Your presence is needed this Sunday afternoon in Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Santa Monica Committee for Racial Justice has issued this call to action:
Get the latest updates from the CRJ facebook page.Celebrating the Anti-Hate Movement:Linking Arms and Moving Forward
Los Angeles, CA - In light of the intrusion of white supremacist provocateurs at their last two meetings, the Committee for Racial Justice (CRJ) on September 10th will celebrate their anti-racist work and reconnect with their strength and solidarity in the struggle. As the world watched the hate unfurl in Charlottesville, VA, CRJ resolved to stand boldly on the side of resilient love and against divisive hate. The CRJ meeting will be held September 10th at Virginia Avenue Park, Thelma Terry Room, 2200 Virginia Park Avenue, Santa Monica. The meeting will begin at 6:00 pm with a potluck dinner and the workshop will start at 6:30 pm.
Dr. Kim Harris, currently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Theological Studies at LMU, and the Rev. Janet G McKeithen, minister of The Church in Ocean Park will open a space for a thoughtful joyous celebration of the members and work of CRJ. “Dr. Harris will bring songs that kept enslaved people linking arms and moving forward, as we today strengthen our resolve to do the same,” said McKeithen. “CRJ encourages the public to join us as we raise our voices and lift our souls as we move forward together,” she said.
And, as parents and students say goodbye to the summer and begin a new academic year, CRJ will discuss what active anti-racism looks like for parents. Santa Monica Parents for Racial Justice, a group formed in early 2016 to explore "raising racially conscious children" will join CRJ in a discussion about addressing race and racism with children in a meaningful and age-appropriate fashion.
This is part of an ongoing monthly workshop series sponsored by the Committee For Racial Justice.
Co-sponsored by Virginia Ave. Park; the African American Parent, Staff, Student Support Group; and the Church in Ocean Park.
For more information, call 323-272-9413
|This is how the white supremacists introduced themselves at the July meeting of CRJ|
I was interviewed for this Jewish Journal article:
Hateful rhetoric unleashed against Santa Monica community group
By Claudia Bods-Barrett
30 September 2017
A Santa Monica community group focused on addressing racial inequality has been targeted in recent months by increasing numbers of individuals espousing racist and anti-Semetic rhetoric.
The issues began in July, when a workshop titled “White Privilege and What We Can Do About It,” organized by the Santa Monica Committee for Racial Justice, at the Virginia Avenue Park community center was interrupted by five people. Video shows those five — three of whom kept their faces covered with bandanas — making hate-filled comments during the meeting.
A month later, there were about 50 such people, committee organizers said. Video footage compiled by local blogger Clay Claiborne, who attended the event, shows the outsiders arguing with and taunting meeting-goers outside of the community center. Later, they are shown trying to force their way into the meeting and being blocked, first by the attendees and then by police.
“It was scary,” said Claiborne, who said the attendees had to leave the community center through the back door at the end of the event because they felt threatened. “When have I ever left a meeting in Santa Monica and worried about, ‘Is somebody going to tail me?’ or ‘Is somebody going to assault me on the way to the car?’ In Santa Monica!”
The committee’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 10. It will focus on raising racially conscious children.
The Committee for Racial Justice formed six years ago. The Rev. Janet McKeithen, a member of the steering committee, said the group was created by members of the Church in Ocean Park, an interfaith congregation in Santa Monica. Since then, it’s expanded to include community members from outside the church who come from a variety of backgrounds and faiths, she said.
Today, the committee holds monthly workshops at the Virginia Avenue Park community center. Workshops, which typically draw about 50 people, focus on educating the community about racism and devising ways to address it in the education and criminal justice systems, she said.
The city of Santa Monica allows the committee to use the community center free of charge but does not provide any funding. Workshops are open to the public, McKeithen said.
McKeithen said she was shocked when she heard about the recent hate-related incident at the July meeting, which she did not attend. She said the committee has been holding workshops peacefully since it formed and had not faced similar incidents. McKeithen did go to the August meeting, where she said individuals were hurling racist and anti-Jewish slurs and pushing into people to try to aggravate them. More...
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