President's Message
2014 Report Card on Race
(Grades to be announced on December 8, 2014, during the 6:00 pm meeting of the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force scheduled at the Department of Human Services Employment and Training Division).

We are in this room to acknowledge that our community is in need of intensive care due to a tragic wound severely in need of healing, before a wound can be healed it must be examined.

Recently, the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force called in a professional expert to provide information on “bias.” Whether intentional or unintentional, bias is real. Communities of color experience bias in every aspect of daily life.  You call it bias. Communities of color and a large number of others call it racism.

The NAACP, in partnership with many others concluded, after nine months of conversations and in-depth research on race, that there is an absence of specific public policy to eliminate bias and racism, and there exists an urgent need for comprehensive policy reform to begin restoration of a sense of trust in those entrusted with leadership. The fate of a healthy community rests on the ability to ensure that the values of justice, equality and opportunity are shared.

Persons of color represent approximately 35% of Sonoma County and 38% in the City of Santa Rosa. Policy makers have a responsibility to understand and recognize the significant barriers that people of color face on a daily basis. Present and historical impediments and limitations to home ownership, educational achievement, health care, political participation and equal treatment in the justice system lead to widely different realities. (See Demographics).

• Institutional bias and racism cause disparate impacts. City and county governments, hospitals, public and private schools, and private businesses – among other organizations in the community – can and have caused or escalated disparate impacts that reflect bias and institutional racism regardless of intent. Some examples: racial profiling by law enforcement, predatory lending, disparities in and lack of access to health services, school discipline, hiring and retention, and Inclusion of people of color in appointment to boards and commissions. 

• Structural bias/racism as “normal.”  Legitimizing an array of dynamics - historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal – guarantees significant advantages to white residents while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for residents of color. Separate and unequal schools, for instance, are a product of the interplay of numerous factors such as historic employment discrimination, housing segregation, predatory lending and entrenched poverty. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism: it is deeply embedded  - and accepted - in all aspects of a community

 Interpersonal bias/racism.  Acceptance and even support for public expression of racial prejudices, hate, bias and bigotry between individuals fosters and condones hate crimes, a dismissive attitude for legitimate concerns and – an “us versus them” mentality. Examples: speech and/or unwelcoming atmosphere at public meetings, “English only” access, to create barriers, rather than to promote full participation by all residents in the community.

• Cultural competency refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures socio-economic backgrounds and comprises four components:
       (a)Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview;
       (b)Attitude towards cultural differences;
       (c)Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldview's, and
       (d)Cross-cultural skills;
Developing cultural competency promotes understanding, communication with, and effective interaction with people across cultures.

Grades for the 2014 Report Card on Race
City of Santa Rosa     D
Santa Rosa City Councils (past and present)F
Santa Rosa City Schools     D
Santa Rosa Police Department          F
Sonoma County Board of Supervisors      C-
Sonoma County Sheriff Department         F
Sonoma County District Attorney            D

Santa Rosa Adult and SRJC/BSU NAACP, Sonoma County ACLU, Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, Latino Democratic Club, Japanese American Citizens League, QUEST, League of Women Voters of Sonoma County.

DEMOGRAPHICS: Population by Race 2010

Santa RosaSonoma County
White alone71%87.7%
Black or African American2.4%1.9%
American Indian and Alaska Native1.7%2.2%
Asian alone5.2%4.1%
Native Hawaiian
 And Other Pacific Islander      0.5%       0.4%
Two or More Races    5.1%      3.7%
Hispanic or Latino    28.6%           25.5%
Other: Not visible in Census numbers. Pakistanis, Sikhs and Arabs may be hidden in either “other” or “Asian” or “White.” African American Muslims may be included under African American. They are out of sight, out of mind. Since 9/11, members of these communities have become victims of hate crimes.  Asian includes those who originate from peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.

