Dismantling Racism: a community forum for Southeast Seattle
A monthly forum on racism. The events will start with a presentation followed by a moderated community discussion. This is a partnership between RVHS, SEEDArts, and the South Seattle Emerald.
In March of 2015 we hosted a Humanities Washington speakers forum event with Eva Abram entitled, “Defeating Racism Today: what does it take?,” which was attended by about 50 people, most of whom expressed interest at the end of the event in further community discussions about racism. In response to that call, we have partnered with Southeast Effective Development (SEED) and Marcus Green of South Seattle Emerald to create a monthly series of presentations/discussions on racism.
Our goal is to share some of the history of racism in the Seattle area - with special focus on Southeast Seattle - and to provide a platform for working to recognize, acknowledge, and dismantle the systemic racism that continues to have profound impact on people’s lives. We recognize the need to increase awareness of how racism has shaped the demographics of Seattle, and how racism has touched the personal lives of people within our area, topics which fit within our mission as a historical organization. Additionally, as a part of the city with a much higher concentration of people of color, Southeast Seattle is still an area where issues of racism have more impact than in other areas of Seattle, and racism can be discussed at a more personal level than it can in some other areas of Seattle. We want to reflect what has been and continues to be important to the people within Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill, while also recognizing the broader issues of racism at the city, state, and national level.
The format of the Dismantling Racism forum will be a combination of information sharing and discussion. Each event will start with a lecture or presentation by an individual or representative of an organization. This will be followed by a group discussion, with participation among everyone in attendance encouraged. We found at our March event that people had a lot to say, and they were eager to share their experiences, concerns, and perspectives.
Most of the presenters at these events will be people of color because we are looking to present the voices of people who see issues of racism from the side of lived experience. Additionally, most of the thought-leaders in the racial justice movement at the local level are people of color, for obvious reasons. That said, we actively encourage the involvement and participation of people of any ethnic identity.
Racism is top of mind for many people right now, and we want to create space offline where learning and dialog can take place. There is no cost to attend.
The next event:
March 14th, 2017
Screening of Ava DuVernay's Documentary Film "13th"
7:00pm - 9:00pm