Thursday, February 18, 2016

January Events

The January Founder's Donation Event was in Berwick.
We raised: $75
Number of participants: 5
Total average donation per person:$15
Thank you donors!

Had a great event at the Berwick Brewery at the end of January. If you haven't visited Berwick lately, visiting the Brewery is a great reason to take a trip up the river.

Berwick is close to our larger cities that have seen significant changes in Hispanic residents. While cities with growing diversity, like Sunbury, need more English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers in the schools, Berwick has already gone through a generation of ESL for Hispanic residents many Hispanic residents speak English.

Berwick is close to Mountain Top, where the KKK recently held a cross burning and recruitment efforts.

It is important to understand why people join hate goups (though the leader of the KKK in Mountain Top said, "we are not a hate group"). Most people who join hate groups have been abused or feel marginalized in the community.

Hate groups have increased since the election of our first black President. In 2015 hate groups rose 14%, attributed heavily to hate speech from high profile political leaders.

At this time of transition in our country, the importance positive modeling from leaders, cannot be understated.

Diversity is not new to our area, or our country. As new diverse populations merge, we are in our own time of refining our character as communities, and as a Nation, built on mutual respect, equality and justice.

Our communities histories in Central PA, hold our grandparent's struggle with diversity of populations (Italian, German, Polish etc.) Historical experiences have left marks of tension, but also, evidence that the American spirit and power of community can overcome our differences for the sake of the common good.

I was very inspired by the group gathered at the Berwick Brewery, and leaders of our region in general, who are open and willing to solve problems of racism in our communities.

Two challenges I continue to face are the cost of the training ($12-18,000 for up to 40 participants), and the notion of 'focusing on a larger picture of LGBT, race and gender issues.'

I think it is clear in our national conversation, in local instances of racism in the news, and in institutional disparity statistics, that racism is a timely and urgent place to start addressing inequity in our communities.

Join me in raising money for the the Inequity Analysis Fund, housed in the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation. The fund provides money for leaders to take Undoing Racism(R) training from The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Undoing Racism(R) has impressive outcomes in changing community leaders understanding of what racism is, where it came from and how we can 'undo it.' The majority of participants come out of the workshop with a better understanding of how to address inequities in their community, and actually take action to make change.

Central PA is a key region to take the lead on building healthy, equitable, multi-cultural communities. Our proximity to major cities, good quality of life, and cheaper housing is driving more diverse populations to our communities.

Diversity, in turn, is a driving force in innovation and attracting new businesses.

Undoing Racism(R) training is a tool our community professionals regional leaders can use to build a better tomorrow for Pennsylvania, and beyond!

Join us! Click here to learn what you can do!