January Program – The Upcoming Legislative Session

Our speaker for the January meeting will be Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado, who will discuss the 2017 Legislative Session and LGBTQ protections in 2017.

Daniel graduated from Sterling High School and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with a degree is sociology and Spanish and holds a Certificate in the Study and Practice of Leadership. Throughout his college career he was involved in many local, state, and national organizations. His involvement in the University of Colorado student government led to his election as Student Body President in 2009. During his term, he advocated for many diversity and sustainability initiatives, including a program that established CU-Boulder as the First ZeroWaste Student Government in the United States.

Prior to joining One Colorado, Daniel served as an organizer for the Stonewall Democrats’ “Elect-Equality” Initiative. As an organizer in Palm Springs, CA, he executed an aggressive field plan to recruit, train, and manage volunteers to facilitate voter engagement. He also returned for graduate studies at the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs, and earned a Masters of Public Administration in May 2014.

Before taking on the role of Executive Director at One Colorado, Daniel served as Deputy Director, Director of Safe & Inclusive Schools, as well as the Political and Organizing Director — managing the safe schools program and leading One Colorado’s work to mobilize, educate, and engage the LGBTQ community around important issues.

The New Families Support Group will meet as usual from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The program will start in the Community Room at 7:30

October Program Addresses White Privilege/Fragility

PFLAG Denver board member Mia Furtado, the speaker at the October meeting, challenged her audience to confront “white fragility” in a thoughtprovoking presentation. The queer community has historically been guilty of neglecting queer voices of color. In a broader context, so have we all.

Mia recommended a web-posted article, “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism,” by Dr. Robin DiAngelo. To condense and paraphrase:

While individual whites may be against racism, they still benefit from the distribution of resources controlled by their group. We have organized society to reproduce and reinforce our racial interests and perspectives. Further, we are centered in all matters deemed normal, universal, benign, neutral and good, and this becomes our identity.

Challenges to this identity ̶ to our concepts of individualism/meritocracy, of white authority and white centrality ̶ become highly stressful and even intolerable. Not often encountering these challenges, we withdraw, defend, cry, argue, minimize, ignore, and in other ways push back to regain our racial position and equilibrium. I term that push back white fragility.

This concept came out of my on-going experience leading discussions on race, racism, white privilege and white supremacy with primarily white audiences. It became clear over time that white people have extremely low thresholds for enduring any discomfort associated with challenges to our racial worldviews.

The antidote to white fragility is on-going and lifelong, and includes sustained engagement, humility, and education. We can begin by:

  • Being willing to tolerate the discomfort associated with an honest appraisal and discussion of our internalized superiority and racial privilege.
  • Challenging our own racial reality by acknowledging ourselves as racial beings with a particular and limited perspective on race.
  • Attempting to understand the racial realities of people of color through authentic interaction, not through the media or unequal relationships.
  • Taking action to address our own racism, the racism of other whites, and the racism embedded in our institutions—e.g., get educated and act.

The website is https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/white-fragility-why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism-twlm/.

October Program To Address White Privilege

On Thursday, October 6, PFLAG Denver will present its quarterly program, on dismantling white privilege within the queer community. In light of the recent troubling murders of people of color, the goal of this program will be to help white individuals identify their white privilege and how they can become allies to communities of color. The queer community has rightfully come under scrutiny for “whitewashing” tragic events such as Orlando, as well as historically neglecting queer voices of color.

Mia Furtado, a PFLAG board member, will present definitions of ‘privilege’ and explain how this applies to the white population and how white individuals can become aware of their innate privilege so they do not directly and/or indirectly pass on their ignorance and prejudice.

The program will be held at the CHUN Mansion, 1290 Williams St. in Denver, from 7:30-8:30.

The New Families Support Group will meet as usual at 6:30 p.m. and all will move to the Community Room at 7:30 for the program.