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.

Midwest Activists Show Solidarity for Immigrant Families

by Terry Keleher on July 30 2008, 9:00AM

Over the weekend, some 1200 activists from around the Midwest traveled to Postville, Iowa to stand up for the rights of immigrant families and workers. Like the town of Jena, Louisiana, which became a flashpoint in the debate over…

Topics: Immigration

Black Churches, Labor Activists form Underground Railroad for Indian Guest Workers

by Terry Keleher on March 28 2008, 1:33PM

On a recent visit to New Orleans, I attended a memorable celebration at a neighborhood gymnasium organized by the Alliance of Guestworkers for Dignity, a project of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. As I entered the…


Extending the Teachable Moment of Obama’s Race Speech

by Terry Keleher on March 25 2008, 9:54AM

Senator Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech on racism last week resonated widely (already more than 4 millions views on YouTube) and sparked loads of reaction across the political spectrum. The speech definitely provides us a teachable moment; one…


Activists go to UN to Discuss Racial Discrimination in Chicago

by Terry Keleher on February 22 2008, 12:00PM

A delegation of Chicago activists are in Geneva, Switzerland to demand that the U.N. consider human rights violations in Chicago in light of Mayor Daley’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. The Chicago activists are part of a broader delegation demanding…

Topics: Global Affairs

Gay Rights and Civil Rights

by Terry Keleher on February 19 2008, 9:40AM

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, in a recent keynote address at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, in Detroit, Michigan, stated, “I believe ‘gay rights’ are ‘civil rights.’” As candidates and elected officials continue to use the debate…


Race v. Race

by Terry Keleher on February 5 2008, 9:58AM

Just when you thought the race versus gender feud was the big story in the heated Democratic primary contest, now there’s increasing media hype around the Brown versus Black dynamic. As the primary contests finally move to states where the…


Immigrant Basher Tancredo Won’t Seek Re-Election

by Terry Keleher on October 30 2007, 8:44AM

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) has announced that he will not run for re-election for his congressional seat in suburban Denver. But, his presidential candidacy continues. After repeatedly bashing anyone not white, he still hopes his next job is in…


White Backlash Accompanies Growing Demands for Racial Justice

by Terry Keleher on October 19 2007, 7:09PM

I’ve often heard and believed the line “racism is as real as ever—it’s just grown more invisible and subtle.” But anyone following tnews lately – or the reaction in the blogosphere – would be hard pressed to make a credible…


Bill Cosby’s Back Blaming Blacks in New Book

by Terry Keleher on October 16 2007, 6:59AM

Bill’s back and still on the attack. Better brace yourselves. Cosby’s new book, titled Come on, People! On the Path from Victims to Victors, co-written with Alvin Poussaint, is being released this week by Christian publisher Thomas Nelson Inc….


Fox: Racism Dictating U.S. Policies

by Terry Keleher on October 10 2007, 9:25AM

In an interview with the Associated Press this week, former Mexico President Vincente Fox charged the U.S. with allowing racism to dictate its policies, especially on matters of immigration. “The xenophobics, the racists, those who feel they are a…


Jena Mayor Assails Mellencamp Video

by Terry Keleher on October 8 2007, 8:07AM

A new music video by John Mellencamp, with the refrain, “Jena, take your nooses down,” has elicited a strong rebuke from Jena, Louisiana Mayor Murphy R. McMillan. “The town of Jena has for months been mischaracterized in the media…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Jena Protest Exposes Colorblind Racism

by Terry Keleher on September 24 2007, 10:00AM

Hopefully, the ten thousand-plus protesters in Jena, LA last week helped many more people open their eyes to the continuing realities of structural racism. At the beginning of this school year, when the LaSalle Parish School superintendent authorized the…

Topics: Criminal Justice

Tancredo Says: Stop Post-Katrina Recovery ‘Gravy Train’

by Terry Keleher on September 4 2007, 9:14AM

Longshot GOP presidential candidate Tom Tancredo (R-Col.) called for an end to federal funding for New Orleans recovery efforts and accused the government of runaway spending on Hurricane Katrina. Tancredo said Friday it is ““time the taxpayer gravy train left…

Topics: Katrina

Escaping justice: the American way

by Terry Keleher on July 5 2007, 10:35AM

Amidst all the firecrackers and flag-waving hoopla associated with Independence Day, I found this item from the New York Times News Service that reminds us of another American tradition, the circumvention of laws for racist purposes by our Chief Executive….

Topics: News Items

Racism, Bad for Your Health

by Terry Keleher on May 15 2007, 2:26PM

A new report just released in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health finds a link between the perception of unfairness in medical treatment and fatal coronary heart disease. People who experienced injustice and felt unfairly treated were 55 percent…

Topics: Health

Apologies Stand in Place of Remedies

by Terry Keleher on April 25 2007, 2:05PM

The Alabama House and Senate approved resolutions apologizing for slavery on Tuesday, following similar moves by legislatures in North Carolina earlier this month and Virginia in February. The day before, the state celebrated its official Confederate Memorial Day. Hmmm….

Topics: Politics

English-only Bill Sponsor Accused of Racism

by Terry Keleher on April 10 2007, 1:53PM

(A real sign in Philly restaurant) Testifying before Nevada’s Government Affairs Committee last Friday, critics called an English-only bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Beer, R-La Vegas, a racist proposal. The bill will make English the official language in Nevada….

Topics: Immigration

550 Inmates to be Released from Texas Juvenile Prisons

by Terry Keleher on April 5 2007, 9:49AM This week’s welcome release of Shaquanda Cotton, a 15-year-old Black girl sentenced to seven years in Texas juvenile prison for shoving a hall monitor at her high school, marks an important victory for grassroots and “net-roots” activism, the…

Topics: News Items

Condoms = Contraband, according to law

by Terry Keleher on March 30 2007, 9:11AM

Last week, an Illinois House Committee, by a single vote, rejected an HIV prevention measure (HB 686) that would have allowed condom distribution among the 45,000 inmates in the state’s prisons. Despite an alarming HIV infection rate in prisons…


Happy International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination!!

by Terry Keleher on March 21 2007, 6:15AM

In case you thought Black History Month wasn’t long enough, you’d better not blink. We currently have 24 hours officially dedicated to the fight to eliminate racism. Today marks the worldwide annual observance of the International Day for the Elimination…