November 2 and 3, 2018
Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
Presented by the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative (FREC)
Overcoming Racism: In Spite of …
Racism has played a role in American society since the founding of the nation, in spite of the words “all men are created equal” within the Declaration of Independence.
— Race and Racism in the United States” An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic
Overcoming racism is about partnership. In spite of our ignorance, prejudice, and privilege, we have the power to end racism, little by little, through conversations, policies and practices.
— Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Huffington Post Commentary, 2015
A long time ago, after a church service on a bright Sunday morning in the small town where I grew up, I heard one of the deacons tell another that he didn’t believe colored people really wanted civil rights and integration. “If God had meant white people and black people to mix, he would have made them one color,” he said. He made this claim in spite of the civil rights demonstrations that were going on in our home state of North Carolina and across the country, in spite of nonviolent and violent protests.
— Opinion piece by James Grimsley in LA Times, Feb. 23, 2016
While Muslims may not be a race, anti-Muslim sentiment has, in spite of that, become increasingly racialized.
— Opinion by Dr.H A Hellyer in “The National”, Nov. 22, 2017
However, in spite of these apparent changes [the end of Jim Crow laws and lynchings], racism is alive and well in America. It manifests itself differently from what most Americans believe racism to be, in ways that are not as noticeable. The school to prison pipeline that criminalizes rather than educates our children, particularly black boys, is an example of new millennial-style racism.
— Ella Baker Center for Human Rights blog (2012)
A hangman’s noose dangling from an automobile, driven by a hooded Ku Klux Klan member, is among the grim warnings for blacks to stay away from the voting places in the municipal primary election at Miami, Florida, May 3, 1939. In spite of the threats, 616 blacks voted.
— Is The Noose, A Symbol Of Racial Terrorism, Returning? Commentary by Kevin C. Peterson, 2017, WBUR
This year’s conference theme is a Call for Resilience, Resistance, and Hope: “Overcoming Racism In Spite of …”
In spite of broken treaties, in spite of redlining, in spite of Rondo, in spite of Philando Castille and Jamar Clark, in spite of anti-immigration laws, in spite of voter suppression efforts, in spite of the school-to-prison pipeline, in spite of rising Islamophobia, in spite of the Dakota Access Pipeline and Enbridge Line 3 …
You get the picture!
This is FREC’s 10thyear offering the Overcoming Racism Conference. It’s a time to celebrate, to rededicate to this work, to elevate our learning and skills, and to network with each other to strengthen our movement. We continue to build on our previous conferences, including: “Vigilance Now!” (2015); “Disrupt Racism as Usual” (2016) and “Awake, Woke, Taking Command” (2017).