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Racism 101: How to Be an Ally, Code Switching for Survival, Deconstructing 'Defund the Police', Legacy of Slavery




LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles supporters protest outside the Unified School District headquarters calling on the board of education to defund school police on June 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The demonstrators want the funds currently spent on campus police to be reallocated to other student-serving priorities.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 23: Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles supporters protest outside the Unified School District headquarters calling on the board of education to defund school police on June 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The demonstrators want the funds currently spent on campus police to be reallocated to other student-serving priorities. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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RACISM 101: INTRODUCTION 

Today's show was devoted to LAist's Racism 101 project. During the height of last summer's protests over police violence, KPCC's events team launched Unheard LA: A Deeper Listen to do just that...listen.

Participants told their stories and through that we heard from many people of color who said they were tired of being asked by their well-meaning white friends about what they should be reading ...or watching ...or doing about systemic racism.

Racism 101 came out of that. It's a resource guide, and a place to ask fellow Angelenos any questions related to race, without judgement. You can find it at LAist.com/racism101.

Since it launched in the fall, dozens of people have written in… and we reached out to Angelenos from all kinds of backgrounds to help answer questions and lead this conversation around race. So, today, we're bringing it to Take Two and speaking with some of those folks - a rapper poet, several performers and actors... all of them activists within their communities. Their lived experiences reflect the issues we've been talking about for months.

RACISM 101: HOW TO BE AN ALLY 

This hour we'll talk about code-switching for survival...the legacy of slavery ...and we'll deconstruct what the phrase "defund the police" really means. And we'll begin with the question that started it all: how to be an ally to people of color.

Guest:

Carene Mekertichyan,  panelist for our Racism 101 project. She is a Black Armenian actress, singer and educator living in Los Angeles.

RACISM 101: CODE SWITCHING 

Today we’re talking with several contributors to the Racism 101 project about issues that they and many other people of color experience every day. Like...Code switching. It’s something we do a lot, even if we don’t always notice it. One of the most common ways people code switch is by using a professional voice at work… then talking at home with friends or family in a more relaxed way.  For many people it’s as simple as that, but for others code-switching can be a survival strategy in dangerous, or even, potentially deadly situations. 

Guest: 

Matthew Cuban Hernandez. He’s an educator and poet who identifies as Afro-indigenous Latinx. 

RACISM 101: DEFUND THE POLICE 

Today we’re devoting our show to the Racism 101 project which LAist launched following the social justice protests that were triggered by the killing of George Floyd. Naturally, policing was a huge focus of these demonstrations. And one phrase stood out above all else: Defund the police.

Guest:

O'Neill Cespedes is an actor and member of the Racism 101 project.

 

RACISM 101: LEGACY OF SLAVERY 

Today we’re highlighting the people and conversations of the Racism 101 project where listeners have come together to candidly discuss race and racism in modern society. But we can’t have a frank conversation about race without looking at the legacy of slavery in this country. It’s everywhere… from street names and monuments to redlining and systemic racism. 

Guest:

Donna Simone Johnson, activist and a mother.