This morning I am attending "RACE MATTERS: Examining the workings of race and gender in the UN human rights system". An amazing panel including Pooja Badarinath,
Dominique Day, Tlaleng Mofokeng, and Verene A. Shepherd.
#RaceMatters @drtlaleng @VereneAShep @dominiqus Moderated by Dipika Nath. Will try to live tweet! Goal today is to extend understanding race and gender in UN human rights work and system.
Pooja Badarinath is speaking first about SRI @SexualRights. Speaking about discrimination of WOC in sport and intersection of gender and race. Caster Semenya and how South Africa handled an athlete with elevated testosterone as a case study. #racematters
Seemingly neutral regulations to protect men's sport are being used against women. Althea Gibson had to undergo chromosome test to prove she was a woman. It's been WOC who most often have to undergo this treatment. #racematters
Women who are white, cishet, etc. fit the social construction of femininity are not subjected to this treatment. WOC in sport deal with multiple oppressions and violations bc of colonial notions of womanhood.
Sports are not neutral but orgs codify these types of oppressions in order to uphold colonial exploitative and extractive norms. Perpetuating these oppressions shows a willful ignorance. The rights to bodily autonomy = self-determination. #racematters
We must unpack how white supremacy, sexism, etc. translates into policies. It affects the individual but also communities. #racematters
Pooja works at SRI and spoke about how old ideas of race and gender were visible in the sports resolution on eliminating discrimination against women in sports. #racematters
Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (Dr. T) is up next speaking about the importance of placing race and gender at the center of health matters. Medicine has a terrible history in terms of experimentation on Black people, etc.) and we must face this. #racematters
We know gender and racial bias exist in medicine, pharma industry, there is a lack of trust in medical system, erasure of scholarship of Black women and WOC, lived experiences undervalued, tenuous relationship in global south. #racematters
Commit to end systems of oppression. Hold medical field, governments accountable. Must call things what they are in order to change them. We must fully resource health systems for Black women and WOC around the world. #racematters
Otherwise we face direct negative impacts on health outcomes. Vulnerability is not inherent. There are situations and experiences that create vulnerable experiences such as race, gender, illness, geography, etc. Black women and WOC are esp vulnerable. #racematters
Next up is Verene Shepherd addressing questions of accountability and reparations. Why are reparations necessary for advancing human rights? To right the wrongs of colonialism, address legacy. UN states, NGOs, etc. all have responsibility to challenge and dismantle racism.
There's an urgency now to demand justice in public consciousness, financial chains, government, etc. Reparations are one way to right colonial wrongs. #racematters
Reparations can help offer peace and reconciliation among parties. Address the greatest barriers to full emancipation around the world. UN system supports pursuit of a more just way. #racematters
Reparations can address enslavement, colonialism, violence, imperialism, cultural colonialism, etc. While emancipation provides freedom, this is not enough. Racism and oppression persisted. Resources must be provided to newly emancipated victims. #racematters
There are many challenges to offering reparations but bc the racial injustices demands it. They are a vital aspect of restoring dignity, etc. even tho they cannot be the only solution. #racematters
Dominique Day is the next speaker. Concept of fragmentation and how opposed it is to intersectionality. While to classify various identities is convenient, it diminishes our collective capacity for liberation. #racematters
Fragmentation of identity is unintentional and intentional to maintain colonial and oppressive systems. Power systems maintain their power in these ways. Certain people are disposable while others get power. #racematters
This fragmentation is countered by intersectionality. Fragmentation limits our power while intersectionality is coalitional. Our racial identities are strengthened by our gender and their identities. #racematters
Systems operate the way they are designed to, even if they aren't described honestly in that way. UN working groups conduct country visits and present reports to governments in hopes recommendations would be adopted and violations will end. #racematters
In the US, the reforms that were suggested had already been suggested by academics, orgs, etc. and haven't been adopted. What is the obligation of those who hold power? Esp when power is held primarily by one group over others. #racematters
UN Human Rights Council has had conversations about #BlackLivesMatter, violence, police brutality, etc. just like in public, media, etc. Calls for real investigation into systemic racism and operational provisions formed into a resolution. #racematters
But the resolution that was adopted was beautiful but watered down. Any recommendations for resources, development of expertise, need to act, etc. were scrubbed from it. Anything that had legs was gone from the resolution. #racematters
Didn't reflect any sort of accountability. How can it be operationalized to actually have some impact. Systems are designed to protect themselves and this is what we are seeing. Any idea of a consensus resolution being used to strip the res of any meaningful content. #racematters
Status quo is comfortable. Western countries closed ranks to strip the resolution of legs. Even UN declined to participate meaningfully by not releasing a press statement. Individuals made these decisions. #racematters
Individuals must be held to account for upholding or challenging status quo. Systemic racist practices are perpetuated by individuals in power. This can create a generational experience. Esp through willful ignorance and "strategic colorblindness". #racematters
Colorblindness has been extremely successful in being strategically wielded as a tool to perpetuate racism. People who don't see race give themselves license to not see racism. #racematters
This is not a lack of understanding, this is intentional to affect power, opportunity, action, etc. These tools of colorblindness and fragmentation enable people to not confront racism or change. Keep the status quo in tact. #racematters
How much of this is explicitly adopted to keep systems in place? This has been used as an accelerator of oppression and abuse. We must continue to fight systems by using intersectionality to counter fragmentation and colorblindness. #racematters
Dr. T: It's in everyone's interest to achieve justice for all, no matter where you work or are placed. Those in power should protect and promote your rights as a human, for dignity. It's not only for human rights defenders, we must work in all spheres. #racematters
Dr. T: Demand to thrive, not just survive.
How do we hold those accountable? Can we work within the system? Use the master's tools? Do we ditch the entire system? #racematters
Day: Fight in all the systems. They are prob all broken but it is possible for individuals to make meaningful decisions. Individual AND institutional accountability must be paramount. #racematters
Day: Everyone could be pushing change and discomfort in order to push evolution of systems and organizations. It's important to constantly intervene at every level and push conversations. #racematters
Shepherd: What about the psychological harm done to people of African descent of medical practices? Psychological rehabilitation is a large part of reparations. This conversation should occur in all areas of human rights defense. #racematters
Shepherd: Re: death of COVID and comorbidities. We should focus on roots of comorbidities. These are not only due to lifestyle choices but lie deep within colonialism and racism. Also, are UN systems working in the way they should? How do we care for self in this? #racematters
Dr. T: For many African women in sports being denied opportunity to participate is a form of financial and cultural violence. Also, health issues are caused by colonialism and racism and subsequent poverty and lack of opportunity. #racematters
Shepherd: Education is critical in breaking down stereotypes and confronting racism. But content of curriculum matters. Must decolonize the curriculum - one way to right a wrong. At all levels and for all children. #racematters
Day: Recognize how effectively education has been used to manipulate and erase experiences and history and innovation of people of African descent. Education is a massive propaganda tool for white supremacy. #racematters
Nath: Great need for solidarity and collaboration among those of us trying to affect change. Those in power are collaborating, so should we to counter their attempts to hold power and keep status quo. #racematters
Day: UN Durban Declaration 20th anniversary, big push to commemorate this and assess. Talk of making permanent forum of people of African descent. Happening in UN space but reflects people's concerns, expectations, etc. outside of UN. #racematters
Day: No forward movement without people on ground.
Shepherd: Some UN bodies are listening to communities, issuing statements and letters, collaborating. Implementation issue is important; civil society on the ground to hold states accountable to UN recommendations. #racematters
Shepherd: All of us must hold states accountable to address human rights. There's a call for a UN summit on reparations and a call for UN commission on reparations and we will see where that goes. #racematters
Badarinath: UN should align to movements on the ground better. How can the UN be of the people? Not people aligning to UN because UN is often behind on the movements of the people. #racematters
Shepherd: UN must link up with groups on the ground to best align with and understand important issues of the people. #racematters