Conversation on Race I: Education*
4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
 Thursday, January 23, 2014
SRJC Bertolini Student Activity Center

"Colorblindness dictates that we should not notice or talk about race, and thus the right thing to do in polite company is not acknowledge difference."
-Rodolfo Mendoza, Social & Personality Psychologist, UC Berkeley, Psychology Today

Opening      Rev. Ann Gray Byrd, President, SR NAACP
Welcome     Dr. Frank Chong, President, SRJC

Purpose/Rules   Ida M. Johnson, Chair, NAACP Education Committee)
Introductions    Time keeper: Ernie Carpenter, NAACP 1st Vice President

Unity   Michael Bryant, President, JACL

Moderator  Dr. Carl Wong, former Supt. Sonoma County Schools

Panelists &Laura Gonzalez, Member, Santa Rosa School Board
Group leaders(Discipline: suspensions, expulsions, and racial data for alternatives)

April Harris, Ph.d,  SRJC
(Faculty/staff hiring practices/lack of people of color)
5 min ea.

Diann Kitamura, Curriculum Dir., Santa Rosa City 
(Histories of people of color in curriculum)

 Mark Goitom, SRJC BSU/NAACP
(Student of Santa Rosa schools)

 David Grabill, Quality Education for Every Student
(Housing segregation=school segregation)

Paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A community is not measured by the color of its citizens, but by the content of its character.  What is the content of the character of our community?”

PANELIST-LED GROUPS – The character of OUR community
(Note-taker and Reporter for each group)


6:20 pm                       Closing

Justice-Employment-Health-Equal Representation = Report Card on Race

South Park Dream Mural
Originally purchased by a black man in 1856, as a haven for newly freed slaves, the South Park area became home to blacks who migrated to Santa Rosa after WWII.

Organized in 1950, these few built Community Baptist Church in 1951. 

A mural depicting South Park leaders was unveiled in August. NAACP President, Ann Gray Byrd, keynoted the event.  Pictured in front of the mural: Alicia Sanchez, Rev. Byrd, Brenda Williams and Branch Co-founder O. Platt Williams (deceased December 2014). 
Fourth Tuesday of each month
Peace & Justice Center
467 Sebastopol Avenue
 Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Many Thousands Gone
The Crisis Magazine
Jabari Asim, Executive Editor
April1, 2015

Jimmie Lee Jackson. James Powell. Fred Hampton. Mark Clark. Amadou Diallo.

Walter Scott. Eric Harris. Rumain Brisbon. Tamir Rice. Akai Gurley. Kajieme Powell. Ezell Ford. Dante Parker. Michael Brown. John Crawford III. Tyree Woodson. Victor White III. Yvette Smith. McKenzie Cochran. Jordan Baker. Andy Lopez. Miriam Carey. Jonathan Ferrell. Malissa Williams. Malcolm Ferguson.

Henry Dumas. Timothy Russell. Reynaldo Cuevas. Shantel Davis. Kendrec McDade. Rekia Boyd. Shereese Francis. Ramarley Graham. Kenneth Chamberlain. Aiyana Jones. Kiwane Carrington. Oscar Grant. Tarika Wilson. Sean Bell. Wendell Allen. Tarika Wilson. Timothy Stansbury. Alberta Spruill. Prince Jones. Renisha McBride. . . 

USA Today has reported that on average there were 96 cases of White police officer killing of a Black person each year between 2006 and 2012; based on justifiable homicides reported to the FBI by local police.

At least 392 people have been killed by U.S. police since January 1, 2015.
At least 1,101 were killed in 2014.
At least 2,260 have been killed since May 1, 2013. (
Between 2003 and 2009, the Justice Department reported that 4,813 people died while in the process of arrest or in the custody of law enforcement.

How many is too many? How much is too much?

2011 President's Annual Report: (Click Here)
The Lives of Black Men
New Book: REACH: 40 Black Men on Living, Leading and Succeeding Inspires
Crisis Magazine
Monica Utsey
April1, 2015
In an instant his life changed from that of a young child living in a two-parent household to a child whose father abandoned him and whose mother was arrested. Alex Peay was whisked from a suburban life in Maryland to the mean streets of New York City. He dabbled in a gang before finding a church and consistent guidance from an uncle.

