Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

It’s May and that means it’s officially Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)!  Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is an annual celebration and recognition of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans and their achievements and contributions throughout U.S. history and to the present day. This year a local organization, Asianati, has put together an entire month of programming that celebrates Asian food, culture, and history. Most of the events are free, and many are family-friendly. So take the opportunity to treasure our local restaurants, create works of art, and learn. Click HERE to see a complete list of events. ~Sarah …

Let us work together, deepening our understanding of racism and creating relational transformations

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is tied up with mine, then let us work together.”   ~Lilla Watson Much of the work that the Diversity + Community Engagement Committee has been doing this year has been about deepening – rather than spreading and doing. We have remained in the relational realm. Last week, Sarah Corlett shared powerful resources with us. One was an interview by Brené Brown with Aiko Bethea. A phrase from that interview really stuck with me: “Anti-racism work is never transactional. If we …

Relying on defaults means we miss seeing who someone actually is! Diversity and Community Engagement Post

I hope you all enjoyed last night’s Community Conversation, and many thanks to Sarah Corlett and Gina Sabato for all their hard work in organizing the event. Although I wasn’t able to attend, I did watch Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo’s TED Talk video and want to share some of my thoughts. A couple of weeks ago, Allie wrote about the process of “unlearning,” and I think for many of us in America, developing racial literacy—of both the head and heart varieties—requires a kind of “unlearning.” For me, this process is about overriding my defaults. Our brains are notoriously lazy and want to make …

Deliberate, conscious, rational thought is the key to overriding our defaults. Diversity and Community Engagement Post

Last week, we explored how our brains use mental models (or “defaults”) as shortcuts. This week, we are going to look at how we can get out from under these defaults. Deliberate, conscious, rational thought is the key to overriding our defaults. The problem is that only 2% of our thinking is actually deliberate, conscious, rational thought. TWO PERCENT. The other 98% of our thinking is “default” thinking: it’s fast, unconscious and driven by emotion, instinct, and stereotypes. Why do our brains rely so much on this “default thinking”? Because deliberate, conscious, rational thought is the most glucose-intensive function in …

How are we raising anti-racist children and preparing the next generation to be justice advocates and changemakers?

 When I’ve invited these conversations with caregivers and educators in my life, diversifying the bookshelf and other media consumption for our children is certainly the number one answer, and is undoubtedly important. Specifically for those less practiced at talking about race, this question leads to more questions and even some fear. What do age-appropriate conversations about race and systemic racism look like for my child? What if I say the wrong thing? In the last week, I’ve listened to this insightful interview with Aiko Bethea (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion expert) and Brené Brown (researcher) on Inclusivity at work: The Head …

Curiosity and Belonging – Essay from the Diversity and Community Engagement Committee Corner

Essay written by: TNSM parent and DCE committee member, Claudia López   When I used to be at Miami University, the Center for American and World Cultures, of which I was part, had a Diversity Calendar maintained by yours truly. I visited the Center’s site and couldn’t find anything. It might still exist. I don’t know if I had to dig a bit more deeply. A fast Google search gave me as first result – this calendar –hosted by the Truckee Meadows Community College. Certainly, well-ranked. April is Earth month, Autism Awareness Month, Arab-American Heritage Month, Tartan Heritage Month, and Celebrate …

Diversity and Community Engagement Post: Learning More about Racial Literacy and Leading into Women’s History Month

Two weeks ago, we had our TNSM community Zoom conversation around Priya Vulchi’s and Winona Guo’s work. These two women spent their senior year of high school exploring what it means to be racially literate. In searching for a piece to start our conversation, we felt like their framing around racial literacy connects to the philosophy here at TNSM and also offers up opportunities for each of us to deepen our efforts and commitment to building a racially literate community.  If you couldn’t attend, or even if you attended and want to reflect more deeply, here is their TEDTalk and …