Tag Archives: diversity

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is commemorated on November 20th each year as a day to remember the transgender folks who have been killed as a result of transphobia and hate.  There are way too many of them, and many of the murders remain unsolved.

 

TDOR2014

According to Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the founder of TDOR, “The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

Microaggressions and More at the Olympic College’s Diversity Conference

 

Olympic College Diversity Conference – Great Job!OCDiversityConfProgam&Bag

 

Olympic College’s first Diversity Conference was very well done, with so much good thought provoking information I am still processing it all.

 

 

 

 

What I enjoyed most about the conference were the two keynote speakers: Dr. Joy DeGruy and Yoshiko Harden.

The first keynote speaker was  Dr. Joy DeGruy

From her website: “Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter.”

The topic of her presentation was Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program “The theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome suggest that centuries of slavery followed by systemic racism and oppression have resulted in mutigenerational adaptive behaviors – some of which have been positive and reflective of resilience, and others that are detrimental and destructive.”

I was enlightened by her presentation and have bought her book on the subject, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.

  The second keynote was given by Yoshiko Harden, Vice President for Diversity at Bellevue College

Her speech title was “Good Intentions Aren’t Enough; The Damaging Effects of Microaggressions”

Microaggression was a new concept to me, and some of you may not be familiar with it either.

From Wikipedia – “Microaggression is a theory that hypothesizes that specific interactions between those of different races, cultures, genders or sexual orientation can be interpreted as small acts of mostly non-physical aggression; the term was coined by Chester M. Pierce[1] in 1970.”

Yoshiko Harden OC Diversity Conf

From the Olympic College Diversity Conference Program: “Often it is well intended, “nice” people who tend to perpetuate microagressions”
According to the speech description “Participants will learn to identify both individual and institutional forms of microagressions, and learn practical and useful strategies to address, interrupt,a nd dismantle them.” Yoshiko Harden’s Keynote speech did all of that for me.

 

 

 

The topic of microaggressions found its way into a couple of the sessions, and I attended two of those.

One of the things I like about the idea of microagressions is it helps make sense of something I have seen and felt, but couldn’t find a way to describe. One thing that comes to mind for me is how I feel when someone says to me “Wow, you are an engineer?!  Good for you!”  (Usually interpreted as ‘you are smart for a woman’) I also like that the concept helps break down our overwhelming anti-inclusion systems into bits we can makes sense of, and find ways to each make a real difference.

There were two videos presented at the conference that showed, in a humorous way, some examples of microagression.

What Kind of Asian Are You? (this video was posted just over a hear ago and has over 7 millions hits)

Top 100 – Things White People Say to Black People

 

 

OCDiversityConfSessionTracks

There were so many good sessions, and I was impressed by the presenters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to attending the Olympic College Diversity Conference next year!

 

~ Marcie

Olympic College’s Regional Diversity Conference

Olympic College is having their first diversity conference on June 26-27, 2014.

The theme is “Are Your Roots Showing: Exploring Diversity in the Puget Sound Region”

OCdiversityconf2014outlinedFrom the Olympic College Diversity Advisory Council Web Site, the day and a half of conference “will offer participants the opportunity to enhance their understanding and skills in the areas of diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism and social justice.”

 

 

The conference schedule includes two speakers, Dr. Joy DeGruy and Yoshiko Harden.

Here is a little bit about them:

Dr. Joy DeGruy

From Dr. Joy DeGruy’s website:

Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. With over twenty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she gives practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.

Dr. Joy DeGruy  is the keynote speaker during the conference opening morning.

 

Yoshiko Harden, Vice President for Diversity at Bellevue College

From the Bellevue College website:

Harden, with over a decade of experience as a student affairs practitioner, comes to us from Highline Community College, in Des Moines, where she has held several positions, including director of multicultural services and student development.

“One of my primary goals is to increase access and success for all students, but particularly for historically marginalized groups,” she says.

Yoshiko Harden  is speaking during dinner on the first day of the conference.

