Today, our hosts, Steven E. Jones and Amy Vodarek talk with Martha “Marty” Swaim, founder and retired Executive Director of Challenging Racism. Challenging Racism educates and trains people to face and effectively engage in conversations about...
Today, our hosts, Steven E. Jones and Amy Vodarek talk with Martha “Marty” Swaim, founder and retired Executive Director of Challenging Racism. Challenging Racism educates and trains people to face and effectively engage in conversations about racism to address inequities of personal, institutional, and systemic racism.
Challenging Racism conversations build knowledge and allow participants to use facilitated conversation tools to practice skills in how to challenge racism when it arises.
For over 50 years, Marty’s work has focused on interrupting racism, particularly in the schools, education system, and communities. Her starting point was her colleague, who pointed out a rooted issue of racism right in the education system–that Black kids can’t do the work.
In conversations with Black colleagues, she began to see the dimensions of prejudice and racism create an inability to challenge the prevailing assumptions. As the White person in the room and a former teacher in a public school, she brought perspective on the consequences of racism for kids as it shows up at systemic levels.
Marty shares how she and colleagues have touched others’ lives by calling White people to address race and systematic racism they previously didn’t realize existed.
I want White people to understand the urgency of this matter. It’s twofold. Part is a kind of intellectual learning, and an emotional connection to this issue. The other underlying part is just understanding the violence of all kinds associated with the lives of people of color.
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Keywords: #racism #bias #community