Peay went on to attend a small liberal arts college outside of Pennsylvania. There he started a "silent profest" in which young, sharply dressed African American males ate lunch together on campus each Friday to combat stereotypes of African-American males. Eventually, the group became a support system for other Black and Latino males on campus. … 
2015 Conversation on Race(ism)
     Previous conversations didn’t even scratch the surface of racism in this community. Numerous issues were discussed and a Report Card on several public policy organizations presented. It is clear that there is need to continue the “conversation,” and the Executive Committee agreed to continue with scheduled forums and programs.
     “White Americans need to speak up against racism” “. . .  The two-thirds of white Americans who are willing to accept that racism is still a destructive force in our country need to speak up to the one-third whose views foster racist practices. It takes courage to call racism what it is, especially when one in three white Americans may disagree. . .” (a) 
     A huge question for future conversation: Who has the courage to stand up to racist views when they encounter them? White privilege means that whites have greater access to the societal institutions in need of transformation. To whom much is given, much is required.
     The Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Black Student Union/NAACP College Chapter offered solutions to the numerous issues mentioned during the year. Of the many books and articles utilized, we found one book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: and other Conversations about Race?” (b)
     Future conversations, for purposes of clarity, and to add focus, we recommend this book.
Part I
 "The legacy of racism is not hard to see, and we are all affected by it.”
    Prejudice is a preconceived judgment or opinion, usually based on limited information. We allhave prejudices, not because we want them, but simply because we are so continually exposed to information about others. Racial prejudice, when combined with social power – access to social, cultural, and economic resources and decision-making—leads to the institutionalization of racist policies and practices.
    People of color – Americans that are, or have been targeted by racism. The only meaningful racial categorization is that of HUMAN. Essentially, these labels become a flawed and problematic social construct. We have to be able to talk about it in order to change it.
    >White– Americans of European descent, usually referred to as Caucasian.
    >African American/Black - Many of us are children of the 1960’s ‘Black is Beautiful’ era. (More inclusive, i.e. Afro Caribbean’s dark-skinned Puerto Ricans).
    >Asian – East Asia (e.g. Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
Southeast Asia (e.g. Vietnamese, Laotian, Burmese), Pacific Island (e.g. Samoan, Guamanian, Fiji South Asia (e.g. Indian, Pakistani, Nepali), West Asia (e.g. Iranian, Afghan, Turkish)
Middle East (e.g. Iraqi, Jordanian, Palestinian)
    >Latin – Latino – Hispanic- A matter of preference and regional variations. Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba South America, Central America, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua
    >Native People/American Indian/First Americans “I” is for Invisible: Contemporary Images of American Indians in Curriculum.
    >Non-Whites – offensive term defining groups of people in terms of what they are NOT.
    >Minorities – represents another kind of distortion of information in need of correction. So-called minorities represent the MAJORITY OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION.

    The combination of racism and it various classifications(c)including classism in communities of color is life-threatening. An unfortunate encounter of a black or brown man with a White police officer’s deadly force can kill. Because racism is so ingrained in the fabric of American institutions, it is easily self-perpetuating. All that is required to maintain it is business as usual.
    Dominate and Subordinate groups – Dominate groups, set the parameters within which the subordinates operate. Dominate groups hold the power and authority and determine how that power and authority may be acceptably used. The relationship between the groups is often one in which the targeted subordinate group is labeled as defective or substandard in significant ways. Dominant groups do not like to
be reminded of the existence of inequality, even though firsthand experience is limited by social segregation.

Part II
    This invaluable resource guide should be required reading for everyone entering a conversation on race -- Understanding Blackness in a White Context. Clear, concise explanations for parents, from preschool to “Racial Identity in Adulthood,” and “The Corporate Cafeteria.”

Part III
    Understanding Whiteness in a White Context offers this insight: “If they have lived, worked, an gone to school in predominately White settings, they may simply think of themselves as being a part of the racial norm and take this for granted without conscious consideration of their White privilege, the systematically conferred advantages they receive simply because they are White.

​    The search for White Allies and the Restoration of Hope speaks to the history of White protest against racism while resisting the role of oppressor and who have been allies to people of color. White allies speak up against systems of oppression and challenge other Whites to do the same. They view the study of racism as an opportunity and offer renewed hope to the oppressed. 

