In February 2020, the Center partnered with the The Cultural Competence Resource Committee’s African American Subcommittee to produce an evening of education, speakers and panels, discussion and sharing, and socializing around some very delicious food while listening to live music.
While we can't gather in person this year, we hope you'll enjoy this look back at 2020's celebration.
racial inequality and intersectionality
Dr. Rhonda Dugan was the evening’s keynote speaker. Dr. Dugan is an Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University, Bakersfield. Her teaching and research focus on race, gender, culture, popular culture and research methodology.
She spoke about racial socialization: parents preparing you for what is out there in the real world, navigating prejudice, stereotypes and bigotry. Her mother was a West Indian woman from the UK and her father was from the southside of Chicago. They met while he was in the air force and stationed in Wales then married and moved to Chicago together. Dr. Dugan described her childhood as having been privileged with “the best of both worlds of Blackness.”
However, she also witnessed her mother being treated differently in public in the US and being considered “not Black enough” due to her UK accent by people of all backgrounds. Dr. Dugan says her personal experience became her professional interest, and she completed her dissertation in graduate school on the experiences of Black women from the UK who immigrated to the US.
“These women in particular that I focused on like my mom had immigrated to the US during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. What was happening then? What a time. So not only are they having these interactions and negotiations...they’re coming to the US in the midst of the Civil Rights movement and declaring Blackness and feeling connected to Black people in the US, but at the same time still getting that 'You’re not Black enough.'...The women I interviewed talked about that a lot.”
It was these racialized experiences that she studied as part of her research in college, and that she now teaches about as a professor.
“Even if you’ve never heard of the concept [of intersectionality] it’s probably likely that each one of you in this room have experienced it. Intersectionality looks at these other dimensions and other positions we hold in society that work together. So instead of saying ‘I’m Black’ and ‘I’m a woman’, saying ‘I’m a Black woman.’ And what does that mean for experiencing inequality?”
“The idea of intersectionality is this experience of saying my race, my class, my gender, my sexuality, all operate simultaneously - you can’t pull it apart.” - Dr. Dugan
q & A: Actions for allies
During the Q&A portion of the evening, one audience member asked, “What can allies do to help challenge racial stereotypes?”
Eboné King answered, “Even if you aren’t the person who is given that negative feedback, if you see that, then be the one to advocate for the right thing. Stand up for us. A lot of the time we express what we’re going through, and people would stand up and say ‘Is that really happening?’ Who stands for us if nobody does? Where do we get to voice what’s happening? If you want to advocate for us, then be that voice for us, stand behind us and say something. Like Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you want to see’ - stand up for what you believe.”
Music was provided by Rhythms of the Sun Tribal, an amazing local troupe.
Thank you to panelists Caprisha Daniels (Esthetician/Natural Hair Stylist; Website), Kashira T. Rodgers (Psychologist), Andrew Nehisi (Dancer, Musician, Ordained Priestess), Dee Slade (Executive Director of the African American Network of Kern County), Tommy Tunson (Professor of Criminal Justice, Behavioral Science) and Vester Brandshaw (Behavioral Health Therapist, Minister).
Thank you to Denweed's Catering, Barrington’s Jamaican Kitchen and Papa Hill’s Fish Grill for providing the delicious catering for the evening.
Thank you to the Subcommittee Members for their work in planning the event:
Alice Moundafie, Behavioral Health Recovery Specialist III
Candace Freeman, Behavioral Health Recovery Specialist III
Anne-Natasha Pinckney, Advocacy Services Coordinator Center
Sharon Woofolk, President of NAMI Kern County
Eboné King, Behavioral Health Recovery Specialist III