There's so much to love about FACTUALITY but one of my favorite parts is participant storytelling.
Pictured here is Loyola University's F.I.R.S.T. Assistant Director, Scott, sharing painful childhood memories about an encounter outside of a redlined neighborhood in Baltimore.
He recalls the time when he was five years old and in Hampden at sundown. As he and his mother "attempted" to leave the neighborhood, their car was barricaded by three pickup trucks. One in the front, one in the back, and one on the side of their car.
Two men approached their car, sitting on the hood smoking cigarettes. One of the men in the trucks revved his engine, simultaneously causing the rubber on his tires to burn.
For arguably the longest 45 minutes of their lives, their fate was unknown. Per his mother's instructions, Scott stayed crouched on the ground for nearly an hour. They were terrified.
Finally one truck leaves, then another, but the last truck... as Scott and his mom drove off, the last truck followed them until they cleared the Hampden neighborhood line.
Racism is not a distant past and we are most certainly not living in a post racial society.
Yesterday I debuted FACTUALITY Baltimore.
Framed around facts re: the city’s racist housing practices of the early 1900’s, this board includes the Baltimore neighborhoods that were redlined over 100 years ago.
Including Sandtown RIP Freddie Gray
This facilitation will also expose the present day targeted discriminatory practices that have maintained the demise of originally redlined neighborhoods, for over a century.
Housing segregation is intimately connected to the quality of one’s education, healthcare, access to employment, access to healthy food, lead exposure, prevalence of violence, likelihood of racial profiling and police brutality etc... and not enough people know that this is all by design.
One facilitation at a time, I will use regional boards to share an even more compelling story about structural inequality in America.
I couldn’t be more proud of the evolution of my work.
My visit to St. Paul's School for Girls would not be possible without Aisha Mason, the institution's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Liaison.
Aisha attended at professional development FACTUALITY facilitation, last spring, at Calvert School's Middle School Diversity Conference; shortly after that, we began discussing a facilitation for the faculty and staff at SPSG.
As I closed out the session, I was greeted by a rousing standing ovation... they are so special to me that I have to hold tears back.
Thank you, Aisha, for seeing the value in this work and in FACTUALITY.
Did you know that FACTUALITY will reach its 3000th participant this month!?!
Did you know that FACTUALITY has a monthly newsletter?
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...and I will be visiting again! Three days after my initial FACTUALITY facilitation at Skidmore College, I was invited to facilitate two additional sessions for the greater Skidmore community.
I worked with Framingham State's Residence Life team for a spring training, so you can imagine how surprised I was when they invited me back for a fall session.
Apparently, many of the returners enjoyed FACTUALITY so much that it warranted another facilitation... and of course I obliged.
Muhlenberg College will forever hold a special place in my heart. Katy Mangold, Associate Director of Residential Education, was the very first person to hire FACTUALITY for a facilitation. It was such an honor to be rehired by the first person that gave me and this game a shot.
During my Back to School Tour, I had the honor of facilitating two consecutive sessions on Mount St. Mary's campus. This brings me to FOUR facilitations on that campus, since April! Thank you for the support!
Two random FACTS:
1. My career, in diversity & inclusion, began in Boston.
2. I love storytelling.
Thank you Boston Voyager for including my voice in your Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative series. It was such an honor to be included among the powerful stories told by Boston's creatives.
There's nothing like receiving a standing ovation in your home state! Shout out to Mia-Kay for choosing FACTUALITY to support Curry College's RA training.