Washington, DC -- The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF); Brown University; the American Jewish Committee (AJC); Kevin Powell’s BK (Building Knowledge) Nation; Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF); Tami Luchow, Founder of Careforlifeandlimb.org; and other community organizations will gather a diverse representation of college students to participate in the launch of “Hacking Racism, Bias & Bigotry” (HRBB) initiative at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island (the effort will move next to the College of William and Mary which will engage Virginia public universities, and will move on to colleges and universities across the country and expanding to high schools). Additional partners will be announced over the next two weeks.
HRBB will feature the Kiva Process to create an interactive, collaborative and open forum focused on the students’ ideas which will be collected, analyzed and published as a set of policy recommendations/brown paper for distribution to policy-makers, other universities, nonprofits, foundations and others interested in the issue which has consumed not just college campuses but the entire country, especially after the tragedy Charlottesville, VA.
“It’s time we turn to youth to lead us out from the dark cloud hanging over America,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “That cloud got even more ominous this past weekend in Charlottesville, VA. Although HRBB has been in the planning stages for a year, it is more critical than ever we move forward with addressing these issues of racism, bias and bigotry. We are grateful to Brown University led by diversity leaders Dania Matos and Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo, the AJC, BK Nation, APIASF, Tami, and other partners for ensuring voices across all spectrums are heard – no group of students will be left out of the ideation.”
“Racism, hatred and bigotry have long been a dark cornerstone of the history of the United States, but it is NOT our future,” said Dania Matos, Brown University alumna, who is currently the Deputy Chief Diversity Officer at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. “No mas. Enough is enough. Charlottesville is everywhere. It's your town. It's your city. It's your state. It's your country. As we grapple with what to do next, we must take action or risk reliving the sins of our nation. Hacking Racism, Bias and Bigotry at Brown University is the call to action where our youth will create actionable solutions for a better and actual ‘United’ States of America.”
"The diverse students from campuses across the Northeast who will participate in this process of engagement will bring their unique perspectives and lived experiences so that we may become more fully able to individually and collectively combat racism and bigotry across our communities," added Dr. Liza Cariaga-Lo, Senior Advisor to the Provost for Academic Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Brown University.
The interactive, audience-focused, KIVA/Hacking approach has been used by HHF effectively to address other issues from diversity in tech industry, to diversity in media and entertainment, and other unresolved issues that HHF believes can be solved by youth. Kiva is a Southwestern Native American group-reflection and discussion-process, which provides a structured group experience encouraging critical reflection and self-analysis through multiple, sequenced facets of a single issue. That way, the focus is on the participants, not the organizers who are simply there to facilitate and frame the issue.
The Hispanic Heritage Awards inspires, prepares and connects Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce as well as promotes cultural pride, accomplishment and its’ great promise. For more information on the mission of HHF visit www.hispanicheritage.org.
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