Columbus: Tall Tales, and Dark Realities

by: Alenda Calderbank     As a kid, Columbus Day was a welcome day off from school a month into the school year. As the leaves shined bright orange against the crisp blue sky and we heard the familiar sound of rustling leaves, we recited the familiar children’s poem that helped us remember the year Columbus… Continue reading Columbus: Tall Tales, and Dark Realities

Why Remembering Is Important

Synagogue in Berlin which was destroyed during the Crystal Night.

Our family took a vacation to Europe early this summer. Part of our travels brought us to Germany, where we spent time visiting with old friends and seeing the beautiful countryside. However, in spite of all of the beauty and history, we were constantly reminded of the history of antisemitism and the programs put in… Continue reading Why Remembering Is Important

We Are Not Free

On February 19th, 1942, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the country of Japan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted Executive Order 9066. This order was put into place to protect the United States from possible espionage by those of Japanese heritage. However, what really took place was that over 120,000 Japanese people in California,… Continue reading We Are Not Free

Why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is Important

The history of racism against people of Asian American and Pacific Island descent (AAPI) runs deep in America. For as long as people have immigrated to this country, the government has fought hard to keep them from being an equal member of society.  Various laws were passed to keep them from gaining citizenship as well… Continue reading Why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is Important

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

Let’s Talk About Microaggressions

Are you trying to be a better ally? Are there times you find yourself reading an anti-racist book, listening to a podcast, or even reading the NAFC blog, when you come across a phrase that you don’t completely understand? Perhaps you’ve even heard a phrase multiple times, but you do not quite have a firm grasp on what… Continue reading Let’s Talk About Microaggressions

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”?

Disrupting Ignorance

The following post was written by Konrad Miller, a member of NAFC. June 19th, 1865 (Juneteenth) is the date that the last slaves in Galveston, Texas were declared free by General Gordon Grainger. The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was not regarded as consequential in Galveston in January of 1863. Black people were kept as… Continue reading Disrupting Ignorance

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

Racial Gaslighting

This is the first in a series of posts that will break down the vocabulary for techniques which racists often use when confronted about their actions. When I attended graduate school I was one of only three women in my program. Because I attended a Seminary with aspirations to someday work on staff in an… Continue reading Racial Gaslighting

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

Superintendent Search in Newtown

The residents of Newtown, Connecticut ought to be very concerned with the way the school district is conducting the hiring process for the new superintendent. First of all, just like the hiring of the past three superintendents, the current members of the board are the only ones who will be a part of the interviewing… Continue reading Superintendent Search in Newtown

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Book Banning: A Political Tool to Uphold Racism in Schools?

This post was originally published in March of 2022. With the recent push from the local “Our Kids Deserve Better” group in Newtown, we decided that this was a good time to revisit this topic. Book banning is a slippery slope. While these parents may have good intentions of keeping what they feel is inappropriate… Continue reading Book Banning: A Political Tool to Uphold Racism in Schools?