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HCG is a broad-based group of trainers, teachers and experts from multiple disciplines committed to deep diversity, equity and social justice. The purpose of our newsletter is to share what we're up to and to highlight resources, organizations and folks in the struggle working for a more equitable and healthy world. We are so thankful to be in community with you and  welcome your feedback.  If you have content you would like to share with our online learning community of
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“To build community requires vigilant awareness of the work we must continually do to undermine all the socialization that leads us to behave in ways that perpetuate domination.”  ―
bell hooks, Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope
Table of Contents
Featured Upcoming HCG Presentations & Conference Workshops
Dr. Heather Hackman will be delivering pre-conference, conference, and post-conference sessions this year at the AASHE Conference & Expo in
Pittsburgh, PA, October 2-5.

Dr. Heather Hackman will be delivering the keynote at the 2018 Equity in the
Center Summit.



October 9-10 in Baltimore, MD
Lord Baltimore Hotel
Featured Organization
Minneapolis is built on Dakota land, and has long been home to a significant Native American Indian population. The Native people of Minnesota are resourceful, resilient, and committed to their families, communities and cultures. Centuries of genocide and forced assimilation have created a range of challenges for 21st century American Indians. Native people make up a disproportionate number of the homeless population in Minneapolis. Causes of homelessness are related to economics, domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and many other causes.

Many Native people with significant housing challenges have joined together to create a safe encampment near the Franklin/Hiawatha corridor. A broad coalition of partners and stakeholders are coming together to address the short-term, mid-term and long-term barriers to housing for the residents of this camp. Working together, they hope to find housing for the camp’s residents by the end of September, and certainly before the weather turns cold.
Join the effort! Donations made here will go to a discretionary fund managed by the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center to meet the immediate needs of the Franklin/Hiawatha Encampment and to provide ongoing resources for families that have been re-housed.
Conferences & Events We Support
AASHE Conference & Expo
Oct. 2-5, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA

18th Annual Teaching for Social Justice Conference
Oct. 6, 2018 in San Francisco, CA

Equity in the Center Summit
Oct. 9-10 in Baltimore, MD

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) Conference
Oct. 25-27 in Philadelphia, PA

Overcoming Racism Conference
Nov. 2-3 in St. Paul, MN


Facing Race Conference
Nov. 8-10, 2018 in Detroit, MI

National Race Amity Conference
Nov. 15-17, 2018 in Quincy, MA

National Association for Multicultural Education
Nov. 27-30, 2018 2018 in Memphis, TN


Diversity Abroad Conference
March 2-5, 2019 in Boston, MA

ACPA
March 3-6, 2019 in Boston, MA

White Privilege Conference 19
March 20-23, 2019 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

National Summit for Educational Equity
April 28-May 2, 2019 in Arlington, VA

NCORE Conference
May 28-June 1, 2019 in Portland, OR

International Drug Policy Reform Conference
Nov. 6-9 in St. Louis, Missouri

 
Recommended Articles & Resources
Like our facebook page and check out fresh resources on the regular!
Christine Blasey Ford faces questions over Brett Kavanaugh allegations – live updates
4 Black Female Judges Use Their Courtrooms to Break the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Inspired by Ava DuVernay’s documentary ‘13th,’ and their own experiences, four female judges mentor youth to keep them out of the criminal justice system.

 


At a time of rampant income inequality, stifling social roles for women and church-mandated morality, de Cleyre rebelled against the accepted order.
All the Senate’s Men: Empowering Women Since 1991

From Anita Hill to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, this video spotlights the Senate’s strides in gender sensitivity and female representation.

Trump Administration Plans to Restrict Green Cards For Immigrants Enrolled in Safety Net Programs
Per a new 447-page proposal, the federal government seeks to deny green cards to immigrants who have received benefits including Medicaid, housing vouchers and supplemental food assistance.
ICE is Arresting Immigrants Who Attempt to Sponsor Undocumented Children
Majority of arrests are result of immigration violations, not criminal activity.

At Miami University in Ohio, the Myaamia Center is revitalizing culture and building racial equity. The project was decades in the making.

