Monday, December 10, 2012

Letter of Concer-Section 5 VRA

Senator Dick Durbin,


Section 5 of The Voter’s Rights Act should not be lifted, for it has served a supreme purpose and needs to be maintained.  It is not a question of whether or not the 16 states with a history of racial discrimination, especially concerning voting, are beyond those years of discrimination.  It is a question of do we truly, as a nation and as rational people, believe that racism is fully behind us?  I do not believe so. 

                It may be sad to think that as a nation we still need to have our hand held on issues such as discrimination, especially based on race, but we do.  With the many incidents of prejudice against Hispanic aliens and even citizens it is not farfetched to believe that some states may discriminate in voting registration and voting acts.  Also, in the past few years children are still dying due to racial profiling; if children are still being racially profiled then people attempting to vote can surely be racially profiled especially in an effort to influence a state’s outcome.

                There have already been significant steps in eliminating the minority vote.  For example, Florida and the disenfranchisement of ex-felons; ex-felons could possibly be headed into a trap of voter’s fraud.  Tampa Florida for instance is a place where people desperately need a voice in government. Twenty-six percent of the population is black, and nearly one in five city residents lives below the poverty line. A July report from the Sentencing Project shows that Florida has the distinction of being the felony disenfranchisement capital of the nation, with more than a million of its citizens struck from the rolls. Nearly a quarter of all African-Americans of voting age in Florida are affected by the felon laws, as are one in thirteen black adults nationally. Nearly 8 percent of African-American adults are disenfranchised, as opposed to less than 2 percent of the non-African-American population.  Do we as a nation really think that discrimination is behind us, or is it under our feet and over our heads?


Section 5-Voter's Rights Act Should Not Be Removed

Due to time constraint we will not be able to show the film "Crash". I am sorry for the misguidance. Instead we have chosen to contact our Illinois democratic senator, Dick Durbin. 

Three days after the election this year the Supreme Court agreed to hear a conservative challenge for the constitutionality of Section 5 of the 1964 Voter's Rights Act. This is absurd!
There is no way that a nation that disguise and institutionalize racism and discrimination should stop reviewing states that are historically discriminatory.  Here is the letter, and I hope he responds. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Prevention! **Viewing of "Crash" coming soon!

As racism is as difficult to eliminate as fear in the human race, prevention is ever necessary. Continued education of youths is forever primary, though since WWII, these declarations and conventions have been created to combat racism...

* Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide - 1948 Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
* Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination - 1963
* International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination - 1965
* 21 March designated International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - 1966
* International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid - 1973 Apartheid.
* First Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination 1973-1982
* First World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, Geneva 1978
* Second World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, also in Geneva 1983
* Second Decade for Action to Combat Racial Discrimination l983-l992
* Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination 1994-2003
* World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance 2001

Artists Against Racism was founded not just because it was a 'cool way' to reach out to youth; it exists because the problem is not diminishing in our society, but becoming more hideous in different forms. To remain silent is to remain part of the problem, not part of the solution. We aim to be part of the solution, worldwide. We are all one people. Let's start to care.

Farewell, and so long..but we must move on.

Sorry to announce one of our partners will no longer be with us..a moment of silence..
Back to business!

In an effort to raise awareness of racial tension still prevalent in the United States, we will be having a viewing of the award winning film "Crash"!

The movie scheduling will be released within the next day.  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Work to be one with truth, one with the universe, work to be loved and to love.  We are all ONE PEOPLE.

How can you help? I'll give you two pretty good ways:
            -Find some violet fabric and tie it into a ribbon, symbolizing AAR.
            -Open your mind and heart to the diversity of others, show them that you are willing to learn.


Finally Narrowing it Down

In our most current meeting on October 24, 2012, we took the time to actually narrow down which organizations we wanted to keep and which we wanted to trash. In this process we came to realize that more people are interested in mass media than anything else. What better way to keep people in the loop about the fight for Anti-Racism than to connect the people with an organization that addresses the matter with music, art, video, and radio?

