Contact: Ellen O’Neill at 218/722-7425, X106
Anti-Racism Campaign in Duluth, MN, Launches Tuesday, Jan. 24
Press conference scheduled for 11 a.m., Jan. 24, in City Hall
Editor’s Notes: See below for additional photo opportunities. Campaign visuals will be available Jan. 23 on the campaign website under the “Press
Room” tab. See FAQ’s below for more information about the campaign.
Jan. 20, 2012, Duluth, MN – Fifteen community partner organizations in Duluth and Superior, WI, will publically launch the Un-Fair Campaign Jan.
24. The campaign is an anti-racism effort focused on the role white people can play in addressing racial disparities. A press conference is
scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24, in the Mayor’s Reception Room, Fourth Floor, Duluth City Hall, 411 West First Street. > >
The press conference will include a short overview of the campaign and comments from community partners. Duluth Mayor Don Ness will provide
remarks and read a proclamation in support of the campaign. Representatives from partner organizations will be on hand to answer questions from the media.
The tagline for the campaign is: “It’s hard to see racism when you’re white.” The campaign will raise awareness and encourage dialogue through posters, billboards, the campaign’s website, public workshops, guest speakers, community reads, films, and facilitated discussions.
Central Labor Body, Churches United in Ministry (CHUM), City of Duluth
(Mayor’s Office, American Indian Commission, Human Rights Commission),
Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc., Community Action Duluth, Domestic
Abuse Intervention Programs, Lake Superior College, Life House, NAACP, St.
Louis County Public Health and Human Services, University of Minnesota
Posters and other visuals were created in collaboration with SwimCreative, a Duluth-based marketing and design firm.
Photo opportunities Jan. 24:
- 10 a.m. – Volunteers will a hang posters at Electric Fetus in downtown
Duluth, 12 East Superior Street
- 11 a.m. – Press conference, Mayor’s Reception Room, City Hall. Community partners will be represented and will stand behind the speakers.
Multiple spokespeople are available for interviews after the conference.
- 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. – Billboards will go up in four locations with the tagline:
“It’s hard to see racism when you’re white.” Timing will be announced at the press conference.
–I-35 @ 2016 W. Michigan St., facing east
–20 East 2nd St., facing west
–4514 Grand Ave., facing west
–410 N 6th Ave. E., facing north
- 12:30-1:30 p.m. – University of Minnesota Duluth poster hanging. Also, learn about UMD activities underway as part of the campaign. Call Susan Banovetz at UMD for more information about time and location for photo op: 218/726-6141 (work) or 218/213-4552 (cell).
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE UN-FAIR CAMPAIGN?
The Un-Fair Campaign is an educational campaign to raise awareness about white privilege in our community, provide resources for understanding and action, and facilitate dialogue and partnership that results in fundamental, systemic change towards racial justice.
WHY IS THE CAMPAIGN CALLED “UN-FAIR”?
Institutional racism, practiced over centuries and still pervasive today, gives white people unearned advantages over others simply because of the color of their skin. That’s unfair.
WHAT IS WHITE PRIVILEGE?
According to author and scholar Peggy McIntosh: “White privilege is the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so
without being conscious of it.”
Examples of advantages a white person may have that a person of color may not:
- I can walk around a department store without being followed;
- I can come to meeting late and not have my lateness attributed to my
- I am able to drive a car in any neighborhood without being perceived as being in the wrong place or looking for trouble; I can turn on the television or look to the front page and see people of my ethnic and racial background represented;
- I can take a job without having co-workers suspect that I got it because of my racial background;
- I can send my 16-year old out with his new driver’s license and not have to give him a lesson how to respond if police stop him.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE DULUTH COMMUNITY?
The population of Duluth is 90% white, which may be a factor in our community appearing and functioning as a monoculture. This causes some groups to feel marginalized and excluded. This outcome was confirmed in a recent report on a three year study, Soul of the Community, commissioned by the Knight Foundation, which stated:
The [Duluth Area] community significantly underperforms against the
comparison group overall and in four of the seven individual openness
measures. . Fewer residents then in other comparable communities say it is
a good place for racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, young adults
without children, and talented college graduates looking for work.
