Lift Every Voice And Sing

Our nation once again celebrated the embodiment of all things “America” on Sunday with Superbowl LXIII. Throughout the country, ungodly amounts of chicken wings, nachos, chile, and beer were devoured by football fans accompanied by fans of Usher, flashy TV ads, and Taylor Swift. According to Nielson, there were 123.7 million of us watching it,… Continue reading Lift Every Voice And Sing

Remembering Indigenous Families on the First Day of School

Wounded Yellow Robe, Henry Standing Bear and Timber Yellow Robe before and after their Pennsylvania boarding school gave them “proper” clothes and haircuts. (John N. Choate/Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections)

I am an empty nester who loves seeing first day of school pictures each year on social media. I love everything about it: The fresh new haircuts, cute new outfits, and the range of faces reflecting excitement, nervousness, annoyance, and everything in between. The emotions are often mixed, but the first day of school, perhaps… Continue reading Remembering Indigenous Families on the First Day of School

Ibram X. Kendi and Talking About Racism

Talking about racism is hard.  Even among scholars there can be disagreement about how the words and phrases used when discussing race should be defined.  Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of  How To Be An Antiracist, considers accurate definitions to be so critical that the book’s first chapter is entitled, “Definitions”. Additionally, all but the… Continue reading Ibram X. Kendi and Talking About Racism

Black Music Is American Music

This past weekend was like one giant “ah-ha” moment for me. The big revelation was that just like Black history is American history, Black music IS American music. There is no segregating the two. I know that this is not news to Black Americans. And that, like me, most white Americans understand that Black artists… Continue reading Black Music Is American Music

Resolve to Be a Better Ally

Happy 2023 Fellow Allies! It’s a fresh new year and the perfect occasion for reflection and resolutions.  As I reflect upon my own participation in NAFC this past year, I am grateful for all that I have learned and for new friendships that continue to grow. I am grateful for an opportunity to help bring… Continue reading Resolve to Be a Better Ally

Can We Talk?

Friends drinking coffee and having a serious chat

“Whiteness is the freedom not to see race most of the time; and it’s why when white people are asked to see it, we get so uncomfortable.” Baynard Woods, Author of Inheritance: An Autobiography of Whiteness, in an interview on the 08/31/22 episode of Code Switch, “What Does It Mean to Inherit ‘whiteness?’” Why is… Continue reading Can We Talk?

Examining the Fear of DEI

Well that didn’t take long. Misinformed Newtowners started sounding alarms about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) along with the first school bells of the new academic year. School has been in session for two and a half short weeks and already accusations of DEI being tantamount to “indoctrination” and the “sexualization of children” have been… Continue reading Examining the Fear of DEI

Are White People Being “Replaced”?

More than two decades ago while visiting my hometown for a college football game, I was introduced to a mindset that was previously unknown to me. At the tailgate, an acquaintance was congratulating our mutual friend who had recently wed. He then stunned us both by saying, “I hope you have a big family. We… Continue reading Are White People Being “Replaced”?

The Most Marginalized of the Marginalized

June is Pride Month and rainbow flags are everywhere. That’s a good thing, right? While LGBTQ Americans still face far too much discrimination, they are more visible than ever before. Few of us give it a second thought when we learn that a neighbor, friend, or family member is gay. We attend same sex weddings,… Continue reading The Most Marginalized of the Marginalized

Allyship and Faith

“Race and Faith” was the topic of Newtown’s second Community Conversation that took place on April 25th at the library. It was aptly billed as “An opportunity for Newtowners to engage with and hear from the community’s religious leaders as we consider and respond to matters of race, equality, equity, and diversity.” CH Booth Library… Continue reading Allyship and Faith

Racism and People Like Me

I have watched Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow’s floor speech to her fellow senators at least five times. Initially I thought her comments were crafted for an audience of one: The colleague who publicly accused her of trying to “groom and sexualize” young children and to make them feel responsible for slavery. Sen. McMorrow certainly… Continue reading Racism and People Like Me

What Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan Can Teach Newtown About Hiring Teachers

The nomination (and later confirmation) of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the highly qualified judge who will soon be this country’s first Black woman to hold a seat on the Supreme Court, happened within the context of a lot of chatter. I won’t waste anyone’s time addressing the ridiculousness of “Do you think babies are racist?”… Continue reading What Joe Biden and Ronald Reagan Can Teach Newtown About Hiring Teachers