In our final cut of the organizations listed below we decided to not follow the following groups:

  • Amnesty International
  • United to End Racism (UER)
  • Crossroads Antiracism Organization & Training (CAOT)
Our reasoning behind cutting each are as follows:
  1. We didn't want the NAACP because it is a more well known organization that is almost too easy to follow, we as members of this group wanted something more difficult and not as obvious as choosing the NAACP.
  2. Although Amnesty International is a sturdy organization, there is little that we could do to stay active in the organization simply because it is more of a letter written/petition signing organization that works through each petition signed.
  3. The UER was a good organization but it lacked updated information for us to work with and we wanted to make sure that all that we do from now on was up to date and in the present time.
  4. CAOT is a positive organization, yet it focuses more on the corporational and internal business aspect of racism and trying to remove racial profiling from the system. Although they have a good cause and drive, it was not what we were look for in the long run of becoming active in our community.
Based on these reasons we will be focusing our time on AAR, also known as, Artists Against Racism because we believe that you can truly reach the masses in your community through music, art, and other types of media. That is the real aspect that draws us all in. Imagine a night filled with student musicians, works of art, and poetry to show how much we long for equality and unity here on our campus. A night to not only praise our most talented here at Monmouth College but to bring to center stage, the lack of unity and equality here on campus.

Public Service Video--Reckless Tortuga

"We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all these threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color."- Maya Angelou
Racism is definitely within the structure of the United States of America, but in the efforts of many including ourselves, the cancer of racist thoughts can be removed and the body healed.  Sometimes this removal is done by comedy, sometimes by film, and often both.  Enjoy this video, we sure did.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Artists Against Racism (AAR)

The artists of Artists Against Racism (AAR) are the everyday artists of the media that the youth sees as role models.  AAR reaches out to the youth, no matter the religion, color, ethnicity, nationality that we are all ONE PEOPLE to prevent youths from adopting prejudice attitudes.  The group reaches the youths through various forms of media such as: T.V., Radio, Billboards, Subways, Public Service Announcements, Concerts, and more. All with the goal of preventing prejudice through education.

AAR acknowledges that the youth is the future of our global community and emphasises on it's mission; to build an understanding of all peoples. The youth is taught the most fundamental human right of equality so that civilized society will continuously progress toward the moral good. One's name can be the most valuable thing one owns, yet each artist of AARis proactive in donating time and money to help educate the youth toward a better future. Artists include: Aerosmith, Ellen Degeneres, Mike Myers, Leland Bell, and many many more...

Artists Against Racism reaches to the youth in unconventional ways inside the school systems and the media fed to America every second.
October, 31, 2011--A powerful documentary of a former skinhead enduring agony in reformation to remove his tattoos was presented by the AAR.
January, 21, 2012--A photo exhibit in New York tells the amazing story of a 1960's interracial couple who helped change the laws on inter-racial marriage in the U.S. was presented by AAR.
Racism is not something you are born with, but is learned. It is based in ignorance and insecurity and it limits all of humanity.  By speaking out against racism, the erosion of these learned prejudices and embracing of our diversity can begin.

October 14: Amnesty International

I am completely dumb founded to realize that I had completely forgotten about Amnesty International. In my college days I participated in an Amnesty event at my high school and have been a follower ever since.

Amnesty International was founded by British lawyer, Peter Benenson in 1961. In 1961 there was a news report of two students from Portugal that had been arrested and incarcerated for toasting to freedom. After hearing this report Benenson was heated about the injustice and instantly became active for the problem. "He published an appeal in The Observer newspaper urging readers to write letters on behalf of "prisoners of conscience" around the world. His appeal sparked an international grassroots campaign to protect human rights,' ( and out of all of this Amnesty International was created.

"With more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries, and complete independence from government, corporate or ideological interests, we work to protect human rights worldwide. Our global headquarters is based in London, and we have established organizations in 68 countries. Amnesty International USA is the largest country section of the organization with nearly 250,000 members, who work for human rights independently, through national online networks, or with high school, college or community groups" (

An organization that is run completely off of generous donations from members and supporters around the world, they are considered a non-for-profit organization working to create a better world for those who are oppressed.