 
World 'nowhere near on track' to avoid warming beyond 1.5C target
Exclusive: Author of key UN climate report says limiting temperature rise would require enormous, immediate transformation in human activity
Climate gentrification: the rich can afford to move – what about the poor?
'We're moving to higher ground':
America's era of climate mass migration is here


By the end of this century, sea level rises alone could displace 13m people. Many states will have to grapple with hordes of residents seeking dry ground. But, as one expert says, ‘No state is unaffected by this’
5 Ways To Donate Money, Time and Other Aid to Communities Hit By Florence
Jesse Williams Directs Mamie and Emmett Till Film
The film is based on the story of Mamie Mobley Till, whose decision to give her son Emmett an open-casket funeral drew worldwide attention to White supremacist violence in America.
Historic Number Of LGBTQ Candidates Won Primaries In 2018 Midterms
Christine Hallquist could become the nation’s first openly transgender governor ― one of several barrier-breaking candidates this election cycle.
Gorgeous New 'If Beale Street Could Talk' Trailer Celebrates Black Families
The latest look at Barry Jenkins’ upcoming film illuminates how Baldwin’s characters build community while navigating uncertainty and trauma.
LISTEN: Imani Perry Uplifts Lorraine Hansberry's Activist Legacy
Perry, a Princeton University professor, told NPR that theA Raisin in the Sun playwright’s work, both within and beyond the theater, defined her as a progressive and trailblazing figure in United States racial justice and feminist LGBTQ history.
Re-Imagine Education: Standards Based Curriculum for Social Justice
Action Resource: Daily Action Alerts. "All you have to do is text the word DAILY to the number 228466 (A-C-T-I-O-N). You’ll be prompted to enter your ZIP code and that’s it—you’re signed up. You will subsequently receive one text message every workday about an issue that we have determined to be urgent based on where you live. You tap on the phone number in your message, listen to a short recording about that day’s issue, and from there you’ll be automatically routed to your Senator, member of Congress, or other relevant elected official. In 90 seconds, you can conscientiously object and be done with it."
Book Review
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Rothstein, Richard. New York, New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation. 2017.
Reviewed by Teresa Klotz
Conventional wisdom tells us that racial segregation in the United States today is something of an accident—the natural consequence of individual choices. We’re supposed to believe white folks naturally gravitate toward other white folks, and black folks gravitate toward black folks—because that’s what’s “normal.” As long as we don’t ask too many questions, we can live our entire lives believing that’s the truth. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein, is an excellent antidote to this fairy tale. The hardcover edition was published in 2017, and it was recently released in trade paperback.

I wish I could remember where I first heard Rothstein. Most likely, he was a guest on one of the podcasts that I follow. During the interview, he explained how housing segregation in the United States is not de facto: it is not merely a result of decisions made by private citizens and businesses. In fact, and quite to the contrary, Rothstein posited, housing segregation in the U.S. is de jure: it is very much the result of laws and policies established at all levels of American government. And, since the work of governmental entities actively (and provably) segregated us, that means our government has a “constitutional obligation to remedy the effects of government-sponsored segregation” (p. xv, in the book). The length and depth of their discussion was limited by the format, but it certainly left me curious to know more.

Despite the density of the information in the Color of Law, it was a quick and compelling read. I was hooked from the preface, where Rothstein states: residential segregation across the U.S. is rooted in “unhidden public policy that explicitly segregated every metropolitan area in the United States” (p. viii). I am a white woman who was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As I reflect on my childhood, and as I look around the current Twin City metro area, it’s easy to see the direct effects of the laws and policies Rothstein covers in the book.

In 1962, my family moved to the South Minneapolis neighborhood that is the northeast crook of the intersection of Minnesota Highway 62 and Interstate 35. I imagine both highways were well under construction when we moved in. Highway 62 marks the border (or barrier, as I now understand it) between Minneapolis and the cities immediately to the south. And I-35 does its part in connecting the far south suburbs to Downtown Minneapolis. Over the years, the suburban stretches of I-35 have been expanded from four lanes to six, and the South Minneapolis segment from four lanes to ten lanes, to accommodate increased traffic. A quick Google search gave me an aerial photo of the dirt scar that was the original I-35 road bed—there’s no denying the stark reality of displaced families, or the way neighborhoods were severed. Over in St. Paul, Interstate 94 was planned, very intentionally, to cut straight through the heart of Rondo, a vibrant African American neighborhood in St. Paul. There are many other examples in the Twin Cities.

With respect to racial segregation seeming “normal,” as a kid, I don’t remember being the least bit curious why only one African American family lived in my immediate neighborhood. Or why the kids in that family were never in the thick of the neighborhood action, especially in the era when parents kicked their kids outside to play, unsupervised. At my house, once we were out the door, my dad didn’t want to see us back in the house unless we needed the bathroom, or it was lunch or dinner time.

