World Trust recently shared a story about my family. In the latest ICE raid on Cambodian communities, the Bay Area was targeted. On March 13, 2019, my brother TJ was one of 3 Cambodian refugees from Oakland who was arrested by ICE officers for deportation. Most of the deportation orders were based on convictions that are now decades old. The last two and a half months has been a beautiful display of intergenerational mobilization and action. As a result, two Bay Area men were amongst Governor Newsom’s first pardons. I am happy to say that TJ’s deportation order has also been removed and he is back home with his family. Thank you to everyone who shared our story, signed petitions, and donated so that the impacted families were able to visit and support their detained loved ones. This
fight to keep families together is far from over.
“Based on the preliminary results, the “Circle Keeping” work [led by Yvette Murrell from World Trust] has exceeded our expectations and has allowed us to improve the educational climate of our schools using a sustainable and effective strategy.” Tony Shah, Assistant Superintendent, Liberty Union High School District.
For the past 8 months, World Trust facilitator Tammy Johnson has been working with the faculty and staff of two schools in Northern California. One is K-5, the other K-12. The student population is racially mixed. The faculty is also mixed, but mostly white. When asked about why she wanted to work with World Trust, what she wanted to change, the head of the schools
Intersectional conversations of gender and race are not new, and certainly not unique to this generation. The Way Home and Light in the Shadows are two World Trust films that dive deep into the heart of rooted experiences that elicit difficult conversations on racism, misogyny, and misogynoir.
What is privilege?*
When people hear they belong to a privileged group or benefit from something like "race privilege" or "gender privilege," they don't get it, or they feel angry and defensive about what they do get. Privilege has become one of those loaded words we need to reclaim so that we can use it to name and illuminate the truth.... As Peggy McIntosh describes it, privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they've done or failed to do. ... The existence of privilege doesn't mean I didn't do a good job, of course, or that I don't deserve credit for it. What it does mean is that I'm also getting something that other people are denied... The ease of not being aware of privilege is an aspect of privilege itself, what some call "the luxury of obliviousness." - Allan G. Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Difference. P. 23-25
1. Please identify one or two identity groups, from the list below, in which you have privilege.
2. Reflect on situations listed for your identity. Take a few minutes and jot down your reflections to these questions:
- Reading the example of situations and thinking about my privilege, I felt .........
- How does this kind of privilege show up in my actions (consciously or not) at work, in my community or in other settings?
3. Ask yourself. What might I do to be more aware of my privilege in my daily activities.
- How might your experience as a white person differ from the experience of a person of color in:
- applying for a job?
- passing police on the street?
- preparing your child to go to school for the first time?
- How might your experience as a cis heterosexual person differ from the experience of an LGBTQ person in:
- expressing affection, love and comfort in public?
- preparing to introduce your partner to your family of origin?
- participating in a lunch discussion at work on what you did this weekend?
- How might your experience as a Christian differ from the experience of a Jew, Muslim, or Atheist in:
- testifying in court?
- arranging time off at work to celebrate a religious holiday?
- openly displaying religious symbols without fear of disapproval, violence, or vandalism?
- How might your experience as an able-bodied person differ from the experience of a person with a disability in:
- commuting to work each day?
- negotiating where the annual work dinner is to be held?
- how people interpret an expression of anger or frustration?
- How might your experience as a man differ from the experience of a woman in:
- taking the car to a repair shop?
- walking to your car after the store closed at night?
- reading your performance evaluation in which colleagues describe your performance as aggressive?
- How might your experience as a professional wage earner differ from the experience of someone who is unemployed in:
- responding to school requests for supplies for your children?
- responding to old acquaintances who want to meet up for lunch?
- answering a want ad for a job 60 miles away?
*The content in in this blog post was created in collaboration with The Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD), MP Associates and World Trust Educational Services, funded by The W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
These books challenge the status quo and break boundaries with their very existence. There’s nothing more powerful than a woman of color who writes what’s on her mind. Check out these incredible books that may just change the way you think.