Amnesty International's mission is to see all people no matter the color of their skin, where they are from, what gender they identify to, or who they love see the beauty of human rights. Their main document that they draw their strength and mission from is the UDHR, also known as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights along with many others. Amnesty International works off of three main ideas; Research, Action, and Advocacy. Their mission is not to only address the issues here in the United States but to address human rights and civil rights issues around the world.


Amnesty works makes sure they have all of the information before they start a campaign. Their research is alegedly un-biased from 'corporate and government influence" (


After recognizing the groups or individuals that are being opressed, Amnesty Internation brings attention to the problems by proving to government officials, international institutions, policy makers, and corporations that the fight for equality and civil and human rights is extremely important. They not only grab the attention of these people but they also grab the every day person's attention by creating reports on their website and giving an individual the opportunity to take matters into their own hands by simply signing an online petition to support those being oppressed.


As Martin Luther King Jr. worked with a grassroots mentality, so does Amnesty International. They combine the media (internet, television, radio) and "high-level legislative work" to create "policies to advance human rights, protect individuals and free prisoners of conscience" ( Well known best-selling author J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) used to work in the research department of Amnesty International, she describes Amnesty's mission as follows, "Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet' (

Here's something to think about while you go about your day:

  • Amnesty International has freed over 10,000 prisoners of consciencious. 
  • gained public support for adopting the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and advised other governments to "ratify the Convention and bring domestic laws into conformity with it" (
  • After intense campaigning and research Amnesty helped see to it that the enactment of the U.S. Tribal Law and Order Act was put into place. The mission of this act is to put an end to sexual assault of Native American and Alaska Native women.
  • After decades of work and campaigning Amnesty International see the death penalty banned from two-thirds of the world's countries (compared to the 1970's where only 16 countries had moved to erradicate capital punishment).
  • Worked towards making sure that those that were and still are a part of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity will face justice. (International Criminal Court--established by Amnesty International).
Amnesty International

- Out Spoken


The NAACP organization has been helpful in seeking out justice in every major civil rights issue in the last century, the 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education desegregation case, the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, and the passage of the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. In the more recent years, the NAACP has been somewhat on the down fall, being battered by financial and problems as well as questions of how best to move forward and what moves to make in the near future. In 2007, the organization laid off more than a third of staff because of a budget shortfall and the groups reputation was thrown in flames in the mid 90s when the president of the organization was fired for using organization money to settle a sexual harrasment claim being made against him. Ever since the organization has been sort of trying to find themselves. The organization currently has 250,000 paid members compared to its all time high 10 years following the Brown v. Board of Education decision 600,000 members.

-Freedom Blogger

United to End Racism (UER)

United to End Racism is a non-governmental organization (NGO) consisting of people of all ages and backgrounds.  This organization shares the belief that eliminating racism is necessary to the progress of human kind and supports others who dedicate their time and efforts to the elimination of racism.

UER has developed a new understanding of racism and the relationship between racism and other oppressions.  With this understanding the organization has founded themselves on the basic theory of Re-Evaluation Counseling.  It is meant to free all humans and society of the distress patterns caused by racism and its relation to other oppressions.  Re-Evaluation Counseling assumes all humans are inherently intelligent, cooperative, and good by nature.  United to End Racism works to illuminate the damage done by racism and oppression and to undo the damage on an individual basis with the Re-Evaluation Counseling theory.

