On November 15th – 17th, members of Alliance for A Just Society attended the Facing Race 2012 Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland. Hosted by the Applied Research Center (ARC), Facing Race is a conference like no other– it is the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, artists, and activists on racial justice.
Ideas of how to advance strategies for policy change were shared amongst the 1,800 attendees. World renown race activists were present like NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, social media extraordinaire Deanna Zandt, and the unforgettable Pulitzer Prize winning author, Junot Diaz. Sessions addressed topics such as the 2012 election, economy, arts and culture, LGBTIQ and sexuality, education reform, multiracial organizing, immigrant rights, and the development of racial justice leadership and training models. Alliance For A Just Society board member and ARC Founder, Gary Delgado, presented an innovative media presentation that displayed how organizers can spread their messages through useful tools of short video clips.
Attendees of the Facing Race conference gathered in both large, open and small, intimate settings. Presentations were made to the general body on the issues of Race and Gender, and then broke down into specific topics in great detail through the use of workshops. Alliance For A Just Society members Will Pittz, Ron Williams, Jill Reese and Danisha Christian hosted a dynamic workshop titled, “Make Them Pay: Ways to Hold Insurance Companies Accountable to Addressing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.” The workshop examined policy options and organizing opportunities for the implementation of health reform that promotes health equity.
Alliance For A Just Society took to the road and headed for Washington D.C., to attend a Call-to-Action to support the efforts of Campaign for Prison Phone Justice. Predatory phone companies force families to choose between paying for essentials like food or staying connected to loved ones in prison. Hundreds gathered at the steps of the Federal Communications Commission to support regulations that ensure fair phone rates for the families of prison inmates.
The Facing Race 2012 Conference was an informative celebration of successful victories of the past, and a comprehensive vision of what we can achieve in our future. Alliance For A Just Society faced race, and did so fiercely.