Being Color Brave Rather than Colorblind: Forming a Racially-inclusive Sociological Imagination - Rashawn Ray
From Jeffrey Sudduth on April 18th, 2018
2018 STARS Symposium Keynote Speaker
Co-Sponsored by Criminology/Criminal Justice Department, Psychology Department, and UIS Diversity Center
From mass shootings to police killings to hate crimes to a rise in sexual harassment and assault allegations, the United States is witnessing what seems like an unprecedented number of violent and divisive incidents. During this #BlackLivesMatter movement, political polarization from Capitol Hill to the NFL is at one of the highest levels in our country’s history and social media seem to simply be another mechanism to segregate and isolate rather than unify. Simply put, America is grappling with its social and cultural norms, and subsequently social policies that support these changing norms. So, how do we create civility and tolerance in an uncivil and intolerant society? Dr. Ray lays out five steps—1) Developing a holistic life perspective; 2) Identifying trust points; 3) Reducing implicit bias; 4) Creating brave spaces; 5) Engaging in racial uplift activism—for forming a racially-inclusive sociological imagination. These steps help to change our everyday social interactions as well as the policies that seem to augment hate speech. The presentation will conclude by discussing how to form solidarity and build coalitions across racial/ethnic and gender identities. Participants will leave with strategies to combat race and gender inequality in a socially-conscious manner.
Dr. Rashawn Ray is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy. His work has appeared in journals including the Annual Review of Public Health, Journal of Urban Health, American Education Research Journal, Ethnic and Racial Studies, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Ray has a forthcoming book, Bordering Chaos: Family and Work in a Racially-Diverse America, with Dr. Pam Jackson. Previously, Ray served on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Planning Committee. Ray is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and has also written for Huffington Post.