Part IV: Beyond Black and White
    For those who believe the NAACP is biased, this section defines: Critical Issues in Latino, American Indian, and Asian Pacific American Identity Development, “There’s more than just Black and White, you know.” The issue of racially mixed identity is thoroughly presented in Identity Development in Multiracial Families.

Part V: Breaking the Silence
    “We need to continually break the silence about racism whenever we can we need to talk about it at home, at school, in our houses of worship, in our workplaces, in our community groups. But talk does not mean idle chatter. It means meaningful productive dialogue to raise consciousness and lead to effective social change.”
    "We all have a sphere of influence. Each of us needs to find our own source of courage so that we begin to speak. . .we cannot continue to be silent. We must begin to speak, knowing that words alone are insufficient . . . meaningful dialogue can lead to effective action. Change is possible. I remain hopeful.”(d)
    We, too, are hopeful. This book offers more than “how-to,” for communities, schools, public policy decision makers, parents, students and all people who refuse to remain silent.
The Appendix is a road-map:
    >Getting Started – Resources to the Next Step
    >What is it: Resources Dealing with Contemporary Racism?
    >How It Happened: Resources Providing a         Historical Perspective
    >What We Can Do About It? Resources for Taking Action
    >Anti-Racism Education: Resource Guides Especially         for Educator
    >Multicultural Books for Children and Adolescents:         Selected Guide for Parents
    >Books for Younger Children
    >Books for Young Adults (6th Grade and Up)
    >Collections of Short Stories for Older Readers
    >Chapter Notes with references

(a) Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

 (b) Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (New York: Basic Books, 2003). Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Dean of Mount Holyoke College as well as a psychologist in private practice. Author of Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community and numerous articles in journal including the Harvard Educational Review and Women’s Studies Quarterly. 

 (c) Racism is a system of advantage based on race, involving cultural messages, institutional policies and practices as well as beliefs and actions of individuals. This system clearly operates to the advantage of whites and to the disadvantage of people of color. 
    Intentional or unintentional bias is still racism.
    Active racism – blatant, intentional acts of racial bigotry and discrimination.
    Passive racism – is more subtle – collusion of laughing when a racist joke is told, of letting exclusionary hiring practices go unchallenged, of accepting as appropriate the omissions of people of color from the curriculum, and of avoiding difficult race-related issues.
    Multiple-isms– racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, ageism in whatever combination, the effect is intensified. 

​(d) Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (New York: Basic Books, 2003). 
Institutional racism is when racial disparities are created and/or exacerbated by key societal institutions such as city/county governments, hospitals, public/private schools, and private corporations. Disparate outcomes are the measure of institutional racism – regardless of whether there is racist intent by the institution or an individual. Racial profiling, predatory lending, and disparities in health services, hiring and retention, and Inclusion of citizens of color in appointment to boards and commissions, school suspensions and expulsions are examples.

Interpersonal racism is the public expression of racial prejudices, hate, bias and bigotry between individuals. Hate crimes (including speech and/or welcoming atmosphere, are examples.)

Structural racism is the normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional and interpersonal – that routinely gives an advantage to whites producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for citizens of color. 

Separate and unequal schools, for instance, are a product of the interplay of numerous factors such as historic employment discrimination, housing segregation, and radicalized poverty. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive forms of racism that is deeply embedded in all aspects of a community

Cultural competency is associated with attributes, knowledge and skills that individuals and organizations do to demonstrate respect and value for each person to manifest an understanding of the dynamic of difference. Cultural competency is an ongoing process of increased proficiency in the ability to access and revise individual organizational behavior in response to an expanded understanding of culture. A respectful education and work environment is critical.

The veil of secrecy must be lifted. Timely, full disclosure of information will restore public confidence in the integrity of the incident, investigation and the department. The voices of those who died at the hands of Sonoma County law enforcement, have been stilled following a 1999 recommendation of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Advisory Commission for a CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD. 


The 2016-17 Report Card on Race 
  (In addition to public Conversations on Race, partnership teams monitor live televised meetings, web sites and print media).



Rev. Ann Gray Byrd
2016 Jack Green Award Recipient