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Talk by Jenée Desmond-Harris on Race, Inequality, and Profiling on August 20th, 2016

Jenée Desmond-Harris, a journalist who covers race, politics and social justice came to Kannon Do on Saturday August 20th to help us understand the race-inequality-profiling situation at a deeper level than what is available through the media.

We asked Jenée for ideas about what can Kannon Do, as a spiritual community, actually DO that might help, in a way that goes beyond words.

Jenée considered Kannon Do’s interest “great and unusual” and she thanked us for being “friends who do not stay silent” referring to Martin Luther King’s quote “in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

A Knight Fellow at Stanford University this year and a graduate from Howard University and Harvard Law School, Jenée considers important to recognize that racial injustice takes many forms other than policing, and urged Kannon Do members to commit to working as a community to tackle racism more broadly.

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Among the specific actions against racism that she recommended were to attend the Race Forward racial justice training in Oakland, to take the Implicit Bias Test and have a guided conversation about the results, to host a teach-in about racial justice with Stanford professors and Bay Area community activists and to support campaigns for affordable housing.

She also thought it was a good idea to contact local racial justice organizations to ask them about what they need as well as to organize volunteers or fundraise to support their missions.

Jenée grew up in a mixed raced family in Mill Valley, California. She now works at the news site Vox.com. She writes about race, racism, and identity with a focus on social science insights.  More information about Jenée Desmond-Harris can be found here.

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