Tag Archives: Basic Rights Oregon

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Live From Facing Race — This Is How We Do It: Youth Led Racial Justice

Facing Race 2014 kicks off at 10 a.m. EST on Friday morning with “This is How We Do It: Youth Led Racial Justice,” a plenary session featuring the following speakers:

      • FM Supreme, a founding member of Black Youth Project 100 and founder of the Chicago International Youth Peace Movement.
      • Ramiro Luna, an immigration activist who has taken part in more than 100 actions in support of immigrant rights, as well as a community organizer and a member of more than a dozen political campaigns.
      • Sharon Davies, director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and a professor of law at Ohio State University.
      • Jaime-Jin Lewis, the former executive director of the NYC-based advocacy group Border Crossers, where she trained more than 2,000 educators from over 900 schools around the country in how to discuss race with their students
      • Key Jackson (1st Nation- Black and Makah), a community organizer who has worked with groups like Basic Rights Oregon and GSAFE Wisconsin, while also organizing electoral and legislative campaigns.

The panel description reads as follows:

A new generation of racial justice leaders are interrupting and innovating in the ways racial justice work is made relevant in our times. In various ways, young people are working creatively, intersectionally and courageously to set our nation on course for the racially just future we deserve. Who are some of the leaders guiding this next epoch? What models, tools, practices and cultural strategies are there to build a more just, inclusive foundation for their generation and the ones that follow? Join in this conversation amongst movement makers, as they share thoughts on what’s hot in racial justice now, and what’s on the come up in the years ahead.

The discussion, as posted online by Race Forward, can be seen below.

Narratives on Race, Sexuality, and Love [National Coming Out Day]

Blog bestie Miriam Perez sends on these videos from Basic Rights Oregon.

The videos are poignant, and sometimes painful recollections of what it meant to come out. Siblings waiting for a moment of discussion that never comes; mothers wrestling with their religious beliefs and the love of their children; and children not coming out to their parents – or waiting for one parent to die to share the truth with the other parent.

There’s a great quote from Kevin: “It’s not good enough to be supportive of these things in general, or supportive of people in general. We tend to think the absence of hostility or the absence of negativity is support; but that’s not true. That’s nothing, it’s neutral. We, straight people, have to take responsibility for providing support.”

The video focused on Latinos (which is in English, subtitled in Spanish) featured Gisella Imar Contreras, a young woman who started life as male. Gisella’s story starkly differed from the others in the series, in that she was unable to reconcille with her family, and ultimately had to sever her family ties after coming out. Melanie Davis, also featured in the video, talked about how trying to conform to a heterosexual lifestyle drove her to alcohol addiction.

In the African-American focused video, Beryl “BJ” Jones talks about coming out in the 80s, and being challenged for the custody of her daughter. She lost custody – her daughter was raised by her mother, and she currently has a grandchild she isn’t allowed to visit. But most of the stories here focused on love, and the idea of creating “a beloved community.”

Happy Coming Out Day, all. Please love yourself – and let someone else know that they are loved.