The Limestone Lens
Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity
May-ntaining Momentum in May
To do that, let's take some time to reflect and acknowledge where we are in the work presently, and spend time thinking about what actions are needed to move forward towards positive change.
"Practicing anti-oppression work in real terms is not only confronting individual examples of bigotry, or confronting societal examples, it is also confronting ourselves and our own roles of power and oppression in our communities and the bigger picture."
As you read through this issue...
Try to see how your role (social identity) is connected to these topics.
What actions and work can you do to help equalize power imbalances in our community?
Let's keep the momentum going!
Guiding Quote: "Every generation has a task...and this is ours"
- Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings
Reflection #1: How Does "Intersectionality" affect "Positionality"?
There are many identities that affect our "positionality". Below is a free PDF to help you explore how various factors of your identity interconnect and affect the lens through which you interact and impact the world around you.
May-ntaining Momentum: After Exploring Your Positionality, Reflect on the Following:
- How does my social identity (including either privilege or oppression) affect how I see and understand the world (your lens)?
- In what ways are my interactions, decisions, and interpretations affecting others?
- How can I minimize how my biases affect my interactions, decisions, and interpretations?
Reflection #2: Are Microaggressions really Micro???
In "How to Be an Antiracist", Ibram X. Kendi said,
"I do not use “microaggression” anymore. I detest the post-racial platform that supported its sudden popularity. I detest its component parts—“ micro” and “aggression.” A persistent daily low hum of racist abuse is not minor. I use the term “abuse” because aggression is not as exacting a term. Abuse accurately describes the action and its effects on people: distress, anger, worry, depression, anxiety, pain, fatigue, and suicide. What other people call racial microaggressions I call racist abuse. And I call the zero-tolerance policies preventing and punishing these abusers what they are: antiracist."
May-ntaining Momentum: After Reflecting on Kendi's Quote, Consider the Power of Names...
Pronouncing names correctly matters.
Here is a podcast exploring the impact of consistently mispronouncing namesakes (3 Min)
Have You Mispronounced Someone's Name? Here's What To Do Next:
"Be humble — admit when you’re having difficulty with a name.
The first step to pronouncing someone’s name correctly is to acknowledge to yourself that you can’t pronounce it. It’s okay if the other person sees you struggling, and it’s okay if you have to ask for help. Usually, they’ll be more than willing to assist. When I see someone struggling to say my name, I help them, so when they finally achieve success, their success is my success, too. We both win.
Be an active bystander.
When you see and hear someone mispronounce another person’s name, take the initiative and correct them. So far, this has just happened once in my entire life, and I’ll never forget it. When a friend corrected somebody else’s mispronunciation of my name, it took the burden off me. Deep down, it made my heart smile.
Don’t ever change someone’s name just because you can’t say it.
Try saying someone’s name, even if you get it wrong. Changing someone’s name is a decision that belongs to that individual, not to you."
Reflection #3: Have You Taken The Time To Listen?
Let's Talk Kingston - A Year in Review
Over the past year, Let's Talk Kingston has engaged in panel discussions with a lens of anti-racism on topics that included some experiences of the BIPOC community, schools, and law.
On April 29th, they brought back panelists from each of the previous conversations. The intent of this discussion was to serve as a touchpoint to see what has shifted from March 2020 to the present.
The panelist for this event included: Robert Rittwage, Ryan Carter, Ekta Singh, Bhavana Varma, Lanie Hurdle, Mona Rahman, Tianna Edwards,Oliver Hill, Suchetan James and Clinton Doxator. The panel was moderated by Aba Mortley and Sunita Gupta.
Here is the link to the panel discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2KbFHe32aQ
Here is the link to Tianna Edward's working list of Black-owned Businesses in Kingston: https://keepupwithkingston.com/2020/06/14/kingstons-black-owned-businesses/
May-ntaining Momentum: What Steps Will Take to Continue Moving Forward in Equitable Change?
The Limestone Lens: Focusing In On Anti-Racism and Equity
As Limestone District School Board employees, we are all a part of this learning journey. If you have ideas about future equity topics or terminology, please contact Rae McDonald.