Terry Keleher

Terry Keleher
Terry Keleher Terry is the Director of the Midwest Office of the Applied Research Center and Program Director of the Racial Justice Leadership Action Network. He provides racial justice training, consulting and presentations to organizations around the country. He has over twenty-five years of experience in community organizing, leadership development, curriculum design, popular education, research and strategic coaching. He coordinated the national ERASE Initiative (Expose Racism and Advance School Excellence) and has authored several reports on race and equity issues, including Facing the Consequences: An Examination of Racial Discrimination in U.S. Public Schools, and Justice by the People: Community Safety and Police Accountability. He is a member of the Illinois Editorial Forum and has served on the Readers Bureau of the Chicago Reporter. He is also a contributing writer to RaceWire, the ColorLines magazine blog focused on race and politics. He was a founding steering committee member of the National Organizers Alliance. He has testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the California Senate, and was a national recipient of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition’s Push for Excellence in Education Award.

Show them the door: Arpaio and 287(g)

by Terry Keleher on October 12 2009, 3:25PM

In the wake of last week’s actions by the Department of Homeland Security to limit Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s ability to enforce federal immigration laws—and Arpaio’s open defiance—today’s New York Times raises the right questions in its editorial “Wrong…

Topics: Immigration

Another Take on Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

by Terry Keleher on October 9 2009, 1:32PM

Sometimes, I can be of two minds on the same subject, such as President Obama’s receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize. On one hand, I can identify with the criticism and cynicism that the so-called leader of the free world…

Topics: Politics

Anti-Immigrant Network Invades Nation’s Capitol

by Terry Keleher on September 14 2009, 10:10AM

The New York Times ran an editorial last week that observed: “Illegal immigration is an all-purpose policy explosive. Toss it into any debate and, boom, discussion stops because you’ve got people afraid that benefits or services might be going…

Topics: Immigration

By The Numbers: Katrina Families Still Wait For Justice

by Terry Keleher on September 1 2009, 10:35AM

In observance of the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Bill Quigley at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Davida Finger, a professor at Loyola University New Orleans, have compiled the “Katrina Pain Index – 2009.” Here’s just a sample…

Topics: Katrina

Secretary Duncan’s Proposed School Restructuring Smacks of Dressed-up Discrimination [VIDEO]

by Terry Keleher on July 15 2009, 9:31AM

Borrowing from his playbook at the Chicago Public Schools, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to go national with his school “turnaround” model, First, you fire the entire staff—from teachers to kitchen workers and janitors—at neighborhood schools, typically in…

Topics: Schools & Youth

New Minnesota Energy Program: a Model for Equitable Job Creation

by Terry Keleher on June 24 2009, 1:28PM

photo credit: Apollo Alliance A new energy programs law recently enacted in Minnesota offers a model worth noting for those interested in incorporating equity and sustainability into public policy. The new legislation invests public funds to prepare low-income Minnesotans…


5 Reasons Why Only White Males are Supreme Court Material

by Terry Keleher on June 4 2009, 12:12PM

(cartoon via) This talking points memo must have landed in the wrong inbox… TO: All red-blooded God-fearing Americans RE: 5 reasons why white men are more fit for the Supreme Court than that Latina woman • White men are…


More White Washing in the Film Industry

by Terry Keleher on May 25 2009, 7:54AM

Here we go again. Seems like too many producers and casting directors still don’t seem to get it, despite repeated public outcries about the exclusion of people of color in films. Julianne Henry, an Illustration major at UMASS Dartmouth, has…


Goodbye, Abstinence-Only [VIDEO]

by Terry Keleher on May 9 2009, 10:38AM

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy President Obama has just cut all federal funding for failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in his proposed 2010 budget. The $100 million program from the George W. Bush era is…

Topics: Politics

Take Action to End Racial Disparities in Drug Sentencing

by Terry Keleher on April 23 2009, 1:36PM

cartoon: Khalil Bendib Today is National Call-In Day in a month-long “Crack the Disparity” campaign to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder campaign. The Sentencing Project is mobilizing thousands of people across the country to phone their…

Topics: Criminal Justice

The Pope’s Condom Condemnation

by Terry Keleher on March 18 2009, 6:00AM

photo credit: AP It’s one thing for Pope Benedict XVI to have a religious and moral position against condoms. But it’s a whole other thing to assert, as he did yesterday, that the distribution of condoms to prevent the…

Topics: Health

Racial Equity Impact Assessments for Economic Policies and Budgets

by Terry Keleher on February 3 2009, 1:06PM

Click here to get your Stimulus Toolkit from our Race and Economy Forum call Download file Description: Economic policies and public spending and revenue decisions have enormous impacts—positive and negative—on different racial and ethnic groups. A Racial Equity Impact Assessment…


Help Make Sure the Economic Stimulus Package Benefits Everyone

by Terry Keleher on February 3 2009, 11:15AM

As the U.S. Senate deliberates on the federal stimulus package, there’s still time to help make sure that the benefits reach everyone. Low-income communities of color have been hardest hit by the sub-prime predatory lending crisis, high unemployment, under-funded…


Dr. King’s Dream Doesn’t have a Finish Line

by Terry Keleher on January 22 2009, 2:03PM

“Why I’m Happy, Why I’m not Satisfied” is the latest commentary by Jay Smooth, hip-hop video blog host at ill Doctrine, who shares his take on having a Black president. “When you hear people say ‘we’re not in the…

Topics: Video & Multimedia

Time to Take Action towards Humane and Sane Immigration Policies

by Terry Keleher on January 22 2009, 1:47PM

On January 27, the National Network of Immigrant and Refugee Rights will be releasing an “Open Letter to President Barack Obama” to establish a new framework for addressing immigration policy. You can help by circulating it to your friends and…

Topics: Immigration

Akonadi Foundation Launches Oscar Grant Peace and Racial Justice Fund

by Terry Keleher on January 19 2009, 1:32PM

The Oakland, California based Akonadi Foundation has launched the Oscar Grant Peace and Racial Justice Fund to support the community organizing, advocacy, and cultural work taking place in response to the killing of Grant, a young Black man who…


Ten OTHER Things Martin Luther King Said

by Terry Keleher on January 19 2009, 12:09AM

Around this time of year, the mainstream media highlights the same 2-3 MLK clips. Last MLK Day, Jay Smooth compiled some of his favorite MLK quotes to illustrate “there was much more to the man.” All still timely….

Topics: Video & Multimedia

Blacks Condemn Israeli Attacks in Gaza

by Terry Keleher on January 13 2009, 7:26AM

Thousands of demonstrators marched to the South African Parliament to protest against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. Photo: Jonathan Carter Cross-racial solidarity efforts are afoot, both locally and internationally, to condemn Israel’s continuing military attacks on the people…

Topics: Global Affairs

New Study Finds Race Not Deciding Factor on Prop. 8 same-sex marriage ban

by Terry Keleher on January 8 2009, 9:12AM

A new study released this week finds that neither African Americans nor any other ethnicity were disproportionately in support of Proposition 8, which amended California’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Some of the key findings of the study, co-authored by…


Saddleback or Brokeback?

by Terry Keleher on December 19 2008, 9:19AM

President-elect Obama’s choice of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation is sure to mar what ought to be a unifying moment for our country. I’m reminded of Warren’s heterosexist and ahistoric analysis when I viewed the above…