Race and the Role of Government Changing the

Race and the Role of Government Changing the

Race and the Role of Government Changing the terrain of public discourse Anika Fassia [email protected] Patrick Bresette [email protected] www.publicworks.org

Race and the Role of Government Living up to this promise has required constant attention to the intersection of How do we change the terrain on which discussions about our issues Conversations in Context

Policy debates Program design Political conversations Civic Participation Race and the Role of Government How do we: Recognize the historical and structural racism that has been imbedded in public systems and continues to exacerbate

inequities, but also realize that it is through government that our most important strides towards justice and equity have been realized. Understand that some anti-government sentiment is directly tied up in racial bias, both implicit and explicit Find a way to uphold (at least aspirationally) the need for robust, supported and correctly-focused public systems as tools for shared prosperity and racial equity, and Engage communities of color in the effort to reclaim and

rebuild government While also engaging all Americans in these questions. A Winding Road

Color Blind(ed)? The end of Big Government Immigration and Nationality Act The Civil Rights Era The New Deal Jim Crow Reconstruction Emancipation

Trail of Tears Government can be a tool for justice or injustice. The Question is how do we reclaim it for

the common good? Discussion What are some examples of current governmental policies or systems which support racial discrimination, poverty, exploitation, segregation or other forms of racialization? What are some examples of current

governmental policies or systems that were tools to reduce racial discrimination, poverty, exploitation, segregation or other forms of racialization? Critiquing without Undermining What is the core public value at stake?

Is this system living up to that core purpose or value? If not, how do we reclaim it? Once again the actions of our city housing department show that its all about who you know if you want to get anything done. If you dont have some big money political clout

you cant get any response out of that bureaucratic mess of an agency. As always our workingclass communities of color are just overlooked. But we are taxpayers too! We paid our share into the city coffers and we should be getting Once again the actions of our city housing department show that its all

Just Politics about who you know if you want to get anything done. If you dont have some big money political The Bureaucratic

Blob clout you cant get any response out of that bureaucratic mess of an agency. As always our workingclassConsumer-Thinking communities of color are just overlooked. But we are taxpayers too! We paid our share into the city coffers and we should be getting

One of the most important jobs of our city government is to help create clean and safe neighborhoods where residents can live, work and play. Unfortunately, our housing department is not living up to that essential responsibility and neighborhoods are not prioritized equitably. This system

needs to address the disparities that are effecting our communities of color in order for our whole city to thrive. It is time for all of us to work One of the most important jobs of our city government is to help

Mission and Purpose create clean and safe Why itwhere Matters neighborhoods residents can live, work and play. Unfortunately, our housing department is not living

Critique up to that essential responsibility and neighborhoods are not prioritized equitably. This system Civic -Thinking needs to address the disparities that are effecting our communities of color in order for our whole city to

thrive. It is time for all of us to work Criminal Justice Example Government has an important role to play in addressing crime and maintaining safe communities, but we have some major changes to make so our communities get what they need. By exploring some of the common goals and values between victim-oriented groups and criminal justice reform

organizations, a very different discourse could emerge about criminal justice policy that improves the outlook for all people most impacted by the system. -David Rogers AA Strong, Robust, & Equitable Public Sector

Thomas Fuchs, NYT So how do we change the conversation about Race and the Role of Parallel Challenges

A Role for Government: The Role of Race: Disparities are Individual caused by character/luck

culture/behavior determines Disparities are outcomes natural and/or A natural economy inevitable Everyone Us versus Them competes for their Dependency on

own interests government creates How do we start talking differently? Dont Otherize

Dont Otherize : Poverty Example Avoid Talking about the poor in ways that sets them apart as not like the rest of us . . . Avoid the three Pspoverty as poison, plague, or paradoxand similar distancing language Avoid language that suggests the poor are categorically distinct from groups like the working class or middle class

