How can the lessons learned from the first year of the pandemic shape our equity-centered climate work for the future? Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna, Penn Loh, and Lisette Le discuss the three most important takeaways:
1. Racism is at the root of vulnerability
2. Resilience requires investing in equity-centered organizations
3. Supporting network building is a key resilience strategy
Read the essay and check out the accompanying art here: https://www.barrfoundation.org/blog/lessons-from-the-pandemic-for-building-resilience
This session focuses on the Depression era through the mid-1960s. This time period can be characterized as willful blindness to the experiences of historically oppressed groups in Boston, most especially Blacks as well as Jews. This is also the time period where the racial disparities we see today – particularly wealth disparities and segregation – become rooted.
This session focuses on roughly the post-Civil War or Reconstruction period through roughly the WWI era. This was a time of upheaval and change all across the country and as well as in Boston. Dr. Estrella-Luna focuses on the struggles for racial justice in Boston.
19 January 2021
Words Matter: Protest, Insurrection, Coup
What do we call what happened at the Capitol on January 6th and why does that matter? In this talk we will review the legal and ethical differences between various types of uprisings with a focus on constructive versus destructive rebellion.
(Click on image to watch the video)
15 January 2021
The College of St. Rose
Maintaining an inclusive community
Dr. Estrella-Luna delivered a talk to help the College community gain context and perspective on the January 6 insurrection in the US. She provided guidance on moving forward by nurturing shared values and committing to accountability before reconciliation.
"Sometimes we have to remind each other what the values of our community are and who we really are as people in our community in all of our complexity as human beings, and this requires practicing some level of nonjudgmental compassion. ... With that said, non-judgmental compassion does not mean no consequences."
(Click on image to read the remarks)
22 September 2019
TEDx Salem State University
Talking Mindfully about Whiteness
"So, how do we do that? I’m glad you asked. What I’ve found is that learning to talk about Whiteness is best done through structured skill building and learning in racial affinity groups.”
(click on image for video)
13 July 2020
Hard Conversations on Racism - You can do it!
In the US, there is no conversation harder to have than anything that is about race. White people report being afraid of offending someone. People of color are afraid their experiences and perspectives will be dismissed or ignored. But these are conversations that are long overdue and we all need to develop and practice being in dialogue with each other in order to move forward together. In this workshop, we will learn what White people should expect – and not expect – from people of color in these conversations and review strategies for having conversations with people who have different experiences and perspectives than you do. We will practice these in breakouts.
26 April 2020
First Church of Boston
A discussion with Laura Wagner (UU Mass Action), Rebecca Herst (Sustainable Solutions Lab), and Maureo Fernández y Mora (Clean Water Action) moderated by Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna to help people how COVID-19’s impact on the most vulnerable communities intersects with the climate crisis and the implications for the world that we will create coming out of this pandemic.
10 March 2020
Everyone has experiences and histories that are different than yours and likely unknown to you. We facilitate the success of our students when they belong as they are. Your students are likely different than you. Because of this, we have to be mindful and attentive to the environment we create through our actions and interactions. If you really want to achieve your own goals, then you have to pay attention to these things. We have to restructure how we work to change our behaviors.
23 January 2020
Salem State University
A book dialogue with campus community members to discuss content from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s book, “How to Be an Antiracist,” facilitated by Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna. Dr. Estrella-Luna will provide a summary of the book's main arguments as well as a critique of some of its arguments and frames. Participants will engage in dialogue about questions raised by the book in relation to our racial equity and inclusion efforts at Salem State.
Part of the 30th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week: "Lift Every Voice, Now More Than Ever."
18 September 2019
Belonging as we are:
Creating cultures of inclusion and belonging for social justice
Organizations that do service, activism, and advocacy may also perpetuate inequities in it's own policies and practices. In this talk, I discuss those problems, provide a positive definition of inclusion and equity, and challenge future leaders committed to social change to put the values that motivate our work into action in their organizations and communities.
18 September 2019
Salem State University
"So as we spend this month celebrating who we are, let us remember, there is not one Latinidad. There is only Latinidades. These Latinidades will have different shades and flavors. Different languages and accents. Different histories and current lived realities. What connects us across Latinidad ... is that we all walk in two and sometimes three worlds. And we walk these worlds with purpose. We walk those worlds to build bridges. We walk those worlds to be bridges. We walk to resist. We walked to open up spaces for those coming behind us. We walk to learn and unlearn and relearn. We walk to reconnect. To reclaim. To renew.”
6 April 2019
"There is no formula for this. There are models for cultural responsiveness. There are models for creating trauma informed schools. But there is no one way to create a community of inclusiveness where everyone feels like they belong. The only thing that I’ve seen that is common across communities who have successfully maintained progress towards widening inclusivity is a commitment to their most vulnerable members, a commitment to each other, and a commitment to their community."
19 January 2019
"What’s really interesting to me is that market fundamentalists will cite Adam Smith as if he was Jesus Christ but ignore that Smith connected ethics to economics. Before he wrote The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote The Theory of Moral Sentiments. He argued that moral judgments based on fairness and justice were necessary conditions for functioning markets. Without them, you have corruption and unfair treatment."
"Economic inequality is nothing more than a vehicle for exclusion that simply cannot be justified in any moral or ethical way."