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COMMUNITY ANTI-RACISM EDUCATION INITIATIVE

Wall of History

Saigo Commission:

SCSU President Roy Saigo

SCSU President Roy Saigo watched as he was introduced to give a commencement speech about a new multicultural vision. His speech outlined goals for the Community Anti-racism Education (CARE) Leadership Team. Plans for the team include a three phase anti-racism program. Media Credit: Kim Bucholz

SCSU University Chronicle, Regina Eckes, 2/26/2004.
SCSU President Roy Saigo gave the Community Anti-Racism Education (CARE) leadership team its official mandate to work for the university and community during a special commissioning ceremony Wednesday afternoon in Kiehle Hall.

Saigo said he was pleased that both university and community members were at the ceremony to support the team.

"It's such a wonderful occasion to have a cross-section of the university community as well as the St. Cloud community to be here," he said.

SCSU received a $48,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation to help the university develop a three-phase anti-racism program.

Saigo said CARE will enhance equal opportunities on campus, build a culturally responsive education system and community, create a broader understanding of cultures and address racial discrimination, prejudice and stereotypes.

CARE will also increase the university's engagement in multicultural and anti-racist organizations in the community, Saigo said.

Professor Debra Leigh was the principle investigator for the grant. As part of the leadership team, she said she was excited that it was being commissioned.

"I can't tell you how excited I am about this day when we are actually to the place now at St. Cloud State where we are commissioning our leadership team," Leigh said. "I am so excited about the work we are getting ready to embark on."

Leigh said she began working on the project several years ago when she was assigned to the Multicultural Issues Committee.

While attending meetings, Leigh said she learned how other universities were dealing with anti-racism issues. She said she believed SCSU need to do the same.

"I started working to bring St. Cloud State an anti-racism program that would be lasting, something we could build on and to begin to change the identity of the university," Leigh said.

The first phase of the project involved establishing a task force that will commit to the project for at least two years. The 30 member team consists of people from the community and university, including professor Tamarat Tademe, Interim Director of Jewish Studies Joseph Edelheit, Provost for Academic Affairs Michael Spitzer and Director of Marketing and Communications Lisa Helmin Foss.

Saigo said he is thankful that people in the community are willing to give their own comfort, energy and security to carry the important issues of society to the next level.

Now that the CARE program has established a leadership team, the next step will require the team to analyze institutional and cultural racism in the community and university.

After observing and gathering information, the team will formulate a plan for training faculty and staff on how to deal with racism.

The Tri-County Coordinating/Minnesota Anti-Racism Collaborative Initiative will provide the facilitation and training for the program. Leigh said CARE has already brought orientations to campus to educate professors, President Saigo and his cabinet.

CARE will also come up with ways to implement anti-racism education into the educational system.

The third phase, scheduled to begin in September, will deal with the actual implementation of skills in the educational system that combat racism. Saigo said addressing racism at a systematic level will help create positive anti-racist behavior in individual lives.

"We have to remind ourselves that this becomes a part of our daily life and becomes part of our habits, rather than something we remember to do," Saigo said.

Saigo said the CARE program and its leadership team are important steps toward creating a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. SCSU has made progress over the years and it is important to stop and celebrate successes, Saigo said.

However, Saigo still emphasized that the CARE program is not the last step in attaining equality and respect in the community.

"From the very beginning of freeing slaves, to having votes as women, and not being incarcerated even when you are an American citizen during WWII, to being accepted as full human beings regardless of your sexual orientation," Saigo said, "there's always work to be done."

 

Wall of History of Racism and Resistance to Racism

Dates-People-Events-Places – American Indians / African Americans / Latinos / Asian Americans

Section 1 – 1492-1865 (colonization, genocide of indigenous peoples, slavery, establishing U.S. society & nation)

LOCAL
Racism
Resistance

MINNESOTA

Racism
"Largest mass hanging in United States history" 38 Santee "Sioux" Indian men Mankato, Minnesota, Dec. 16, 1862, 303 Indian males were set to be hanged.

What brought about the hanging of 38 Sioux Indians in Minnesota December 26, 1862 was the failure "again" of the U.S. Government to honor it's treaties with Indian Nations. Indians were not given the money or food set forth to them for signing a treaty to turn over more than a million acres of their land and be forced to live on a reservation.

Resistance

NATIONAL
Racism
Dred Scott Decision: In March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The court also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, thus permiting slavery in all of the country's territories.

Resistance
Abolitionists were incensed. Although disappointed, Frederick Douglass, found a bright side to the decision and announced, "my hopes were never brighter than now." For Douglass, the decision would bring slavery to the attention of the nation and was a step toward slavery's ultimate destruction.

