry farmer and the daughter of a wealthy family

Lost Children Archive by Mexican author Valeria Luiselli critiques the U.S.'s dehumanizing immigration system while following a family's trip to the Arizona/Mexico border

Black Leopard, Red Wolf the first book in the Dark Star trilogy from Man Booker winning author Marlon James

A Cruelty Special to Our Species poet Emily Jungmin Yoon's debut collection "confronts the histories of sexual violence against women, focusing in particular on Korean so-called ‘comfort women,’ women who were forced into sexual labor in Japanese-occupied territories during World War II"

Beyond the game: We teach black boys sports are their only hope. What if we let them dream bigger? Martellus Bennett, founder of the Imagination Agency, author of the upcoming book Dear Black Boy and former NFL player, reflects on the need for a society that supports the personal and creative growth of Black boys

4 Black Women Who Changed The World on seminal change makers Shirley Chisholm, Hazel Scott, Flo Kennedy and Daisy Bates

How should parents teach their kids about racism? an introductory guide to talking to children about racism that emphasizes the danger and potential harm of avoiding these conversations

Boomerang this follow-up television adaptation to the 1992 film that starred Eddie Murphy, Halle Berry and Robin Givens follows the protagonists' children 27 years later. Executive Producers Lena Waithe and Berry are bringing the series to BET

She-Ra and The Princesses of Power this new Netflix reboot of the '80s cartoon creatively explores trauma and abuses of power

High Flying Bird from creator Tarell Alvin McCraney ( Moonlight), this Netflix film that debuted February 8 explores what would happen if NBA players used a lockout to their advantage and the racialized power that would be challenged

Rumble: The Indian Musicians Who Rocked the World the 2017 documentary on Native American musicians' indelible influence on rock n'roll is now available for free streaming on

Death Metal Grandma the short documentary from Leah Galant centers on Inge Ginsberg, a 97 year old Holocaust survivor who channels her anti-fascist and environmental values into her heavy metal lyrics and vocals
Toolkit - Brave Space
The Equity Alliance uses the concept of "brave space" as a community agreement for our public and tailored offerings. Rather than suggesting that we can guarantee "safe space", we ask that participants consider the environment we need to create in order to have courageous, honest conversations about racism and racial injustice. Ground rules and collective agreements often unconsciously (and consciously) empower whiteness - for instance, the common agreement "assume good intentions" empowers those speaking from racially-biased intentions without realizing it. If these conversations are hosted by organizations that have yet to acknowledge and address institutionally racist policies and practices, "safe space" will protect white participants while devaluing and/or dismissing the experiences of participants of color.

Kati Texas, Camp Director for North Star Quest Camp for Girls (NSQ), shared how NSQ has utilized the brave space concept following a tailored racial equity training with Equity Alliance trainers in this video interview.

The community agreements linked below are adapted from agreements created by Yvonne Doble, Director of Field Education and Lecturer in HSU's Social Work Department and Melissa Meiris, Director of Stepping Stone Diversity Consulting.
Racial Equity Work Opportunity
McKinleyville Alliance for Racial Equity Intiative Manager:
March 8 Deadline
The newly-formed McKinleyville Alliance for Racial Equity (MARE) is looking for a Manager of their Leadership Initiative. Starting later this year, MARE will invite family- and youth-serving organizations to participate in a human-centered and collaborative 12 month process that will develop common policies and practices to address institutional racism. The  Initiative Manager will provide 20 hours/month  of contract support to achieve this goal through working closely with the Initiative Facilitator, managing group communications, meetings logistics, and grant/expense administration. This work could include future opportunities for supporting other aspects of MARE work.  Applications are due March 8.  If interested, and to get a copy of the job announcement, please contact MARE at  [email protected]

2nd Annual Black History Month Book Drive - Eureka NAACP
Donations received through Thursday, February 28
Support our K-12th grade students. Please donate new and used books on Black History, Black Culture, Black Americans and by Black Authors. The books will be donated to a local high school, middle school and elementary school in Humboldt County. The goal is to collect 300 books!