I got to middle-school in the mid-1970s, when it was still called “junior high.” At that time, Minneapolis Public Schools were all about desegregation. Kids were bussed to alternate junior high schools for seventh and eighth grades. Then, we were bussed to a different junior high for ninth grade, along with kids from a broader cross-section of the city. I can remember loose talk about how stupid all of this was, though I don’t recall knowing the bussing was court- ordered. For sure, I was oblivious that it was tied to our school system’s failure to enact, in any meaningful way, the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. the Board of Education.

On its surface, housing segregation sounds like a narrow proposition—all about housing. So, as someone (a white someone) who has muddled along in life without serious adversity (and with moderate opportunity), it was sobering to see how access to safe, affordable housing is actually dependent on a foundation of access to education, employment, fair wages, transit, fair credit terms, reasonable deposits and rents, and the ability to maintain even a modest amount of savings. Further, I see how easily I’ve taken that safety net for granted— clueless to how our government cleared the path for me, while at the same time establishing a system of barriers for African Americans. The Color of Law details the real-life consequences African American people were forced to navigate, as their government and fellow citizens invested so persistently in racist structures.

Rothstein exposes the nationwide, circular nature of systemic racism in the United States: the breadth and tenacity of our white power structure is staggering. It’s wasn’t just one law, or three laws, but countless laws. It wasn’t only laws, but also policies established by a wide variety of government agencies. Not just federal agencies, but state and local governments as well. And not just the agencies, but individual people working within those agencies. The public assistance programs, with altruistic names that invoked egalitarian aims but which, in practice, were not extended to African Americans. Also, the businesses and industries that simultaneously preyed on and exacerbated white fears, and exploited black oppression, for obscene profits. Finally, we cannot overlook the role of law enforcement, as both actor and silent witness, in the violence and terror enacted against African American citizens.

Our courts are also implicated. Certainly, the U.S. Supreme Court is guilty of issuing decisions that upheld racist laws and practices: several are discussed in the book (see page 295 for Rothstein’s list of relevant court and agency cases). There were also instances where the Supreme Court got it right: Brown v. the Board of Education is an easy example. Still, court decisions in favor of civil rights and equality were generally forward facing—they did nothing to address the damage already done to claimants. Worse, many decisions were effectively rendered toothless going forward, by State and local government use of lower courts to delay compliance with Supreme Court decisions. That defiance was often aided by the white citizenry who fought to maintain the racially biased status quo. Many of the same citizens who clung so tightly to the ideal that we are “a nation of laws” enthusiastically violated our laws when it came to terrorizing black Americans.

The Color of Law convincingly demonstrates that this infrastructure is the product of sustained efforts that are well-documented in the public record. The book also details how wildly successful these policies were in creating exhaustive obstacles to African American’s ability to access the fundamental elements of American life and livelihood. The reader is left with no doubt that, over and over again, whiteness was advantaged at the expense of blackness.
Rothstein knows that even without government interference, many avenues of systemic racism would likely still exist in the U.S.: individual racial bias and self-segregation, banking, real estate, employment, and education. Even so, he asserts that without our government’s backing, such racism would have enjoyed “far less opportunity for expression” (p. viii).

While he acknowledges that we are overdue in making remedy for past wrongs that we’re unable to “provide adequate justice to those whose civil rights were violated” (p. 197), he does not absolve those of us in this present moment from doing what we can to make it right. We citizens, he says, “will first have to contemplate what we have collectively done and, on behalf of our government, accept responsibility” (p. 217). By “we,” Rothstein means “all of us, the American community…bear a collective responsibility to enforce our Constitution and to rectify past violations whose effects endure…We, all of us, owe this to ourselves. As American citizens, whatever routes we or our particular ancestors took to get to this point, we’re all in this together now” (p. xvi).

The Color of Law is excellent fodder for such contemplation. It is a straight-forward and comprehensive resource about the roots of racial segregation in the U.S. today. Rothstein has given us concrete, historical information and examples, which are always helpful tools when it comes to discussions of race, racism, and whiteness. Far too many of my white friends and acquaintances are reluctant, or even unwilling, to pick up a book. Still, I take comfort in having reliable resources to offer, and to fall back on when I am faced with white denial of our nation’s history and its tangible reach forward into this current moment. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, deserves a solid position in that category. 
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