You’ll notice a new Facing Race 2010 item in our hot topics list in the site header. Click through there for lots of info on the big gathering of racial justice activists, thinkers and media makers that our publisher, the Applied Research Center, will convene in Chicago next week. We’re eager to bring the ColorLines community into the event, too, so check the Facing Race 2010 page next week for video and blogging from Chicago. It’s also not too late to register and join the fun. Here’s an invite from ColorLines publisher Rinku Sen:
I invite you to join us for Facing Race 2010, the largest multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, advocates and activists on racial justice in the country. As the people on the front lines of the fight for racial justice, your presence gives the conference its lifeblood.
At Facing Race 2008, there was shared excitement over the historic election of President Barack Obama, the first African American president. Our discussions then were filled with the promise of change and the potential for unity. The biggest threat to success was complacency, the urge to celebrate a triumph and rest.
There’s nothing like the actual passage of time to shape our perception of reality. We find ourselves now in a dynamic, but alarmingly divisive political and cultural debate. Even while racialized attacks are on the rise, we are told that race has no place in the public discourse.
In turbulent times, being clear about which projects push us toward racial equity and which really distract us means the difference between stalling and leaping ahead. At Facing Race, everyone is invited to struggle with that dilemma, whether you’ve worked on these issues for 50 years or 50 days. This year, we’ve built the conference around questions of the modern age: a notion of racial justice that intersects with many other issues and isms; political projects centered on technological innovations; a global community that includes everyone.
When things feel really challenging to me, I take wisdom from the great Sojourner Truth. At another promising moment in history, when Black men got the right to vote after Emancipation, she said to those who might have been intimidated by the upheaval and violence of the time, "So I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again." Progress often causes turmoil. It’s a sign that our work and our way of being are having an impact.
I hope to see you in Chicago for Facing Race 2010!