Jen transitions out of New Demographic Co-Director role

by Jen Chau

jen chauPlease scroll down to download or listen to our latest episode of Addicted to Race, in which Carmen and I discuss this news.

This is the hardest decision I have made in a while. After more than two years of working with Carmen, co-directing New Demographic, co-editing Mixed Media Watch (now Racialicious), and then creating Addicted to Race and many more fabulous blogs (Race Changers, Anti-Racist Parent), I have decided to transition out of my Co-Director role.

In the past several months, our work has intensified exponentially. With the addition of several new projects this fall, Carmen and I have been contacted by more media outlets for commentary, we have been approached by more organizations interested in our workshops, and we have had the pleasure of engaging with more and more of you, our readers and listeners. However, New Demographic is not the only thing in my life that has picked up the pace — my work with Swirl (the non-profit I founded 7 years ago) and New Leaders for New Schools (my full-time job) has also become more demanding. In an effort to really do a couple of things well instead of spreading myself too thin, I decided that it made sense to focus on my work with Swirl and New Leaders for New Schools, knowing that New Demographic would be carried on by the more-than-capable Carmen!

So, Carmen will continue on as the Director of New Demographic. Given her talents and knowledge, I am confident that New Demographic will only continue to grow by leaps and bounds. I am excited to stay abreast of all of New Demographic’s projects to see how they transform and grow.

I am going to continue to contribute to the work of challenging society’s ideas around race and identity through my role as Founder/Executive Director of Swirl and with my Human Resources Director role at New Leaders for New Schools.

Swirl (www.swirlinc.org) is a social justice organization building and serving a mixed heritage community through support, education and empowerment. We are focusing on the re-launch of our new website, growing and expanding to serve more cities across the country, and building more programs for our growing diverse communities. I am glad to be able to devote more attention to the organization, really building off of our past successes and taking the time to be strategic about shaping the work we do, moving forward.

I am also very excited to be a part of an educational reform movement through New Leaders for New Schools (www.nlns.org). For the past six years, this organization has mainly served as a training ground for exceptional teachers to become principals. They go into schools that are struggling, where children aren’t at the reading and math levels they need to be, and help to turn those schools around. New Leaders operates with the belief that all (every single) child can achieve at high levels. There is a built-in drive to reach equality in education in order to level the playing field for children — no matter what background (class, race, etc). This is an important mission, and one that I am committed to. A just education must be provided if we are going to chip away at the racial disparities that exist. I have been at New Leaders for about one and a half years now, working on the HR Team and I have just recently been promoted to Director. I am glad to be helping to provide strong systems and processes to an organization that is going to change education as we know it.

I may no longer be an official part of New Demographic (other than being one of its proud founders :)), but I will very much be a part of the work we are all doing to challenge the status quo and break the harmful stereotypes that fuel many of our interactions with one another.

The last couple of years have been fulfilling and exciting for me. Seeing the change that is possible through connecting people of different backgrounds and experiences, seeing how eyes are opened by the offering of new information, realizing how many like-minded people are out there willing to challenge the ways we think about race…it has made me very hopeful. I am looking forward to seeing not only how New Demographic grows, but how more and more people will become a part of our growing community of people dedicated to challenging racism, moving us forward, and connecting people of different ethnicities rather than separating us. I may not talk with you regularly (through Racialicious, ATR, ARP, etc.), but I will be right alongside you, working to educate and to break down the racist ideals that still plague us today.

Thanks for the learning and the laughter. I’ll see you all out there, making a difference,

Jen

(btw, I encourage all who are interested in continuing to stay in touch with me or those who are interested in getting involved in community organizing around race and identity, to reach me at jenchau@swirlinc.org.)

Duration – 10:15
File Size – 4.2 MB
Right-click here to download an MP3 of Addicted to Race Episode 50
or
Click here to never miss an episode by subscribing to us in iTunes
or
click the button below to play it immediately