Book drop-off locations:
  • KHSU Offices (Warner House at HSU)
  • The African American Center for Academic Excellence (HSU)
  • Humboldt County Office of Education (main entrance at 901 Myrtle Ave in Eureka)
  • Arcata Library (front desk)
  • Temple Beth-El (3233 T St in Eureka)
  • Saunders Grooming Lounge and Supply (219 2nd St in Eureka)
EA Roundtable
Structural Racism, and You - Part II
Thursday, March 7, 2019 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.

Join us for Microaggressions, Structural Racism, and You - Part II on Thursday, March 7 in which we will build upon our February conversations and delve deeper into the topic. At our February Roundtable, we developed our skills in identifying racial microaggressions, and focused on exploring the ways in which microaggressions and racializing social structures (like the media, education, and criminal justice systems) mutually reinforce each other. As a reminder, microaggressions are the common everyday verbal, behavioral, and environmental slights and indignities - both intentional and unintentional - that communicate derogatory messages to people from marginalized groups (sometimes even by people from these groups). The March Racial Equity Roundtable will include discussing the very real cumulative impacts of microaggressions on individuals over time. Through race-based affinity groups, we will expand our dialogue and support each other in exploring questions and challenging conversations. Finally, we will work in small groups and use real-world scenarios to gain hands-on practice, using new tools and building our skills with interrupting these problematic statements and behaviors.

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
Eureka NAACP Presents: Black History Month
Documentary Series
13th - Wednesday, February 27 (6:00-9:00 p.m.)
We hope to encourage critical thought, community engagement and open-hearted dialogue. On February 27, Roger Culps is facilitating discussion after a screening of 13th, the documentary about the provision that excluded incarcerated people from the abolishment of slavery "ensured" by the 13th Amendment. Q & A, community building, bring snacks to share. All screenings are at the D Street Neighborhood Center in Arcata.
Let's Talk About the Middle East Film Series
Born in Deir Yassin - Thursday, March 7 (5:30 p.m.)
Avanti Popolo - Thursday, April 4 (5:30 p.m.)
Join HSU Professor Leena Dallasheh for this series. Born in Deir Yassin and Avanti Popolo are both being shown at the Miniplex at Richard's Goat in Arcata. Please see series flyer for more information or click on film titles above to purchase tickets (close to screening date)
Reconnecting: A Cultural Journey, Art by Lyn Risling
February 19-March 10
This exhibition celebrates the work of Lyn Risling, an important local artist who draws strongly from her ancestral connections with the Karuk, Yurok, and Hupa peoples of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in Northern California. Her vibrant paintings, colorful drawings and illustrated board books are reflections of her cultural heritage and the landscapes of her ancestral homelands. Her work is a continuum, connecting past, present, and future with Earth and Spirit, synthesizing traditional designs with contemporary experiences, issues, and perspectives, welcoming viewers into the world of Native California.
Eureka NAACP 49th Annual Charles Washington
Soul Food Dinner
Saturday, February 23 (4:00-7:00 p.m.)
Homemade food, live music and community at the Eureka Women's Club. Tickets are $20. Contact Eureka NAACP Chapter President Sharrone Blanck for tickets at 775-338-1909.
NAACP Education Series
Sundays at Temple Beth El (2:00-4:00 p.m.)
Book Discussion Group - February 24; March 10,24,31; April 14
The NAACP is hosting a free education series which includes a book discussion group on White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. All events are at Temple Beth El in Eureka. To get the most out of this series, the Eureka NAACP recommends you attend all the book discussions. Contact Sharrone Blanck at [email protected] for more information.

