In response to the killing of George Floyd, ACS President Luis Echegoyen has issued a statement reaffirming ACS’ core value of diversity, inclusion, and respect, and has announced specific actions taken by national ACS in furtherance of those goals.
The Saint Louis Local Section endorses and embraces those goals. Our own commitment to action begins with the following series of podcast listening and discussion sessions on locally focused topics of race and racism.
“Let’s Talk Race and Racism” Podcast Listening Discussions
The Committee on Minority Affairs (CMA) launches its podcast/discussion series “Let’s Talk Race and Racism”, engaging members and the broader St. Louis community in fostering togetherness, developing shared language, and building comfort and courage to better discuss race and racism.
We are hoping to help people understand how to take personal action to build their own race consciousness and to move toward a more diverse and inclusive Local Section in response to many national conversations such as #BlackoutSTEM and in response to the cries for justice over the loss of unarmed Black lives.
On the third Tuesday of each month, September through January, we will listen to a podcast on an issue of race and racism. We ask all members of the community to come prepared to listen, learn, engage, be uncomfortable and possibly abandon their own ideas for new ones as they hear vulnerable conversation from primarily people of color.
Register here for one, several, or all of the events in this series. You will receive a Zoom invite for the events you select.
Part 1: Tuesday, September 15th, 6:30–8:00 pm
We will be launching our first listening session with an episode of the Speaking of Racism podcast hosted by Tina Strawn and Jen Kinny. Tina Strawn is an anti-racism educator, advocate, and activist. Jen Kinney is a writer, podcaster, and activist.
The purpose of their podcast is to have honest discussion about race and racism. The theme of this listening session will be race during the Obama era.
Part 2: Tuesday, October 20th, 6:30–8:00 pm
This month we will listen to an episode from the What Next podcast with Mary Harris. Mary has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things, when the news feels overwhelming. This month’s theme will be the accuracy of American history and how we create American traditions that fail to account for racial trauma and pain.
Part 3: Tuesday, November 17th, 6:30–8:00 pm
This month we will be listening to a podcast episode of Unlocking Us by Sociologist Brené Brown. Dr Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené states “I’ve spent over 20 years studying the emotions and experiences that bring meaning and purpose to our lives, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: We are hardwired for connection, and connecting requires courage, vulnerability, and conversation.” The episode centers around Kendi X. Ibram, the best-selling author of the book “How to Be an Antiracist,” and his definition of “antiracist”.
Part 4: Tuesday, December 15th, 6:30–8:00 pm
In early 2015, the St. Louis region was reeling from the killing of Michael Brown, shot dead by a Ferguson police officer. The St. Louis Public Radio newsroom, like other local media outlets, covered the story. But the news organization decided it needed to do more. They tasked two people — reporters Tim Lloyd and Emanuele Berry — to design a project that would examine race in St. Louis. The result was the We Live Here podcast. This month’s theme will be COVID-19 xenophobia as we listen to Asian-American persons from our community talk about the racism they faced at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part 5: Tuesday, January 19th, 6:30–8:00 pm
This month we will return to the We Live Here podcast, born in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting in 2015 and hosted by two St Louis Public Radio reporters, Tim Lloyd and Emanuele Berry.
This time, the theme is how St. Louis came to be as segregated as it is today. Addressing the myth of de facto segregation, this episode will help unpack the policies and laws that left us “divided by design”.
EDIT: This post has been edited to show the revised session dates. The start of the series has been moved to the third Tuesday in September to provide better advance notice of this important program. You haven’t missed anything yet.