GCS Diversity Officer…uncensored (Carolina Peacemaker)

Monica Walker This is Monica Walker. She is the diversity officer for Guilford Co. Schools, and hasn’t been in the position for very long.

This week’s Carolina Peacemaker has a story on a recent talk she gave downtown at the Central Library. Rather than piece-meal, here’s the article in its entirety:

Anti-racism subject of Peace and Justice gathering


by Gabriel A. Fraire
Carolina Peacemaker
Originally posted 11/16/2007


“Creating a World Without Racism: What It Would Mean for Peace, Justice and our Planet,” was the topic of the guest speaker, Monica Walker, at the ninth annual Peace and Justice Network Potluck, Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Central Library in Greensboro.


Walker, originally from Alabama and recently moving to Greensboro from New York, is an anti-racism trainer and the Guilford County Schools’ diversity officer. Before taking her current position with the Guilford County Schools, she taught in the justice and policy studies program at Guilford College. Walker has also worked as a trainer with Guilford County-based Partnership Project, which conducts anti-racism workshops.
Using her training skills Walker asked the audience to write down five words: remember, reconcile, reconnect, rebuild and redefine. She then connected each word to her main theme. Walker said, “Your ethnicity connects you to your community. It is so important to connect with our ethnicity.”


She moved about the room and asked people, “What is your ethnicity.” The answers, of course, varied. She explained to those who said, American, that the country of one’s birth is their nationality, not ethnicity. She noted that race is a political description. She said that ethnicity is the traditions that have been passed on to one from their ancestors. She said to remember these traditions is important.


“We all have a lot to reconcile.” She said. She added, “We have to reconnect with that that made us very human.”


With the word “rebuild” she said that it doesn’t necessarily mean remodel. She said sometimes things are not originally constructed correctly. “We need to look at what needs to be rebuilt.”


Always directing her talk toward racism, Walker said that one’s external constructions are what someone else had created. “Some of us need to redefine ourselves.” She emphasized that often the work one needs to do is not on the outside but on the inside. “The greatest work to be done is that which is closest to us.”


The Peace and Justice Network was created in 1999 after Greensboro peace activist Tom Berry used a phone tree to organize a vigil to oppose the first Gulf War. According to literature provided, the idea was that e-mail would be a more effective way to alert a network of people to the various peace and justice activities in the area.


In addition to e-mail announcements, Peace and Justice also maintains a Web site (www.peace-justice.net) and hosts periodic social events, including the annual potluck, which brings together people interested in issues including education, the environment, racial and economic justice, and peace. Several organizations setup information tables at Sunday’s event. Will Ridenour who played an African string instrument called a Kora provided music.


Walker closed her presentation by noting, “When we begin to connect we begin to recognize other peoples humanity.”

******************

Comments?

E.C. 🙂

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4 Responses

  1. What Walker is peddling here is an absolute load of tripe.

    “She explained to those who said, American, that the country of one’s birth is their nationality, not ethnicity.”

    Followed by:

    “She said that ethnicity is the traditions that have been passed on to one from their ancestors.”

    That Walker doesn’t seem to think that there are uniquely-American traditions is not only troubling, but shows a serious misunderstanding of the populations she’s supposedly trying to bring together. I’d be happy to spend 5 minutes with Walker in front of the magazine rack at any bookstore and bring her up to speed on American culture, which parts were unique and why.

    Then I’d explain to her how her positions as an anti-racism and public school district diversity officer are uniquely American.

    “She noted that race is a political description.”

    I’d be interested in Walker’s thoughts on how those who carry sickle cell disease alleles ought to categorize that as “political.”

    Walker’s bizarre relativism is one thing; the inability she demonstrated in this piece to maintain logic and sense within that flawed stance is another.

    “Always directing her talk toward racism, Walker said that one’s external constructions are what someone else had created. “Some of us need to redefine ourselves.””

    Hopefully – though it is unlikely – Ms. Walker will realize that not everything in society is grounded in racism. That, along with a hefty dose of real understanding of race/culture/ethnicity, might help her “begin to connect” to others.

    Until then, Walker will continue to have all the authority of a third-rate freshman in a Sociology 101 class.

  2. The problem here is that as Diversity Officer of GCS, she has authority to spread and teach this tripe, and people are required to listen to her. Of course, this is not as offensive and damaging as the Racial Healing workshops that GCS required of some teachers conducted by Crossroads Ministries a few years ago. In those, they were telling white teachers that they were racists because they were white. As a matter of fact, they said that all white people are racists, and black people by definition can not be racist. And, for that, taxpayers paid hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  3. Stand by…I had to do some investigating and I have a separate lengthy post coming on this…stand by…

  4. […] GCS Diversity Officer… Uncensored, Huey analyzed a recent Carolina Peacemaker article about Walker’s diversity programs: […]

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