Overcoming Racism: Vigilance Now!
November 13-14, 2015
At Metropolitan State University in St. Paul
THANKS to all who made it happen!

Video from the Conference
Friday AM Dakota drumming, singing and sage blessing:
Friday AM Metro State welcome & About FREC: https://youtu.be/OTE7hYoAA4g
Friday AM keynoters: Mahmoud El-Kati and Nekima Levy-Pounds: https://youtu.be/Fldepy1F3wo
Voices of Vigilance video from our Friday panelists: Clyde Bellecourt, Kandace Montgomery, Ricardo Levins-Morales & Bo Thao-Urabe
Voices of Vigilance video & panel discussion:
Saturday AM keynoters:
Tall Paul: https://youtu.be/jS5aZ2JtTHk
and Heather Hackman: https://youtu.be/IhFZ30U4S_M

View the printed program
Workshop descriptions & resources

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few.”
Abolitionist Wendell Phillips, 1852

“Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968

“We have a shared responsibility to be vigilant about the many contemporary forms of slavery.”
U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, 2012

Vigilance is the state of being carefully observant and attentive, in order to notice and respond to potential dangers or threats. The 2015 Overcoming Racism conference will explore what vigilance looks like and what vigilance requires of us in order to resist and transform the system of racial hierarchy operating in our lives, organizations, institutions and communities.
Vigilance demands an understanding of how racism has historically been created, enforced and embedded in systems and structures as well as in our minds and bodies – and the many ways that people and communities have resisted. We must uplift and strengthen narratives that advance racial equity and inclusion to counter the mainstream narratives that continue to enforce white domination, and carefully observe and call out the ways different systems of oppression intersect with and support racism.
Conference participants will have the opportunity to hear multiple perspectives on vigilance and racism past and present; to learn about different approaches and tools for vigilance, resistance and response; and to connect with others working to transform organizations, institutions and communities.

Conference Learning Objectives
Participants will:
  • Understand the ways History shapes our racial realities and influences our racial equity work today
  • Recognize what/whose narratives are dominant and what forms narratives take
  • Learn skills for responding to dominant narratives and strengthening alternative narratives
  • Explore the ways different systems of oppression intersect with and exacerbate racism
  • Know what vigilance looks like and what it requires of individuals and organizations

recognize that the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (“North America”) are the rightful occupants of this land and have a pre-existing right to be at the conference. Therefore, indigenous people are not asked to pay registration fees for the Overcoming Racism conference. We do ask that you register for planning purposes.

DAY 1: Friday, November 13, 2015
7:30 AM Doors open.
8:00 AM Dakota drumming & singing: Standing Bull Singers
8:20 AM Sage blessing: Dr. Cecil White Hat
8:40 AM MCs welcome
8:45 AM Metro State welcome: Interim President Devinder Malhotra
8:50 AM MCs provide brief history of FREC
9:00 AM Video montage
9:10 AM MCs introduce keynote speakers and panel.
9:15 AM Keynote speakers: Nekima Levy-Pounds and Mahmoud El-Kati.
10:00 AM Break
10:15 AM 'Voices of Vigilance' video talks
10:45 AM Panel: Clyde Bellecourt, Ricardo Levins Morales, Kandace Montgomery, and Bo Thao. Nekima Levy-Pounds will moderate.
12:00 lunch - pick up box lunch in New Main Great Hall
12:20-12:40 'Race to the Finish Line' from Science Museum of Minnesota in FH Auditorium
1:15 PM A Workshops/breakout sessions (1:15-2:45 PM)
3:00 PM B Workshops/breakout sessions (3:00-4:30 PM)
5:30 PM Free film and discussion:
We Rock Long Distance, panelists Tou SaiKo Lee and Maria Isa. Pizza at 5:00, film at 5:30, discussion 7-8 pm
7:30 PM Informal fellowship, The Goat Coffee House, 699 E. 7th Street.

DAY 2: Saturday, November 14, 2015
8:30 AM Doors open.
9:00 AM Dakota drumming & singing: Standing Bull Singers
9:20 AM Sage blessing: Dr. Cecil White Hat
9:40 AM MCs welcome and introduce the morning session
9:45 AM Keynote performer and speaker: Tall Paul
10:30 AM Keynote speaker: Heather Hackman
11:30 AM Lunch
12:30 PM C Workshops/breakout sessions (12:30-2:00 PM)
2:15 PM D Workshops/breakout sessions (2:15-3:45 PM)
No formal closing session.

Workshop/breakout session descriptions