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Inclusiveness and Diversity

09/2021 I&D Blog on America's racial crisis
By Mike Pulsifer
Posted on 9/1/2021 12:00 AM
Each month the Penn's Village Inclusiveness and Diversity Committee recommends several resources to help our members and friends to be more aware of the racial biases in each of us and in our society, and the resulting inequities, past and present. It is the committee’s hope that this information may even inspire us to make corrective changes. These resources, assembled by Lori Dumas and Mike Pulsifer, represent different mediums, different perspectives and experiences, and diverse authors.

September, 2021

YouTube Video: Music and Rhythms of Venezuela
On Sunday, October 24th from noon until 5 pm in the Italian Market on 9th Street there will be a festival featuring Latin American music and dancing and a demonstration showing how chocolate is made. Penn’s Village Program Committee is co-sponsoring this event with a Latino/Latina organization (Raices Culturales Latino Americanas) and the owner of the Chocolate store at 9th & Federal Streets. To wet your appetite view this video that includes examples and explanations of music from Venezuela presented by Wheaton Arts and featuring Michael Esposito and Eduardo Betancourt. Click hereto access this video.

YouTube Video: The Chinese Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival
This short YouTube video (Click here) explains one of the most popular holidays celebrated in many Asian countries. This Chinese Moon Festival is observed every year on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar (September 15th). It is a festival of reunion much like America’s Thanksgiving. People who are unable to be with their families will look at the moon knowing they are looking at the same moon as their families. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic there will be no festival in Chinatown in Philadelphia this year. However people can shop in Chinatown for the special confectionary called mooncakes, dense Chinese pastries that are a traditional dessert eaten during the festival for good luck.

Podcast: An ACLU Presentation on Teaching the Truth about Race
Lawmakers, parents, think tanks, and conservative pundits have waged a war over how to teach students about systemic racism in America. As a result, school board members have been ousted, and some educators have resigned over the death threats, social media bullying, and the harassment they’ve received. These activists and lawmakers have focused much of their anger on a framework called Critical Race Theory and are adamant that teaching a more inclusive history harms students.

In this 35-minute podcast Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw helps us understand the true meaning of Critical Race Theory and how it became a political flashpoint in schools and beyond. She is a Distinguished Professor of Law at Columbia University and at UCLA and co-founder of the African American Policy Forum at Columbia. To access this presentation click here.

Book: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen
This 1995 book critically examines twelve popular American high school history textbooks and concludes that their authors propagated inaccurate, eurocentric, and mythologized views of American history. In addition to his critique of the dominant historical themes presented in high school textbooks, Loewen presents themes that he says are ignored by traditional history textbooks.  Loewen asserts that the muting of past mistakes and tragedies makes America history boring to students, especially to those groups whose histories are ignored.

An Appeal: If You Are Interested in Helping Those Leaving Afghanistan 
The City of Philadelphia is working with partners to welcome Afghan evacuees and returning American citizens who are arriving at the Philadelphia airport.  If you are interested in discovering how you can help click here.