Nearly every seat was full at Hannaford Hall this past Saturday night. John Biewen and Chenjerai Kumanyika, the creator and contributor to the Scene on Radio podcast series “Seeing White” came and re-enacted Episode 36 “That’s Not Us, So we’re Clean (Seeing White, Part 6.) The episode considers the differences between Northern and Southern expressions of racism. An energized audience responded with a robust Q&A session where they shared vulnerabilities and questions many people are considering as the facts of the United States’ history come more into our collective awareness.
A strong theme surfaced where people were looking for what actions they can take in response to the inequities of our country. Daveed Thete, Creative Director of Kesho Wazo, the Portland Youth Art Collective, came to the mic and shared some things people can do in the Portland community immediately.
1. There are four Portland Housing Authority Study Centers in Portland: Riverton, Sagamore, Front Street, and Kennedy Park. These centers are underfunded, lack basic materials stuff papers, pencils, art supplies. Volunteer information and donation wish lists can be found here.
2. Buy your basic grocery products (milk, eggs, etc.) locally at immigrant-owned stores such as Halal & Asian markets
3. Support POC-led organizations in Maine like, Sudo Girls, Somali-Mainer’s Youth Network. Visit Maine Initiatives Grants For Change Racial Justice Cohort page to learn about other organizations doing racial equity work in Maine.
Other important links:
Scene on Radio, Seeing White podcast series, including a study guide and bibliography
For Chenjerai’s additional Podcast effort, check out Uncivil
Learn more about Maine Community Foundation’s Racial Equity Work
Once again many thanks to Maine Community Foundation, The Sam L Cohen Foundation, Treehouse Institute, Rising Tide Brewing Company, USM, and Portland Press Hotel for making this amazing event possible.