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Accountability, Spirituality, and Living in the Tension

By |March 26th, 2017|

Are you a member of a liberal or progressive spiritual/religious organization invested in social justice?
Does the organization struggle when it comes to living out principles of racial justice?
Do you feel conflicted and/or confused when called to be accountable to people of color?

If you answered “yes” to at least two of the questions above, you […]

10 Strategies to Stay Engaged in Race Conversations

By |October 29th, 2016|

As we approach the holiday season, I thought it might be worthwhile to offer an excerpt from Living in the Tension (Chapter 2) that provides a set of 10 approaches that might be useful when trying to remain present and open during critical conversations about race that challenge one’s self-concept. My hope is that you’ll […]

Cross-race friendships are great, but they will not solve the problem.

By |June 25th, 2016|

What follows is an incomplete version of a speech I delivered at the Rochester YWCA – Person 2 Person Graduation Dinner on June 21, 2016. I am posting it because a number of people asked me for the full transcript following the event. Note: Much was added extemporaneously (probably the best parts). I have attempted […]

The Mandate of Living a Spiritual Life: Work to End Surplus Suffering

By |May 16th, 2016|

While at a family gathering nearly two decades ago, I challenged a conversation between my father and a family friend, both white men in their late 40’s. That evening, these men spoke of their common wish to retire to Mexico, where life would be considerably cheaper. I initially sat in stunned silence, having just recently […]

White People, Racial Fear, and Microaggressions

By |November 18th, 2015|

Successful activist efforts by students of color have occurred as students at hundreds of campuses across the nation advocate for change. See stories from the University of Missouri, Claremont McKenna, Occidental College, Dartmouth, and Yale, just to name a few.

In the midst of these empowering actions, media outlets have also been covering a debate about […]

A Love Letter to a White Anti-Racist

By |October 16th, 2015|

I recently attended a presentation by Chris Crass, a powerful speaker, activist, and community organizer. I have followed his work for over a decade and we agree on issues (privilege, structural racism, community building, organizing white people, etc.), so I figured I knew exactly what to expect. In the final minutes of his speech, though, […]

The Stench of Privilege

By |September 12th, 2015|

We’ve got another heat wave on our hands in Los Angeles, one that brought the stink of privilege to my awareness.

The other night as I was sitting in direct aim of a standing fan, trying to keep cool, I found myself sniffing around me and wondering, what is that smell? Was it my dog? Nope, […]

3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, and a Personal Realization

By |August 17th, 2015|

The documentary 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets is important. The film opened in Los Angeles this summer, is headed for a national release sometime soon, and it has been reported that HBO will air it this fall. My recommendation is that you find out when and where you can watch this film.

Headed toward the theater, […]

Why I didn’t choose spiritual initiation over racial awareness

By |July 9th, 2015|

A friend sent me a link the other day to an article about Patrisse Marie Cullors-Brignac, recently named one of the nation’s top civil rights leaders by Los Angeles Times, a NAACP History Maker in 2015, and one of the three founders of #BlackLivesMatter. The article describes the role that spirituality plays in Patrisse’s approach […]

Resource – White Liberals Have White Privilege Too!, by Alex Jung

By |July 2nd, 2015|

It’s not like this is new…but I think this blog post (link below) could be a good resource for those of us who are trying to figure out how to talk to our white, liberal friends about race. The 10 misunderstandings described here are all too frequent, and the more we can get our minds […]