Afro-Descendant Rights in the Americas: The Perspective of Transnational Activists in the U.S. and the Region

Posted in Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2020-12-10 15:19Z by Steven

Afro-Descendant Rights in the Americas: The Perspective of Transnational Activists in the U.S. and the Region

WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20009
Friday, 2020-12-11, 14:00-15:30Z (09:00-10:30 EST)


(Image: Mikey Cordero / Defend Puerto Rico

Featuring:

James Early, Activist and Board Member
Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C., United States

Zakiya Carr Johnson, Social Inclusion and Diversity Expert
ODARA Solutions, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Carlos Quesada, Executive Director and Founder
The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights, Washington, D.C., United States

Agripina Hurtado Caicedo, Coordinator for the Committee to Combat Racism, Xenophobia, and All Forms of Discrimination
Public Services International (PSI), Cali, Colombia

Deyni Terry Abreu, Attorney
Racial Unity Alliance (Allianza Unidad Racial), Havana, Cuba

Helmer Quiñones Mendoza, Afro-descendant philosopher
Afro-Colombian Peace Council (Consejo de Paz Afro-Colombiano, CONPA), Bogotá, Colombia

Ofunshi Oba Koso, Babalawo/Shaman and Human Rights Activist
Yoruba Cuba Association, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Darryl Chappell, President and CEO
The Darryl Chappell Foundation, Washington, D.C., United States

In May 2020, the video of George Floyd’s unjust death at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota was widely circulated, as the world confronted the unprecedented COVID-19 health crisis. Outrage over Floyd’s death and that of many other African Americans at the hands of the police fueled protests across the United States. The health crisis, its economic fallout, and the limited capacity of countries to fully respond revealed how structural inequities, racism, and the economic order can lead to serious consequences for Afro-descendants in the region.

While such inequities are historic, the multiple crises led to conversations on racism, police brutality, and the state of human rights for Afro-descendants. Racism and abuses are long-standing in the Americas, yet do not receive the same level of global scrutiny. The U.S. Black Lives Matter movement and its antiracist efforts became the forefront of discussions on these matters. While globally less known, numerous resistance and civil rights movements in the Americas work to advance Afro-descendant rights, fight racism, and push for justice and equality. These transnational networks woven over the years provide mutual solidarity among peoples of the African diaspora in the region.

In March 2019, WOLA organized a daylong conference to take stock of the rights of Afro-descendant communities from a regional perspective. During that engagement, activists and academics examined these issues within the framework of the UN International Decade on Afro-descendants. Join WOLA on December 11 at 9:00 a.m. EST, as we continue this conversation integrating the developments affecting the African diaspora in the U.S. and region in the past year. Darryl Chappell, President and CEO of the Darryl Chappell Foundation, will moderate this upcoming conversation with key activists that for decades have done transnational work on the rights of Afro-descendants in the United States and across the Americas.

For more information and to register, click here.

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‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-11-01 01:35Z by Steven

‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

The New York Times
2020-10-30

Megan Specia


Alexandra Wilson at her offices in London. “My ability is underestimated, quite a lot,” she said. Amara Eno for The New York Times

Alexandra Wilson is working to change England’s legal establishment, and perceptions about who belongs in it, from the inside.

LONDON — It was looking like a typical day at the office for Alexandra Wilson as she arrived at a London courthouse ready to defend someone accused of theft.

She tied her hair into a neat knot, shrugged on her black robe and pulled on a white horsehair wig — the official garb of Britain’s barristers, the lawyers who argue most cases in court.

But once she was in the courtroom, things went off script. In a patronizing exchange that was rude at best and hostile at worst, the prosecutor, an older white man, scoffed at Ms. Wilson, chided her for speaking with her client and tutted at her requests for details on court documents.

Unfortunately, it was an all too typical day for Ms. Wilson in a profession where, as a young Black woman, she often finds herself fighting for recognition and respect…

…As the 25-year-old daughter of a Black Caribbean father and white British mother from working-class roots, she is still a rarity in the cavernous halls of England’s courts.

Her unabashed observations about race and class have drawn a following of thousands on Twitter, inspired a book about her experiences and driven her to found a community for Black women in the legal professions. Just over a year into her career, she’s only getting started…

Read the entire article here.

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In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Posted in Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2020-10-31 23:06Z by Steven

In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Endeavour (an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group)
2020-08-13
272 pages
5.67 x 1.18 x 8.58 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781913068301
Hardback ISBN-13 9781913068288

Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.

As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’.

In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.

Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.

Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.

