We wanted something that would help our people think
about the people we serve and what their life is like,
Director Rodger McDaniel said. We need to be aware
of how our feelings impact the way we deliver our services.
McDaniel said the program is part of the agencys
shift of focus away from the needs of one child in a family
and more on the family as a whole.
If a child comes into our system, it is not good
practice to focus on the needs of that child without focusing
on the family dynamics, he said.
The training, Undoing Racism, is conducted
by The Peoples Institute and results from the departments
partnership with Casey Family Programs.
In Wyoming, theres sort a sort of a sense that
we dont have a lot of racial diversity here, so its
not a problem, McDaniel said. Thats not
true when you look at the data.
Considerably higher numbers of children of color
fail to complete high school than Caucasian children. A
disproportionate number of children of color are in out-of-home
care. We need to understand why thats happening.
Brenden McKinney, director of Casey Family Programs here,
said children are removed from black and American Indian
homes at a rate four to five times higher than for white
Also, white children tend to remain in the state welfare
system longer than minorities.
Our Experience has shown us that organizing skills alone
are not sufficient to build the kinds of coalitions necessary
for a broad-based movement for social change. The Peoples
Institute is committed to teaching organizing skills only
in the context of the following principles:
Racism is the single most critical barrier to building
effective coalitions for social change. Racism has been
consciously and systematically erected, and it can be undone
only if people understand what it is, where it comes from,
how it functions, and why it is perpetuated.
History is our guide to the future and a tool for effective
organizing. If we fail to learn from history, we are condemned
to repeat it.
Culture is the life support system of a community. If a
communitys culture is respected and nurtured, the
communitys power will grow.
Grassroots leadership needs to be developed intentionally
and systematically within local communities.
Accountability to the community is the key to organizing
effectively and with integrity.
The growth of an effective broad-based movement for social
change requires networking or building a net that
works. As the movement develops a strong net, people
are less likely to fall through.
Accepting and acting out the definition of self, given
you by your oppressor, rooted in a race construct that had
designated your race as the inferior race, or one of many
inferior races. It is a multi generational disempowerment
process manifested in many forms.
The accepting and acting out the definition of self, given
you by your self, rooted in a race construct that designated
your race as the superior race. It is a multi generational
empowerment process that internalizes and often makes invisible
to the designated superior race their white skin privilege.
Most of us who are organizers have come from the efforts
that promoted the down with the system theory.
Now many of us are the system. The position we hold is that
of gatekeeper within institutions. The very
nature of an institution is to have the position of gatekeeper
to ensure that the institution perpetuates itself. When
we understand our position as a gatekeeper from an anti-racist,
anti-oppressive perspective and are in an accountable relationship
with community, this position can serve as an important
springboard from which institutional transformation can
Militarism must be recognized as applied racism. It is
the force that maintains the current imbalance of power.