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  • Writer's pictureCultures Connecting

Newsletter: February 2024 Issue 2


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Is Racism Natural?


JP Anderson's headshot

"If racism is natural, then why did it need law to become a fact of American social life? Think about aspects of human experience which are indisputably natural, such as walking upright, using language, and making tools. Is a law necessary to remind people to walk on two legs? No, because these are truly natural aspects of being a human being—we just do these things, and have done since well before the existence of anything we might call 'the law.' Racism, in contrast, was imposed through law and has been defended by law for most of American history."


Our racial equity specialist, Dr. J.P. Anderson, tackles common misconceptions in his latest blog article about the nature of racism. He introduces the idea of 'social construction' to help explain why racism exists,


"Social constructions are similar to superstitions in many respects; they differ on culture, are not backed up by evidence, and are passed on through the generations by example."

Visit our blog to read the full article to learn more about how understanding the concept of social construction helps us to understand how racism continues to persist.



 

Centering the Margins


Our Support & Projects Manager Judy Lee is an artist focused on social justice. She is also a community care advocate supporting the emerging artist community by providing more equitable access to exhibition and funding opportunities. One of the ways she did this was to curate an exhibition called From the Margins at The Fishbowl, a QTBIPOC centered artist gallery and studio. The show was covered by King5 for New Day Northwest and features the exhibition including an interview with Judy and two of the artists from the show.


The Fishbowl is located in Uptown at 323 2nd Ave W, Seattle. Gallery hours are on Thursdays and Fridays from 2-8pm or Sundays from 1-4pm. Judy will be moderating an Artist Talk at the Closing Reception on Friday, February 23rd at 6:00-8:00pm. Please join her and three artists from the show (including Marisol and Carlos featured in the story) for a conversation on representation, the power of art, and creating social impact.



 

Take Action and Advocate to include AANHPI History in our K-12 Curriculum


Make Us Visible, a nationwide effort to include Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) history in school curriculums, is underway. In our state of WA, they are asking for our help to support SB 6314 to require AANHPI history in social studies learning standards by September 2027 and to require the instruction in grades K-12 beginning in the 2028 school year.

Here are some action items you can take to help before March 7th when the legislative session ends:


If you would like specific instructions, including email scripts, view the action plan and press release about the bill here.


 


2024 is upon us which means we are in an election year. Nick Brown is running for Attorney General of WA state and Culture Connecting endorses him. Our co-Founder Dr. Caprice D. Hollins explains,


"I have known Mr. Brown for many years throughout different career paths. The one thing that remains steady is his commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Thank you Nick for your continued fight for social justice!"


According to his prospectus, which you can view here,


"In 2021 he stepped into the role of U.S. Attorney — for which he was personally nominated by President Joe Biden and made history as the first Black U.S. Attorney to serve in Washington state. As a trailblazer, he was praised for defending civil rights, prosecuting hate crimes, fighting drug cartels, addressing the fentanyl crisis, and tackling violent crime. Nick understands we need to attack the underlying cause of crime, poverty, and homelessness, which is why his work is guided by the belief that we need to invest in affordable housing, enact smart gun control policies, and protect the most vulnerable members of our communities."


Want to learn more or consider donating to his campaign? Visit the Nick Brown for Attorney General website.


 


In cased you missed it, here are the latest articles from our blog:



 

Social Justice DEIB Calendar with calendar and pencil

Upcoming DEIB/Social Justice Events


For details on these and other events, workshops and conferences, visit our Events Calendar. If you have an event you would like us to share, please reach out to us!


  • 2/16: XITO WA Winter Institute IX

  • 2/17: NAAM Genealogy Workshop

  • 2/17: Black History Month Vendor Market

  • 2/17: Sacred Saturdays Community Healing Series

  • 2/17: Columbia City Night Market

  • 2/17: BIMA Black History Month Soiree

  • 2/18: Aware-LA: Unmasking Whiteness

  • 2/18: Tsuru for Solidarity Day of Remembrance

  • 2/18: Nice Racism Online Book Group

  • 2/18: Feeling into Confusion & Hope: A Conversation about Palestine & Israel

  • 2/20: Tsuru for Solidarity Shut Down NWDC Press Conference

  • 2/20: NAMI BIPOC Support Group

  • 2/21: Race Forward: Decision Making for Racial Equity

  • 2/22: Seattle Asian American Film Festival Opens

  • 2/22: Young Black Climate Leaders Dream Lab

  • 2/22: Alianza Americas: Contextualizing the Migrant Narrative Pill

  • 2/24: Atlantic Street Center Annual Black History Month Celebration

  • 2/26: Living into Our Values: A Workshop for White Anti-Racists

  • 2/26: NAMI LGBTQ+ Support Group

  • 2/27: Race Forward: Governing for Racial Equity

  • 2/27: Equity in the Center: Intersectional Allyship for Racial Justice

  • 2/27: The Equity Consortium Listening Circle: The End of Shaming

  • 2/27: NAMI BIPOC Support Group

  • 2/28: Me & White Supremacy Book Group

  • 2/29: Working with the Live Wire of Oppression Virtual Introduction

...and more!

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