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Journalist Quits Kenosha Paper in Protest of Its Jacob Blake Rally Coverage

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-09-03 18:29Z by Steven

Journalist Quits Kenosha Paper in Protest of Its Jacob Blake Rally Coverage

The New York Times
2020-08-31

Marc Tracy


The journalist Daniel J. Thompson resigned in protest from his job at The Kenosha News after objecting to its coverage of a rally in support of Jacob Blake. Daniel J. Thompson

Daniel Thompson, an editor at The Kenosha News, resigned over a headline that highlighted a speaker who made a threat during a peaceful protest.

A journalist resigned on Saturday from his job at The Kenosha News after objecting to the headline of an article that chronicled a rally in support of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot seven times in the back by a white Kenosha police officer.

The journalist, Daniel J. Thompson, a digital editor who said he was the only full-time Black staff member at the paper, which covers southeastern Wisconsin, said the headline did not accurately sum up the article and gave a false impression of the rally itself, which he attended. The rally for Mr. Blake, who was left paralyzed by the shooting on Aug. 23, included calls for unity from his father, Jacob Blake Sr., and Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, the article said.

The headline, which appeared on the Kenosha News website on Saturday, highlighted a remark from one rally participant: “Kenosha speaker: ‘If you kill one of us, it’s time for us to kill one of yours.’” The online version of the article included a 59-second video showing the person who spoke those words, a Black man who was not identified by name.

Mr. Thompson, who joined the paper’s newsroom three years ago, said he found the headline off-base. “The story is about the entire reaction of all the speakers and people in attendance, and that quote is one outlier falling within a flood of positive ones,” he said in an interview…

Read the entire article here.

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The Black Lives Matter Movement As An Asian American

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-07-19 17:13Z by Steven

The Black Lives Matter Movement As An Asian American

Bozeman Magazine
Bozeman, Montana
2020-07-01

Cassie Pfannenstiel

The issue of race in America is complex. Many communities of varying cultures exist together often without accepting one another in a meaningful way. Growing up in a multicultural home as a mixed-race child, I often felt as a cultural outsider to either half of me. Around my white friends and family, I was the minority and with other Asians, I was “too white” to really fit in.

I had two different sides of me that were never really brought together. I wasn’t allowed to learn Tagalog from my mother growing up, which caused me to miss out on a lot of Filipino culture and deeper relationships. Even today, my mother and I have a strained relationship because of the language barrier between us. The lack of that half of my culture was filled by the other half of my upbringing: a mostly white-washed experience in which I still wasn’t fully accepted because of my mixed origins. As a child, I was unable to understand where I stood amongst the white kids with “normal” upbringings. When I looked at myself, I couldn’t tell if I even looked Asian or not. I became used to random strangers asking questions like: “What are you?” “What’s your heritage?” “Where are you from? No, originally.” These questions solidified my racial ambiguity. I became used to identifying as white and American first before my more prominent Asian culture. The questioning reminded me that although I had embraced and assimilated into white culture, I was not white…

Read the entire article here.

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How Patrick Mahomes Became the Superstar the NFL Needs Right Now

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-07-17 16:36Z by Steven

How Patrick Mahomes Became the Superstar the NFL Needs Right Now

GQ
2020-07-15

Clay Skipper, Staff Writer
Photography by: Pari Dukovic

After winning his first Super Bowl, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was supposed to have a straightforward summer: First sign a blockbuster new contract. Then prepare to repeat. But when a pandemic gave way to a protest movement that implicated the NFL, the game’s brightest star began to find his voice—and prove that he’s as adroit off the field as he is on it.

Patrick Mahomes calls right on time. When my phone rings, the area code flashes “Tyler, Texas,” where the young Kansas City Chiefs quarterback grew up. It’s early June and a pivotal point in an already momentous off-season. Whatever he might have expected as he walked off the field in February—a first-time Super Bowl winner, coronation complete, celebration on the horizon—was upended by a generational pandemic. And now, historic protests roil the country. Two weeks have passed since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and the 24-year-old Mahomes is still trying to make sense of the moment.

Just a few days earlier, Mahomes had joined more than a dozen other Black NFL stars—Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Thomas, and Saquon Barkley among them—in a powerful 71-second video, calling on their employer to condemn racism. It shouldn’t have been a bold assertion. But, of course, it was. While nearly every big American corporation was addressing the significant work to be done on racial justice and equality, the NFL was being asked to address a particularly egregious track record. This is a league in which 70 percent of players are Black but only three coaches, two general managers, and zero majority owners are; a league in which the response to Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality was to promptly run him out of a job.

This time, though, the reaction was different. Less than a day after the players’ video, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell filmed a clip of his own, offering a point-by-point affirmation of the players’ requests. According to a report from ESPN, a key factor in his swift response was the participation of one young player in particular: Patrick Mahomes…

Read the entire article here.