The book discussion group will be facilitated by Janet Winston, HSU Professor of English & Critical Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies. If you are planning to attend, please read the chapters ahead of time and come prepared for discussion. The following reading schedule will be followed:
  • February 24 - Foreword, Author's Note and Introduction
  • March 10 - Chapters 1-3
  • March 24 - Chapters 4-6
  • March 31 - Chapters 7-9
  • April 14 - Chapters 10-12
HSU's 25th Annual Social Justice Summit
February 25-March 2, 2019
The Social Justice Summit theme this year is “BREAK THAT WALL.” The Summit is free to HSU Students and the community.

This year's summit presents featured speaker Barbara Curiel and keynote speaker Kimberly Davalos. Our stories are power sites for understanding and building relationships. In the era of our current world, we need to understand how we arrived here because how we remember the past, defines our present, and molds our future. We are thousands of years of resistance from oppression, from the silencing power of domination.
Our vision for this year’s Social Justice Summit was to highlight tools for non-violent expressions. The theme ‘BREAK THAT WALL’ seeks to provide tools for effective advocacy, finding yourself in this time of commodified bodies, and active ways to change the complicated world around us through the words we use. We look forward to seeing you at the 25th Annual Social Justice Summit.

If you have any questions, please contact the MultiCultural Center at 707.826.3364 or email [email protected]. To register and for more information see the event website.
Queer Coffee House: Three Lesbian Lives By Sue
Tuesday, February 26 (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
Sue will be talking about three of her very important friends who passed away recently and sharing their stories: a vet who became anti-war, a musician and organizer who was very involved in the early women’s movement, a poet who reclaimed her native heritage. This free event for anyone under 21 is being hosted at the RAVEN Project!
Eureka NAACP and the Humboldt County Library Present: 2019 Family Film Series
Black Panther - Wednesday, February 27 (5:45 p.m.)
Queen of Katwe - Wednesday, March 27 (5:45 p.m.)
These free film screenings are on Wednesdays at the main branch of the Humboldt County Library in Eureka. For more information please contact Eureka NAACP Chapter President Sharrone Blanck at 775-338-1909.
Worlds of Ursula K. Leguin
Dates Through February 27
Interested in radical re-imagining of our current world? A decade in the making, this new documentary explores the remarkable life and legacy of late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away in 2018. Best known for groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy works such as The Left Hand of Darkness, the Earthsea trilogy, and The Dispossessed, she changed the way we viewed those genres, dragging them from the shadows of pulp fiction to literary respectability. She also championed the idea that writers and what they do is far from a luxury, but a necessity for human survival. Playing at the Miniplex in Arcata through February 27. See Miniplex website for more information and tickets.
Adoration of the Old Woman
Friday, March 1-Sunday, March 10
HSU Theatre, Film and Dance presents “Adoration of the Old Woman” by José Rivera. Part ghost story, part political debate regarding the future of Puerto Rico, part magical realism. This play is both funny and gut-wrenching and it may ask more questions than it answers. For adult audiences. March 1 through 10 in Gist Hall Theatre at HSU. Please call 707-826-3928 for tickets.
21st Annual International Latino Film Festival
March 5-7 (6:00-10:20 p.m.)
The theme of this year's festival is LGBTQ experience in the Spanish-speaking world. Rara, Santa Y André s and Una Mujer Fantástica are being screened at Mill Creek Cinema in McKinleyville on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the week of March 4, respectively. Admission for students enrolled in the following courses is free: ES/HIST/SPAN 396 (HSU) or SPAN 9 (CR). Admission is $5/film for un-enrolled students and the general public. See festival flyer for more information.
Mariachi Henrecia de México
Sunday, March 17 (7:00 p.m.)
Mariachi Herencia de México, a remarkable ensemble of students from Chicago’s immigrant barrios ranging in age from 11 to 18, scored a surprise hit with their debut album of traditional Mexican music. The recording reached number two on the iTunes Latin chart and went on to earn a Latin Grammy nomination. These impressive young musicians now perform at major mariachi festivals and have recorded with some of the genre’s most respected artists. Their live performances offer an uplifting message to the world about the power of young people celebrating their cultural heritage
  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 | |[email protected]
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