Power 2 Change: Final thoughts from community members

Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 9:47 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Throughout the past two months, Action 2 News has spoken with community members every Thursday night about racism, social justice and the Power 2 Change.

As a news organization, we feel it’s our duty to advance a conversation about race in our community, and we’ve collected some moments of wisdom from each of our interviews about topics such as racial reconciliation, implicit bias, and equity.

“What we’ve learned, most of us have learned anyway-is that the key-the answer to race education and having more information is to pretend like we don’t see race. I would hear this a lot when I moved here: ’I don’t even know that you’re black, Tracey.” And what racial literacy does is require people to think more critically about race, to really have some more advanced and nuanced skills around it. to think about the history of race and racism. To be able to articulate how that history has gotten us to where we are today and really to think more critically and have more analysis when you see racialized incidents,” says Tracey Robertson on racial literacy.

“You hear a lot about diversity, equity and inclusion. And what that means is: there is opportunity and access for everybody. And there are going to be instances where we have to look at the work that we do, with that lens of racial equity-and acknowledging that there are disparities, and how do we address them,” says Roby Davis on equity.

“Black Lives Matter is about love. It’s about sisterhood and brotherhood. In solidarity with our comrades. But it’s also meant to make folks be uncomfortable. Right? Because there’s a lot of folks who have lives in their privilege and lived in their comfortability for way too long while Black lives suffered. this savior mentality that we’ve created as a culture-Black folks don’t need to be saved. They need to be loved, they need to be invested in, they need to be provided resources, that will help them to be successful,” says Robin Tinnon.

“Everybody’s got it. I mean sometimes people push back against white privilege, but I want to be really clear that everybody has privilege. It’s not just skin-based privilege that exists out there. There’s ability privilege, there’s economic privilege, there’s religious privilege. There’s gender privilege. So my motto, our motto at the privilege institute is that everyone has privilege, we’re just impacted by it in very different ways, and it’s understanding that , that will allow us to build a more truly inclusive society,” said Eddie Moore.

“That word, reconciliation, when you look it up in the dictionary, it really just means, return to friendship. And so when I talk about reconciliation, it’s from the standpoint of being able to have people come together again and start to build genuine relationship. Its not reparations and repenting of things you haven’t done. But it is being able to sit down and share time and space and presence with people. So conversation can start to happen, and those stereotypes can start to be broken down. And then we realize we’re just people. Our skin color is different, we come from different backgrounds, we have different stories, but at the end of the day, we are just people,” adds Pastor Charles Butler on reconciliation.

“More unity. We just need more conversations we need more people to step up and say hey-regardless of what you look like, I want to work with you. Take more time out with people, your neighbors, your friends, and find out how we can bridge the gap with social inequality and dealing with things. There is a gap between financial and equality and economics-there’s a big gap and we can individually do that, but it would be easier if we all did it together,” says Aaron Bailey.

“You know so many times we are waiting for the conversation to have in the mayor’s office, at the police station. I think the conversation has to start across the street. The conversation has to start at schools, the conversation has to start when you drop your daughter off somewhere and you say “hey how you doing?” when you’re not too busy. I think the conversation starts with everybody checking themselves, and just looking at that person and saying hey. Hi how are you doing?” said Harry Sydney on communication.

“I would encourage people to put yourself into uncomfortable situations sometimes that expose you to people who are a different race, a different culture, a different affinity group than you, and you will begin to learn things that perhaps shatter stereotypes, beliefs that are just not accurate, and give you some surprises that are pretty sweet, you know?” says Renita Robinson.

“Be kind. it’s really easy to get caught up in being on a side, or being frustrated or angry. lashing out and we’ve all fallen victim to it. I’ve fallen victim to it. strive to be kind, and that’s a good place to start,” said Alexandria Ritchie.

Click here to see extended interviews and previous Power 2 Change reports.

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