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It’s not your mixed race friends’ responsibility to coach you through the Black Lives Matter movement

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United Kingdom, United States on 2020-07-17 15:39Z by Steven

It’s not your mixed race friends’ responsibility to coach you through the Black Lives Matter movement

MetroUK
2020-06-15

Miranda Larbi


It’s not our job to help you through this awakening (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

These past few weeks have been hard for everyone linked to the black community.

On top of the collective trauma that comes from the murder of yet another black man, it’s as if the whole world has suddenly woken up to the realities of racism.

This white awakening has had a real emotional impact on many ethnic minorities. After all, imagine having to deal with racism on a near-daily basis for generations only for you to be believed now. But the unexpected result of all this – for me at least – has been the almighty load put on me by my white friends.

Those of us who are black and white (and no doubt, other mixes too) seem to have become tools to enlighten, comfort and placate white angst…

Read the entire article here.

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What It’s Like To Be Biracial And Arguing With Your White Family Right Now

Posted in Articles, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-07-17 14:04Z by Steven

What It’s Like To Be Biracial And Arguing With Your White Family Right Now

The Huffington Post
2020-07-13

Brittany Wong


KLAUS VEDFELT VIA GETTY IMAGES
When you’ve been vulnerable with your white relatives and shared your experiences with racism and they still deny it exists, it’s exhausting.

For multiracial Americans, having conversations with white relatives about the Black Lives Matter movement and racial injustice is often an uphill battle.

Rachel Elizabeth Weissler, a Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan, has the kind of close-knit relationship with her dad most people would envy. He lives in Southern California, where Weissler spent most of her childhood, but the two talk frequently. She calls him her “biggest cheerleader.”

But there’s one topic they always seem to dance around: race.

Weissler is biracial: Her dad is white and her mom is Black. Though her dad loves Black culture (“Black TV especially,” Weissler said) and clearly, Black women, he tenses up when his daughter wants to talk about what it’s like to be Black in America.

“He avoids the subject, and when he does bring it up, it’s often in an extremely superficial way,” Weissler said…

Read the entire article here.

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Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes makes his voice heard. He should talk about the Tomahawk Chop

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, United States on 2020-07-08 18:15Z by Steven

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes makes his voice heard. He should talk about the Tomahawk Chop

The Kansas City Star
2020-06-15

Dave Helling

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes recently joined with other NFL players in condemning racism and demanding that the league recognize the players’ right to protest injustice.

“I am Tamir Rice,” Mahomes says in the viral Black Lives Matter video, referring to the 12-year-old African American killed by the Cleveland police.

Mahomes’ willingness to take a stand sent a potent message that resonated far beyond Kansas City. “He has been the MVP of this league. He has won a Super Bowl,” said Doug Williams, a former NFL quarterback who’s African American. “It says a lot that he wanted to be involved in pushing for … change. It was very powerful.”…

Read the entire article here.

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A Hard Conversation for the Latino Community

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-07-07 02:21Z by Steven

A Hard Conversation for the Latino Community

The New York Times
2020-07-03

Jorge Ramos, Television Anchor
Univision


Ilia Calderón onstage during Univision’s Premio Lo Nuestro 2020 at Miami’s American Airlines Arena, in February. Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Racism is deeply rooted in America’s social system, putting Afro-Latinos at a constant disadvantage.

MIAMI — Every weeknight, I sit down next to my co-anchor Ilia Calderón to host the Spanish-language news program “Noticiero Univision.” Although our many viewers have come to know Ms. Calderón’s face, not many know how much she has had to overcome to sit in that chair. Her story, like that of many Latinos with African ancestry in the United States, is one of tremendous personal achievement, as well as astonishing perseverance in the face of deep-seated racism.

Ms. Calderón was born in the Chocó region of Colombia, a place she describes as “our little Black paradise.” When Ilia was 10, she left home to study in a Catholic school in Medellín, where one of the white students was so disgusted by the color of Ilia’s skin — and so proud of her own fair complexion — that she told Ilia, “You’re Black? Not even my horse is black!” That first encounter with racism in Latin America left a mark on Ilia — one she never forgot.

When she moved to Miami in 2001 to pursue a career in journalism, things weren’t much different. “I had to endure racism in Colombia,” she told me recently, “and it turns out that here I have to face the same thing. It’s how they look at you, how they behave when you are around. …It’s like you have to go through that experience twice: For being Hispanic and also for being Black.”

According to a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, 24 percent of the roughly 54 million Hispanics living in the United States at the time self-identified as Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean or as another, more specific Afro-Latino identity, such as Afro-Colombian. At the same time, 34 percent identified as “mestizo, mulatto or some other mixed race.”…

Read the entire article here.

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