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Black & Brown Unity Summit

by Daniel French Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 6:51 AM

An estimated 100 people gathered for an ethnic unity event entitled: ‘Black and Brown Unity: Towards a Common Agenda’. The event included a panel discussion involving church clergy, college professors, labor organizers, community workers,, and a Santa Monica High School student.

Black & Brown Unity ...
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Black & Brown Unity Summit

by Daniel French

April 8, 2006

On Saturday, April 8, 2006 an estimated 100 people gathered in Korea Town, Los Angeles, for an ethnic unity event entitled: ‘Black and Brown Unity: Towards a Common Agenda’. The event opened with an energetic and colorful presentation from an indigenous dance and drum group named Harmony Keepers. The event included a panel discussion amongst reverends, college professors, labor organizers, and a Santa Monica High School student, amongst others. Many panelist’s focused on the shared history, struggle, and labors of African and Latin American peoples. It also included breakout sessions in which various themes were discussed, analyzed, and then action items were proposed. These breakout sessions focused on economics, shared history, youth conflict resolution & leadership, faith, and education.

I sat in on the youth conflict resolution and leadership session, which was facilitated by Santa Monica High School student Alejandro Rodriguez and Oscar De La Torre of the Pico Family Center. This group of 30 people discussed some of the challenges surrounding black and brown unity; including gangs, prison culture, inadequate education, inadequate economic development, negative media portrayals of youth, drugs, and the absence of parents. “More young Latinos and African Americans in L.A. county die of violence, especially of gun related homicide, than of AIDS, smoking, and car accidents combined. So why not have a public relations campaign on how to de-escalate youth violence?” commented De La Torre. Among the top actions decided upon were to: enact a city wide public relations campaign promoting ethnic unity, encourage school boards to implement curricula emphasizing the collaborative histories of ethnic minority groups, and create dialogue across the city.

“This was a great event today. It was a historic event,” said De La Torre. “We should have a city wide day of dialogue to continue this. And the city government should invest money, resources, and staff to make this happen.”

When asked, “What happens next?” summit co-organizer Paul Vizcaino, an organizer for the United Farm Workers, stated that another summit should take place within a couple months.

Many expressed desires to do more in the meantime, rather than simply waiting for the next Black and Brown Unity Summit. Panelist, Dr. Reverend Lewis Logan II of Bethel AME Church, mentioned his hope that the summit be replicated throughout Los Angeles. And organizers and participants of the event brainstormed how to best network across the black and brown divide until the next summit.

An overview of participants and organizers includes members and leaders of: Bethel AME Church, Cesar Chavez Foundation, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, United Farm Workers, SEIU, United Teachers Los Angeles, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater L.A.

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Event Panelists

by Daniel French Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 6:51 AM

Event Panelists...
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Panelist Danny Taber on Economics

by Daniel French Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 6:51 AM

Panelist Danny Taber...
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by Daniel French Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 6:51 AM

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Brainstorming Youth Leadership

by Daniel French Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 6:51 AM

Brainstorming Youth ...
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Challenges and Solutions

by Daniel French Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006 at 6:51 AM

Challenges and Solut...
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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Yes, This is a Major Break Through Pachuco Friday, Apr. 14, 2006 at 4:18 PM
Black and Brown Coalition Now! Stop the L.A. Media's B.S. SCF supporter Friday, Apr. 14, 2006 at 8:55 PM

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