World Trust

Neighbors Combat Racial Profiling and Build Community in Oakland, CA

Posted by Valerie Fulton on March 3, 2015
Being neighborly means more than sharing gardening tools and taking in the mail, as World Trust's Outreach Manager, Ginny Berson discovered several years ago when she and her partner moved to a new neighborhood in Oakland, California. Their efforts to address a few specific instances of racial profiling on the listserv have blossomed into unexpected opportunities for community building and transformative learning about systemic racism throughout the neighborhood.

We recently spoke with Ginny to learn more about the grass roots organization, Neighbors for Racial Justice, that has sprung out of her own personal diversity initiative.

It Began with a Simple Observation

"After we moved to this neighborhood three and a half years ago," Ginny says, "my partner noticed a disturbing pattern of posts on the listserv (an email group for residents). These were clear instances of racial profiling, things like 'There is a black man walking through the neighborhood, and we've never seen him before. Just keep an eye out.' Messages to that effect."

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Talk about Race, Responding to a Racist Incident, Diversity Initiative, Community Building, Oakland, Engaging White People in Racial Equity

"Deep Work": How Clinicians are Engaging in an Ongoing Diversity Initiative

Posted by Lisa Abbott on February 19, 2015
We want to share some valuable insight from the Clinical Program Director of the Ann Martin Center in Oakland, California, Laurie Lober, who is working with World Trust facilitator Dia Penning on a year-long diversity initiative with her mostly white staff. Here is what she told us after several months into the process.

The Need for Conversation

The Ann Martin Center is a large organization that provides psychotherapy services, educational support, and parent education to underserved residents in the Oakland area. The Center works directly in the community and at their clinic, hosting lectures, psychotherapy groups, and workshops. The 75-member staff is mostly white, serving clients who are mostly of color.

Clinic Director Lober sited two main reasons for their year-long diversity initiative.

1. Conversations about systemic racism and white privilege were needed to bridge the gap between white staff members' abstract knowledge of institutional racism and the reality of their day-to-day work.

World Trust workshop facilitator Dia Penning, speaking

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Topics: Diversity Workshop, Diversity Initiative, Dia Penning, Social Work, Oakland, Psychologists