WHO CREATED THE CAMPAIGN?
A committee of the YWCA, working with SwimCreative, a Duluth-based marketing and design firm, developed the graphics for the campaign over the course of a year. The content, look and feel were developed after extensive conversations with the Un-Fair Committee and campaign and other community partners.
WHO ARE THE CAMPAIGN PARTNERS AND WHAT IS THEIR ROLE?
There are 15 campaign partners to date. They include:
- Central Labor Body
- Churches United in Ministry (CHUM)
- City of Duluth Mayor’s Office
- City of Duluth American Indian Commission
- City of Duluth Human Rights Commission
- Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc.
- Community Action Duluth
- Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs
- Lake Superior College
- Life House
- St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services
- University of Minnesota Duluth
Partner organizations were asked to 1) use the campaign materials in their
organizations, 2) create opportunities for dialogue about the relationship
between white privilege and racism, and 3) make a contribution to the
campaign to cover material expenses.
Posters were printed and made available to partner organizations beginning
in October 2011. They have been used to bring attention to the issue of
white privilege and serve as tools to encourage dialogue and launch new
programs that meet partners’ organizational objectives.
WHEN WAS THE CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED PUBLICALLY AND WHAT WILL IT INCLUDE?
The campaign launched publicly Jan. 24 with a press conference in Duluth’s
City Hall. Four billboards were unveiled and posters were made available
to the community. Stories in the media, and radio and TV public service
announcements (PSAs) followed.
WHAT DOES THE WEBSITE INCLUDE AND HOW IS IT STRUCTURED?
The three overarching messages of the website are to 1) SEE IT, 2) KNOW
IT, and 3) STOP IT. Sections includes tips and resources to help
individuals be aware of how white privilege operates in their lives;
understand the history of institutional racism and the role of white
privilege in creating it; and tools and resources for ending racism in our
Short video clips of community members speaking about the topic are
included throughout the website. Handy tabs include ready resources for
organizations, educators, parents and individuals.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT COMMUNITY EVENTS, DIALOGUES, AND WORKSHOPS
ADDRESSING WHITE PRIVILEGE? The website also includes a calendar of
community events around racism and white privilege. Community
organizations are invited to submit their calendar items via
firstname.lastname@example.org. (The Campaign Committee reserves the right not
to include items that are contrary to the campaign’s mission.)
WHAT CAN INDIVIDUALS DO TO GET INVOLVED IN THE CAMPAIGN AND ITS WORK?
“Doing the work” is about understanding structural racism and analyzing
the systems we work and live in to look for the characteristic of
structural racism. It also entails developing the willingness to
continuously evaluate our own actions and seeing that they align with our
intents, e.g.: “I don’t intend to take advantage of my white privilege,
but I don’t address it or attempt to change it when I identify it.” It
also means dedicating ourselves to being in authentic relationships with
people of different races and ethnicities.
The following are a few things to keep in mind in doing our personal work:
- A willingness to ask questions and face the answers;
- A willingness to be uncomfortable yet stay focused;
- An understanding of the importance of aligning our impact with our intent (walking the walk);
- An awareness of the possible consequences and risks of the journey;
- A commitment to remain on the journey and intentionally and consistently act to address racial inequities;
HOW CAN I SEE STRUCTURAL RACISM?
Do a power analysis that looks at how money, influence, decision making
and relationships affect current outcomes for various groups. This can
guide your work and point out possible areas where structural racism is at
play. In addition, understanding current racial and power dynamics
includes knowing the organizations and individuals currently working on
racial equity, what each contributes, and how they might influence this
Questions that are important to answer are:
- What are the “coded” or unspoken words or ideas that we need to
understand to move our work forward?
- How is power distributed in this community or organization? What are the governance structures (formal and informal) and how do they relate to power and change?
- What are the current relationships among and within racial/ethnic
- What are the formal and informal processes that influence decisions?
- Who is involved? How do various racial/ethnic constituencies influence
- When groups or individuals buck the status quo, what are the different responses?
The public is invited to send comments, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and
calendar items to email@example.com.