United to End Racism and the United Nations
After being accredited by the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance (WCAR) as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in 2000, UER sent fifty delegates to Durban, South Africa to the NGO Forum of the WCAR August 2001. UER offered a schedule of workshops and support groups each day specifying certain groups and topics such as youth, men, women, colonized people, indigenous people, ect.
 Fifty delegates of UER sent to Durban, South Africa.
 Reception time.
 UER workshop; learning new techniques of sharing and listening.
Story telling at an UER panel speak out.
UER and it's Re-Evaluation Counseling demonstrates a personal and compassionate form of activism; personal accounts and story-telling allows listeners to have personal relationships with the person relieving his/her distress.  It seems to play a double role in healing the story teller and the true listener, and thus allowing changes in both their consciousness' that illuminates and removes the pattern of distress casued by racsim and other oppressions. These techniques allow the oppressed to be compassionate for what has once harmed them, yet gain the strength to stay progressive and positive.  Every human is an end in themselves and is given the oppritunity and support to express the life thay he/she leads.
Andre T. (aka Lucere)

October 14: Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training

In my search for an organization that works towards putting an end to racism, I came across Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training (CAOT). CAOT does not only focus on issues in and around their location, they also pay attention to racism around the nation. They work to organize equality in the working world, in neighborhoods, in schools, and in public places.
Based in Matteson, Illinois this organization fights not only for racism that is based on the color of ones skin but also based on sexism, homophobia, classism, and militarism. CAOT's mission is to "implement long-range strategic planning to dismantle racism" ( by training institutions how to go about handling potential racist situations.  By not only focusing on issues of racism in the black community the CAOT has ventured out into the "real world" by addressing an understanding of all races and ethnicities. With the idea of breaking down the walls that racism puts up CAOT pushes and yearns for equality for all persons no matter the color of their skin, where they are from, what gender they are, or who they love.

CAOT was co-founded in 1986 by Rev. Joseph Barndt and Rev. Susan Birkelo. Rev. Barndt worked on creating a direction in truly breaking down the idea of racism from the core and working out. Not only a religious man and minister, Rev. Barndt is also an author of many pieces focusing on what racism is and how an organization and an individual can eradicate all types of racism starting at the root.

As many other organizations strive to work alone in the mission to put a permanent end to equality CAOT does not press the solo working mentality. CAOT works hand in hand with it's regional organizing partner CROAR, also known as the Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism. By holding seminars, training sessions, and performances these organizations work hand in had, NOT alone, in the fight for equality and the end of racism. Martin Luther King Jr. did not become such an icon for the Civil Rights Movement by his self. No, it was his wife, fellow pastors, supporters, sympathizers, and the cause that kept the movement going and strong. They were all fighting for a cause, marching hand in hand until the violence and the hatred what stopped. But the fight is not over, racism still clouds out streets every day, it invades our work space, it clusters our jails, and breaks down our faith and hope.

Jade S. a.k.a. "Out Spoken"

NAACP takes a stand

On October 2nd, the NAACP launched a national felony disenfranchisement campaign to advocate for the restoration of voting rights for millions of citizens formerly convicted of felonies. Currently, almost six million people around the United States are disenfranchised due to felony disenfranchisment laws and more than 4.4 millions of those citizens are no longer behind bars. Iowa, Kentucky, Florida, and Virginia are the only four states that still do this to citizens convicted of felonies even after they have served the time necessary for their sentence. There are 1.5 millions disenfranchised citizens in Florida alone.Their was an NAACP-led visit to Geneva, Switzerland so that the delegation could hold a panel discussion on felony disenfranchisement laws and the attack on voting rights in the United States.

-Freedom Blogger

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States. The NAACP was formed partly in response to the continuing and horrific practicing of lynching and the 1908 race riot in Springfield, Illinois, the states capital. Appaled at the violence that was committed against blacks, a group of white liberals called for a meeting to discuss racial justice. Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell, And W.E.B DuBois were among the seven blacks that attended out of 60 people. Their stated goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. They promised an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law, and the equal freedom to vote, respectively. The NAACP's main objective is to ensure the political, social, educational, and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States and eliminate racial discrimination.  you can visit their site for any information needed.

Michael D (aka "Freedom Blogger")

Monday, September 24, 2012

American Institute for Managing Diversity (AIMD)

Amazing organization who's mission is advancing diversity thought leadership through research, education, and public outreach!! Sounds like a winner to me..? Check them out---

Sunday, September 16, 2012