Monday, August 28, 2006

HEY YOU!! Good White People! Got Another Assignment For Ya!

Cyreena Boston (black woman, alert alert all allies) emailed Listening For Change this flyer. Will and I met her at the McCoy Park Night Out Against Crime party. She is constituency director for the Democratic National Committee and involved in PDX Confidential--an organization I've just discovered. Understandably, she practically flew out of her chair with delight when she saw my business card which purports to end racism and we're trying to arrange a meeting together.

I think this event (keep reading) is a good place that white folks with good intentions but who have no friends of color and who don't think they are racist, can get a spine, get a clue, and quietly (I said quietly remember?) support/listen/back local professionals of color. It's an idea. A place to begin. (You still need to get your fanny to the white people groups though because all your stupid stuff is going to be screaming.)

This is from the Skanner article: (I couldn't get the flyer to unload but the link above should be of some help. If you want it let me know and I can email it to you.)

PDX Confidential, an organization of professionals of color from a range of industries, are marking Portland and Oregon’s official Diversity Economic Empowerment Day (DEED) with “DEED: Setting the Table.” A day of discussions and workshops culminating in a gala masquerade ball. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Portland Hilton & Executive Tower, 921 S.W. Sixth Ave.
“DEED has been proclaimed an official day by the city of Portland … to celebrate the city and the state’s commitment to diversity,” said Cyreena Boston of PDX Confidential. “Not necessarily diversity in straight demographic terms, but diversity and how it has become an asset and a resource for our state.”
Boston added that Oregon is earning a reputation as a model in terms of diversity in hiring and contracting. The TriMet Interstate MAX project, for example, in addition to finishing ahead of schedule and under budget, set a standard for contracting with women- and minority-owned businesses that is being emulated around the country.
She also cited Mayor Tom Potter’s visionPDX project, which paints an inclusive picture of Portland’s future, and the personnel choices of Gov. Ted Kulongoski — who has hired and appointed people of color to a number of high-ranking positions — as further examples of this trend.
“Oregon is setting a nationwide example, despite being a state with a large mainstream White population and a very small population of communities of color, for valuing the diversity it has,” Boston said.

Another quote of interest from Cyreena Boston via the Skanner:
“But with more young professionals of color gravitating toward our state — either because there’s companies here that bring them, or because of the affordable lifestyle here — the White mainstream is realizing that they have to meet this new need.”[my emphasis]

Uh that would be us. We have to meet this "new" (nice way of putting it) NEED! What the heck is she talking about? Well, hurry up and find out already. White friends we are actually the minority on the globe. This is another, yet one more CHANCE, to notice our white privilege. Acknowledge it. And if you don't know about it yet, going over to Tim Wise dot org would be a great way to start. He's way more prolific and articulate than I've ever been. He has tons of actual facts and statistics to back himself with. Unlike me who simply screams at you alternating with giving you hugs and reassurance that you're good.

So, September 12. It sounds like the professionals of color like Cyreena are still willing to educate you themselves if needs be. But if you go, please don't be a doo doo butthead*. Thanks.

For more information on DEED, or to register, call Tiffany Brandreth, 503-797-7663.

*not being a doo doo butthead means at the precise moment you feel you *must* say something or ask some *important* question, DON'T! Let it pass. Or lean into your fellow white ally and bite their leather belt buckle. Anything but speak. Just shut up. You're allowed to clap and smile and look people in the eyes in a very pleased relaxed way--continuously. But that is all. Lesson One. (LOL I just love this work.)


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