African American men rushed to enlist. This time they were accepted into all-black units. The first of these was the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Colored Regiment, led by white officer Robert Gould Shaw. Their heroism in combat put to rest worries over the willingness of black soldiers to fight. Soon other regiments were being formed, and in May 1863 the War Department established the Bureau of Colored Troops.

Black recruiters, many of them abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet, and Mary Ann Shadd Cary, brought in troops from throughout the North. Douglass proclaimed, "I urge you to fly to arms and smite with death the power that would bury the government and your liberty in the same hopeless grave." Others, such as Harriet Tubman, recruited in the South. On March 6, 1863, the Secretary of War was informed that "seven hundred and fifty blacks who were waiting for an opportunity to join the Union Army had been rescued from slavery under the leadership of Harriet Ross Tubman...." By the end of the war more than 186,000 black soldiers had joined the Union army; 93,000 from the Confederate states, 40,000 from the border slave states, and 53,000 from the free states.

Section 2 – 1866-1953 (American Apartheid, post-slavery to the civil rights movement)

LOCAL (campus-community)
Racism
Resistance

MINNESOTA

Racism
Resistance
NATIONAL

Racism

TULSA , Oklahoma (CNN) -- Hundreds of people, both black and white, attended an emotional "assembly of repentance" Monday, in a bare lot where Tulsa's thriving black business district once proudly stood.

The event was to mark the 77th anniversary of one of the nation's worst race riots, which occurred on June 1, 1921. The riot broke out when mobs called for the lynching of a black man accused of attacking a white elevator operator. When the smoke lifted the next day, the Greenwood district lay in ruins and dozens lay dead. The death toll was put as high as 300.

Resistance

Section 3 – 1954-1972 (social movement time; end of official apartheid, resistance took center stage)

LOCAL (campus-community)
Racism
Resistance

MINNESOTA

Racism
Resistance
NATIONAL

Racism


Resistance
In May 1968, some 3,000 workers walked out of Dodge Main in Hamtramck in a wildcat strike. At Dodge Main, 85 percent of the workers were Black, but only 2 percent of the foremen and shop stewards were Black, an indication of racist promotion policies shared by the company and the union. In due course, Dodge workers would assert: "UAW means 'You Ain't White.'" The year before had seen the Great Rebellion [the urban rebellion in Detroit in 1967.]. Now, the issues of the Great Rebellion were being expressed on the factory floor.

Section 4 – 1973-Present (post-movement time; backlash; recent events)

LOCAL (campus-community)

Racism
St. Cloud has a population of 60,000 plus and 6 percent minority representation -- including a gain from 1.7 percent to 2.2 percent for black residents. Former Police Chief Dennis O'Keefe stated in 2001 that minorities represent about "90 percent of all arrestees."

Thursday, September 25, 2003. Minnesota law enforcement officials stop black, Latino and American Indian drivers at a much higher rate than their white counterparts, according to a study.

13 October, 2004 SAUK RAPIDS -- Sauk Rapids police are looking for the person who spray-painted a racial epithet on a home where the Sauk Rapids girls' high school basketball coach was staying. The message, painted in white on the back of Travis Brown's girlfriend's home, was discovered Saturday. It's the second time the home has been defaced with slurs in three weeks, police Chief Curt Gullickson said.

It also marks the most number of hate crimes in recent years in Sauk Rapids.

Resistance

MINNESOTA

Racism
Nixon was the first U.S. President to declare a "War on Drugs." He identified drugs as a major source of crime in America. However, it was Ronald Reagan, another Republican, who singed into law the Anti Drug Abuse Act of 1986. This law mandated harsher penalties for drug possession and trafficking. The idea of "getting tough on crime" was part and parcel of this package. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 1985 there were 76,678 Blacks incarcerated in state and federal prisons. By 1995, the number was 170,800. According to Human Rights Watch, an international organization that monitors the social patterns of governments, "Nationwide, the rate of drug admission to state prison for Black men is 13 times greater than the rate for White men. In 10 states, Black men are sent to state prison at a rate of 26 to 57 times greater than White men." The report goes on to say, "Drug offenses accounted for 38 percent of all Black admissions."

According to the Minnesota Supreme Task Force on Racial Bias in the Judicial System, published in May, 1993, "The decade of the '80s saw a pronounced shift in law enforcement philosophy and tactics toward arresting users rather than focusing primarily on dealers as a part of the 'war on drugs.' In Minnesota, the number of arrests of African Americans for narcotics crimes rose 500 percent between 1981 and 1990, almost 17 times as fast as the rise in the arrests of Whites."

Resistance
NATIONAL
Racism
Resistance

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