Avoid language that implies a Sharp Break in the Prevalence of Economic Hardship at the Federal Poverty Line Adapted from remarks by Shawn Fremstad Separate Fates: Consequences By characterizing communities of color as the

other and therefore, by definition, out of the system. Allows people to place the concerns of communities of color over there and not connected to our entire community. Makes it much harder to make the connection between opportunities and structural factors; and Allows people to see our government as

benefitting other people and not all of us. Winning in the long term, though, requires getting people to think of the "other" as being inside their circles. That is entirely possible to do, as the abolition, civil rights, feminist, sexual liberation and many other movements have proven. But it takes a complement of cultural interventions alongside the political ones, advanced over five, 10, even 30 years. The cultural

project has to establish the stories, images, and archetypes that prime a person to expand rather than shrink the circle of concern. That project requires us to deal with how race is lived in America, not just how it is legislated. How do we widen the circle of concern? Foster interdependence a shared fate? - Rinku Sen, Applied Research Center Fairness Between

Places situating the issue of fairness not in persons, but in places or systems, improves support for redistributive policy. imbued with systems thinking, structuralizes the issue of disparities.

Places not Faces Interdependence Frame The reduction of racial inequities is critical to the common good and mutually beneficial for all members of society. Shifts away from the idea of separate and

competing fates that racial justice policies must always come at the expense of other groups. Facilitates conversations about communities, and when talking about communities, participants were able to realize and discuss the inequities between communities. Talking Immigration: A Shared

Narrative UPHOLDING OUR VALUES A COMMONSENSE APPROACH MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER Talking Immigration: A Shared Narrative

A COMMONSENSE APPROACH Immigration is an ongoing American experience. Immigrant Americans have always worked with other Americans to solve the problems we face together. Including and supporting them through commonsense policies will only strengthen us in the end. Other approaches are distractions at bestdivisive, mean- spirited, and even racist, at worst. Our current immigration policies just dont work. In a democracy,

we have the power and responsibility to fix flawed policies. Talking Immigration: A Shared Narrative MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER Nativeborn and immigrant Americans alike have contributed to our nations history, culture and economy. We need to ensure that our

immigration policies make such contributions possible. We are stronger when we tackle our challenges together. We have to decide what kind of country we want to be. Do we want to encourage participation and contribution? Invite talent and fresh ideas? There are some who would point us in other directions, as weve seen in Arizona and Alabama: the wrong path. Center for Social

Inclusion The New York metropolitan region needs policies and investments that target those in greatest need to promote a thriving economy and more socially cohesive region. As earlier sections lay out, policies helped create high- and lowopportunity areas. Policies have created

both avenues and barriers to good housing, jobs, education, transportation, health, and a clean, safe environment. This uneven growth has not only deepened the lack of opportunity in communities of color, it has also weakened the regions resilience. But we can produce a strong, resilient region by building bridges to opportunity where

they do not exist . . . History teaches us a valuable lesson public investments reap returns by providing the foundations for a strong economy. Every state, as well as every one of the United States peer nations, requires public investment for a thriving business sector, educating citizens, preparing the workforce, and remaining competitive in a global economy. We have much to learn from this history of

prosperity, but we must also acknowledge it was not shared by everyone, nor did we maintain the foundation to make it last. People of color, historically denied access to opportunities, were excluded from most economic gains, increasing racial and social inequality. The Circle of Concern The central challenge for

modern, diversifying societies is to create a new, broader sense of we. - Robert Putnam Small group discussion What are the implications of the intersection of race and the role of government in your work?

What are ways in which you can integrate what youve heard today to begin shifting the conversation? Apply to an issue you are working on Reclaim the notion of government as a tool for racial justice Lift up the systems that benefit all of us and the need to invest in them

equitably Reinforce our interdependence with one another and our shared fate broadening the circle of concern. When Americans accept their differences in a context of certain shared principles and values, the myriad cultures present and emerging here become wellsprings

of spiritual strength and social justice in a great, transnational experiment. A more multicultural America offers an exciting opportunity to extend freedom and democracy to people who haven't had it before and to enrich it for those who have.

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