 

OCdiversityconf2014poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ Marcie

 

Five Ways Martin Luther King, Jr Inspires me, and Five Inspiring Quotes

Five Ways I am Inspired by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1)     He spoke out about what is right

2)     He promoted using peaceful means, while not backing down

3)     His had superb oratory skills – people listened to him

4)     His succeeded academically at a place and time when racism was an omnipresent barrier

5)     He had a dream

 

Five Inspiring Quotes from Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

1)     “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

2)     “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

3)     “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

4)     “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

5)      “the time is always right to do the right thing”

~ Marcie

 

Quilt Inspired by Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

The Kitsap Quilters quilt guild held their annual quilt show at the Presidents Hall at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds this weekend.  Since it is both diversity and quilt related I want to share with you a quilt I made that was displayed in the show.  Inspired by one of my favorite quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, one that continues to inspire me to speak up for justice.  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Below is a picture of the quilt (18”x18”) and close ups of the embroidered quote.

Quilt inspired by quote from Dr. Martin Luther King
Quilt inspired by quote from Dr. Martin Luther King

 

 

~ Marcie

Renewed thoughts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Recently someone I was talking with told me he thought we should not have a holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but rather a day to celebrate civil rights.  He went on to say he thought Dr. King was a “glory hound.”  That statement took me aback, because I have mostly heard people voice respect for the work Dr. King did for the civil rights movement.

After mulling it over for a few days, I have decided that the person I was talking to must not ever have been involved in grass roots organizing.  Movements need spokespersons; they need to be given a face.  Dr. King was the face of the civil rights movement.  That may mean those folks in the spotlight, like Dr. King, get the attention and much of the credit for work really being done by many, but those spokespersons are an essential part of making steps forward for justice.  In Dr. King’s case, he was an inspiring spokesperson and a galvanizing force for the civil rights movement, and he is still an inspiration for those of us working towards social justice.  As he became famous, he was able to leverage that fame to help many communities desegregate, as well as help reduce discrimination for workers and in housing.

I have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating: In his Letter from Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963), Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  That still rings true for me.

I have been involved in grass roots organizing and I understand that the organizations that I work with have executive directors and board chairpersons, and that those folks are often the ones talking to the media while many of us work more quietly in the background.   We are not in it for the glory.  We are not working on the issues we care about for the credit.  We are trying to do our part to make positive changes in our communities, and in the greater world.  There is a place for us that are quiet to do good work, as well as a place for the spokespeople.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy lives on with the work still being done for justice.

***  Some other quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ***

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“The time is always right to do the right thing”

 

 

~ Marcie

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson at Olympic College

 

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson spoke at Olympic College this past Monday, and I came away inspired and energized.  The Olympic College Multicultural Program sponsored the event, and Dan Johnson, the Director of Multicultural & Student Programs at Olympic College, introduced Dr. Dyson.

The program title was Politics, Diversity and the Disenfranchised in America, and Dr. Dyson mentioned how fitting it was that the title “sandwiches ‘Diversity’ in between ‘Politics’ and ‘Disenfranchised.’”

Besides being an author and speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is on the faculty of the Department of Sociology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

 

Dr. Dyson defined politics as “the fight over just distribution of vital resources to a vulnerable population in a time of crisis.”  He stressed that critical thinking is essential for all of us, so that we can sort out issues and events, put them into context and understand why people do what they do.

One of the many things Dr. Dyson said that resonated with me was: “The disenfranchisement of some is the undermining of all.”

It reminded me of something Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

We are all connected, and probably more alike than not.  Social justice is something for all of us to be concerned about because in the long run it affects us all.

A highlight of the evening for me was during the question and answer period when a white man stood up to ask a question of Dr. Dyson and mentioned that he “got down with diversity when he married a black man.”  The couple has been together for 25 years and they both got a warm response from Dr. Dyson and from the audience.

It was heartening to me to hear Dr. Dyson speak so eloquently and inclusively about diversity. Dr. Dyson has written many books, and choosing one was not easy – I bought Can You Hear Me Now, and am very much looking forward to reading it.

While he infused humor throughout the presentation, Dr. Dyson never failed to instill the audience with the gravity of the issues facing our communities.

~ Marcie