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.

Lots Going Down in Chi-Town: Obama, Blago, and the Republic Sit-in

by Terry Keleher on December 9 2008, 10:38AM

From his transition office in downtown Chicago, as President-Elect Barack Obama continues to rapidly line up has plans and personnel for his incoming administration, he’s getting a close-up look at a lot of other significant developments going down around…

Topics: Politics

Subprime Lending, Foreclosure and Race

by Terry Keleher on December 4 2008, 2:26PM

What is a subprime loan? Could some people who got subprime loans have gotten prime loans? What happened with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae? If the economic meltdown has your head spinning, help is on the way. Today, the…


World AIDS Day 2008: Still a Ticking Time Bomb

by Terry Keleher on December 1 2008, 12:44PM

As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the HIV rate in many countries continues to soar. According to Reuters, the HIV rate among China’s estimated 200 million migrant workers is a “ticking time bomb.” A few…

Topics: Health

Preventing Unintentional Racial Impacts

by Terry Keleher on November 26 2008, 10:04AM

Originally published by American Forum ILLINOIS EDITORIAL FORUM By Sen. Mattie Hunter and Rep. Arthur Turner Suppose you’re a white person who uses drugs. Now suppose you’re a black person who uses drugs. Think you run the same risk of…

Topics: Politics

Israel boycotts UN racism conference

by Terry Keleher on November 20 2008, 12:31PM

Here we go again. Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced yesterday that Israel will boycott the United Nation’s conference on racism scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland next April. She charged that the conference would be biased against Israel…

Topics: Global Affairs

This Week in Blackness: Obama and Colorblind Delusions

by Terry Keleher on November 19 2008, 9:53AM

Comedian Elon James White of the Brooklyn Comedy Company goes off on those who continue to insist that President-Elect Obama is not Black because he’s half white or because they gotten so steeped in their color-blind delusions. Check out…


Conference Call on Race, Implicit Bias, and the Election

by Terry Keleher on November 3 2008, 8:57AM

UPDATE: Listen to Thursday’s conference call on Race in the Race. Like the “Willie Horton” ad of twenty years ago, the most effective messages that play on racism do it in ways that we mostly do not notice. But it…


Prospect of Black President Incites White Supremacists

by Terry Keleher on October 29 2008, 11:26AM

Earlier this week, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives broke up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree. I’m not one to…


Campaigning for the “Real American”

by Terry Keleher on October 27 2008, 7:23AM

Sometimes I hear people say, “Racism is now more subtle than it used to be.” I’ve come to hate the term “subtle racism.” Racism may be concealed, complex, coded, or cleverly disguised. But it sure ain’t subtle. Not in…


“Gook: John McCain’s Racism and Why It Matters.”

by Terry Keleher on October 21 2008, 8:30AM

In this short 3-1/2 minute video, Racewire contributor and author Irwin Tang discusses his new book, “Gook: John McCain’s Racism and Why It Matters.” Tang looks at the origins of the term and how it has been used to…


Barack and Curtis: Manhood, Love and Respect

by Terry Keleher on October 15 2008, 8:40AM

A provocative new video compares and contrasts models of manhood presented by Barack Obama and 50 Cent. The convergence and complexities of race, gender, sexual orientation, culture and power are all here. How can Black masculinity be redefined and…


The Red Meat of Hate

by Terry Keleher on October 14 2008, 10:54AM

An op-ed by bestselling author Frank Schaeffer entitled “An Open Letter to John McCain,” published in Friday’s Baltimore Sun, has generated considerable buzz. Schaeffer excoriates McCain for “”feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate.”…

Topics: Politics

New Poll Predicts Election Results: Racism by 6 Points

by Terry Keleher on September 22 2008, 10:39AM

A new poll conducted by AP-Yahoo News in conjunction with Stanford University finds that racial prejudice is significant enough to be the deciding factor in the upcoming presidential election. Using the latest polling technologies to measure implicit racial bias,…


White Privilege on the Campaign Trail

by Terry Keleher on September 19 2008, 9:03AM

Anti-racist writer and activist Tim Wise cuts loose on the white privilege of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in his recent essay “This is Your Nation on White Privilege.” In the interest of non-partisanship, I’ll bet an equally scathing…


Dog-Whistle Racism

by Terry Keleher on September 18 2008, 12:28PM

The Center for Social Inclusion has a new project that examines how race figures implicitly in many political discussion. Check out their new site called “Dog-Whistle Racism” which they define as “political campaigning or policy-making that uses coded words…


Another Storm Brewing in Jena, LA

by Terry Keleher on September 4 2008, 6:23AM

Courtesy of Jeff Haller/New York Times Just as news about the shameful saga of the Jena 6 has been waning, there’s a new reason to keep the spotlight on Jena, Louisiana. When the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Katrina

Asylum Rejections Point to Government Bias

by Terry Keleher on August 26 2008, 12:19PM

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times A new report has found that judges chosen using the Bush administration’s conservative political litmus have shown a…you guessed it…conservative pattern in their rulings against asylum seekers. A research group at Syracuse University found…

Topics: Immigration

Chicago Black Leaders Call for School Boycott Draws Fire

by Terry Keleher on August 14 2008, 7:42AM

New battle lines are being drawn as African Americans grow increasingly impatient with funding inequities in Illinois schools. Fifty ministers, lead by Sen. James Meeks who pastors one of the largest churches in the state, have called for a boycott…

Topics: Schools & Youth

Spotlight: Inhumane Immigrant Detention System

by Terry Keleher on August 1 2008, 11:00AM

A new video “A Hidden System” sheds light on the federal government’s failure to uphold due process and human rights for immigrants being held in detention. More than 66 men and women have died in immigrant detention under the…


New Efforts to Address Racism in the Criminal Justice System

by Terry Keleher on July 31 2008, 7:36AM

Earlier this year, Iowa and Connecticut enacted promising laws requiring the preparation of racial impact statements when state legislators are considering new sentencing legislation. Just as environmental impact statements and fiscal assessments are often used to inform policy decisions,…

Topics: Criminal Justice