Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Events in Shamokin

April and May Events in Shamokin

Shamokin Informational Meeting on Undoing Racism(R) 
#Participants- 3

This was not a fundraiser, but a free session, as Shamokin has a remarkable building on Arch street that houses most social service organizations, as well as the courthouse. The Community Action Agency facilitated the use of a conference room in the building free of charge.

One main point of this meeting was the effect that negative racial attitudes have on policemen.

Police are the last community authorities to face a failed youth, or community member. As black and Hispanic residents are more likely to be failed by community institutions (including schools, social service agencies, and employers), police are disproportionately dealing with black and Hispanic members of the community in desperate conditions.

Police cannot serve as social service workers, as they are already overwhelmed with basic police duties keeping our communities safe.

Another point brought up was, should we even be talking about race? Doesn't talking about it make it worse?

I argue, no. Our nation is having a conversation about race, and our local leaders need to be able to talk about the issue, and guide our communities through the discussion on a local level. The need is made more salient by the changing demographics in our region, and recent instances of racism in the local news.

Meet-up at Starbucks
0 attended

'The Challenges and Assets of Multi-Cultural Communities' -- a recent talk at the Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce

About 20 attended. Read The Item article about it here.

Shamokin is a historical, and cultural hub for our region.

The coal, rail, and entertainment industries flourished in Shamokin in its hayday, bringing a multi-cultural mix of residents, and high profile arts performances to our area.

As mostly 'white' communities, we often overlook our multi-cultural past, and the diversity within our 'white' populations.

Shamokin used to be separated by religions, and ethnicities, but looking back, those divisions seem silly. It is interesting to look at our new changing demographics in this light.

The US is inherently multi-cultural, and that has been a great strength to our nation, as it can be to our communities now, and in the future.

Most of our areas have seen brain drain -- an outflow of younger residents. This outflow has been replaced over the past decades with an increase in non-white community members. This can be an asset, or a liability.

Hispanics and black women are the largest, and fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, respectively. Also, a healthy, multi-cultural environment is a key factor for business investment. A multi-cultural citizenry increases civic engagement, increases innovation, and increases business profits. But, none of this can happen if communities are hampered by racism. This is another reason why we need our community leaders to be able to engage in conversations about racism -- what it is, where it comes from, and how to 'undo' it.

Join me in raising money to provide Undoing Racism(R) training for our community leaders by donating here