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More from @karlajstrand

Nov 22, 2020
Sherri Mitchell (Penobscot) is the final speaker at the #Indigenous History Conference. She is the author of the award-winning book Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change.
Mitchell: What guidance have I been given that will lead me into the future? It's a circular route that we travel. We have to be living for all of our relations. This is how prayers are ended, relations are acknowledged.
Mitchell: so maybe that's where we should begin: how do we be good relatives? Think about grandmothers, mothers, aunties, they are the ones who have taught us how to be a good relative. This matrilineal line was directly attacked by colonialism and patriarchy.
Read 27 tweets
Nov 22, 2020
Really excited for this final session of the #Indigenous History Conference today!
Robin Wall Kimmerer is first up. If you haven't read her classic BRAIDING SWEETGRASS, you should get the beautiful special edition of it now (would make a great holiday gift!) from Milkweed Editions @Milkweed_Books:…
Kimmerer: Will discuss the prophecies of the Seventh Fire which counter the myth of the First Thanksgiving and the overall lack of Native American historical literacy.
Read 28 tweets
Nov 21, 2020
And the second session today at the #Indigenous History Conference is "From Traditional Knowledge to Colonial Oversight to Indigenous Integration: Educator’s Roundtable Indian Education in New England" with Alice Nash, Tobias Vanderhoop (Aquinnah Wampanoag),
Jennifer Weston (Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock), and
Alyssa Mt. Pleasant (Tuscarora).
Vanderhoop: "The colonial system of education happened to us." Wampanoag in the colonized schools were seen as more controllable, agreeable, etc. But their intention to get rid of Native Americans via the colonize education system failed.
Read 18 tweets
Nov 21, 2020
This morning I'm attending the second to last panels of the conference! "Writing Ourselves into Existence: Authors’ Roundtable: New England Native Authors and Literature" with Siobhan Senier @ssenier, Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel (Mohegan) @tantaquidgeon, Carol Dana (Penobscot),
John Christian Hopkins (Penobscot), Cheryl Savageau (Abenaki), and Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag). This has been a fantastic conference, I hate that this is the last weekend! Thanks to all for your hard work! @Plymouth_400 @BridgeStateU @joyce_rain18
Dawnland Voices edited by @ssenier is the first collection of its kind from Indigenous authors from what is now referred to as New England. Tribes are very good at shepherding their own literary works.
Read 30 tweets
Nov 19, 2020
Happening NOW - I'm there are you?
Panelists include LaVar Charleston @DrLJCharleston, Rob DZ @iamrobdz, Michael Ford @HipHopArch, Duane Holland Jr, Michele Byrd-McPhee @ladiesofhiphop, and Sofia Snow. @UWMadEducation @uw_diversity
Other links to check out:
Read 8 tweets
Nov 1, 2020
Excited to attend the #Indigenous History Conference once again today. It has been fantastic so far!
First panel today is #Decolonizing Methodologies: Challenging Colonial Institutions with Lisa King (Delaware), @CLegutko, and Christine Delucia. @Plymouth_400 @BridgeStateU #twitterstorians
King: How can we decolonize methodologies? Why is it important? How are we doing it in our work?
Read 74 tweets

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