Beyond Diversity Too

This blog is all about what we've been up to and what we've been thinking.

Month: May, 2012

Forum: A Conversation on Race in America

I’ll be a panelist at this panel discussion in Mount Laurel, New Jersey on Saturday, May 5th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.. I think conversations about race are fascinating and important, and I’m happy to join this one, sponsored by the Southern Burlington County NAACP and the South Jersey/Alice Paul Chapter of NOW.

My friend, Valorie Caffee, will also be a panelist. Valorie is a long-time community organizer with a wealth of insight and knowledge about many aspects of social justice work. Valorie will also be a  featured facilitator at Beyond Diversity’s August 17, 2012 workshop, “Organizing for Social Change: An Anti-Oppression Approach.

The panel discussion will be primarily questions about race from the moderator and the audience, so I can’t say with any certainty what particular topics will be covered. I wonder, however, what you think about such conversations. Do you think they’re helpful? I know that some people think that a forum such as this one is “preaching to the choir,” but I’ve heard other people say that the choir needs to go to church too.

—Always interested in your opinions,

Robin 

Hello From Robin

Robin Parker, Executive Director
Beyond Diversity Resource Center

Hello everyone! I’m excited to make the first post to our second blog. This one, unlike our blog that features articles about cultural diversity (click here to visit that site), will be about what’s happening inside the Beyond Diversity Resource Center.

I must admit that I’m a slow adopter of social media. In part that has do with my age (I’m in my fifties and not naturally drawn to blogs as a primary form of communication), and in part it has to do with being a writer. I’ve always loved English and enjoyed the power that words have to influence people, but I’m sometimes disappointed with how people communicate through social media. For me, blogs, tweets, and instant messages communicate quickly—but often not deeply—about the ideas that are of concern to our society. Even worse, sharing ideas through social media sometimes inspires incivility.  I often read the comments after an online  article about the politics, for example, and I am shocked at how the anonymity of online comments inspires people to be mean-spirited. (You get my point.)

Yet I’m also excited about opening a dialogue with you about what we do at the Center. I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of wonderful people at conferences, seminars, and events connected to social justice work, and I think that opening our “electronic windows” through this blog might be a good way to share some of our ideas and hear the ideas of others. My hope is that as Pamela (the Center’s training director) and I share our goings on, you’ll respond and share what you think and what’s going on in your life. Ultimately, I’m betting that we’ll all be enriched in the process.

So, by all means send us your thoughts, ideas, comments, and suggestions. Don’t feel any pressure to be profound—that’s too much work! Just let us know what you think.

Best regards,

Robin

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