April 2022 Newsletter
curated by Shelly Tochluk
Author of Witnessing Whiteness and Living in the Tension
Member of AWARE-LA

Hello All! I hope this email finds you well. This month’s newsletter offers a small handful of resources and opportunities for engagement. The limited number of links is due to a life disruption that reduced my ability to attend to the fire hose of information flowing by us every day. As I continue recovering from the accident in the months ahead (I am okay, but using crutches), if you see something you think would be a good fit for this newsletter, please email it to me. We would all benefit! Thank you in advance!

Finally, after many months waiting for the final version to arrive, I am pleased to announce that the Western States Center has published this toolkit for parents and caregivers. (It is useful for teachers as well!) Full disclosure, I am proud to be one of the co-authors. Download the PDF here!
From the Western States Center: “People of all ages in the U.S. have witnessed a steep rise in violence and other activity from white nationalist and other anti-democracy groups. At the same time, harmful conspiracy theories have steadily gained visibility in mainstream rhetoric and politics. Not only have young people witnessed these unsettling shifts but—as many parents, caregivers, educators, and spiritual leaders report—they have also been negatively influenced by them, in some cases with tragic consequences. 
This guide is a resource for parents, caregivers, and any adult committed to interrupting the flow of these bigoted ideas and conspiracy theories, and engaging young people in conversations about where they come from, how they spread, and what they can do about it.”
Are you interested in reviewing the new 3rd Edition of Witnessing Whiteness? (August is the anticipated publication date.) For those who follow this newsletter because you read an earlier version of the book, this version is significantly different. If you’ve never read my work, this is a great fit. The new version is heavily revised and reflects our nation’s current state of affairs. It includes a new chapter, many reconstructed chapters, and the introduction of a new pair of guiding voices.
I still need to locate a platform that will allow me to share the information in a secure way that my publisher approves. But, if I can make it work, would you like to read it before the publication date at no cost? The goal is to generate early reviews in praise of the book that we can post online as soon as the book becomes available. Please enter your information HERE if you’d like to participate. I hope to include up to 15 people.
This four-day intensive, deep dive for white people working on their antiracist practice will take place via Zoom again this summer. I have co-produced this program with AWARE-LA for the last 13 years and continue to find it a unique and essential offering. Check out the information sheet for more details about the program. We currently have space available, although spots generally fill up quickly. Please register soon if you’d like to attend.
Last month, I highlighted this organization – GPAHE - founded by two former SPLC staff. They focus on the global rise of authoritarianism and the hate and bigotry fueling it. They recently acted in response to the propaganda coming out of Russia.
“The Russian-funded and directed propaganda outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik are two of the major avenues through which the Putin regime spreads disinformation to justify its devastating invasion of the Ukraine. The channels are notorious for also distributing favorable content about white supremacist groups, allowing them to recruit and spread their messages. The result is real world harm and threats to democracies everywhere. After we applied pressure, YouTube has cut ties with both outlets.” Read more here.


The Other Talk
by Brendan Kiely


Full disclosure – I have not yet read this book, but I want to! I’m excited to know it exists, and a colleague of mine in Los Angeles wrote this review of it as part of a letter to his local school district advocating for them to adopt it as part of their curriculum. This letter is worth reading, not only to learn about the book, but as a model for how to be vocal within your own community.
Here is the official description of the book:
“Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Brendan Kiely starts a conversation with white kids about race in this ‘well-executed and long overdue’ (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) introduction to white privilege and why allyship is so vital.

Talking about racism can be hard, but...Most kids of color grow up doing it. They have “The Talk” with their families—the honest talk about survival in a racist world. But white kids don’t. They’re barely spoken to about race at all—and that needs to change. Because not talking about racism doesn’t make it go away. Not talking about white privilege doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The Other Talk begins this much-needed conversation for white kids. In an instantly relatable and deeply honest account of his own life, Brendan Kiely offers young readers a way to understand one’s own white privilege and why allyship is so vital, so that we can all start doing our part—today.

 AWARE’s monthly Sunday Dialogue (SD) occurs on the 3rd Sunday of every month, 3-5PM Pacific via the Zoom online platform.  We focus on connecting, sharing, and learning from one another. If you'd like to join us to receive monthly invitations, please subscribe here: Sunday Dialogues Interest List Sign Up
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Shelly Tochluk · 10 Chester Place · Los Angeles, CA 90007 · USA

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