Spokane Racism

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An Evening with Mawi Asgedom — Thursday, August 26, 2010

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Of Beetles and Angels

~~~~~~~~Special Event~~~~~~~

An Evening with Mawi Asgedom
Thursday, August 26, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:00p.m.
Shaw Middle School
4106 N Cook
Spokane, Washington
(Just north of Empire and Cook – map)

Internationally acclaimed author and motivational speaker Asgedom Mawi fled civil war in Ethiopia as a child and survived a Sudanese refugee camp for three years. He overcame poverty, language barriers, and personal tragedy to graduate from Harvard University. He wrote the inspiring book Of Beetles and Angels.

Mawi is the president of Mental Karate, an organization that has helped youth take over 100,000 inspired actions across the U.S. and Canada. Mawi’s experiences relate to Spokane Public Schools continued focus toward family involvement, socially just teaching practices, and meeting the needs of all students, including refugees, ELLs, students of color, and families of poverty.

Media outlets that have featured Mawi include:

– The Oprah Winfrey Show, “One of the Twenty Best Moments of Oprah’s Career”

– ESSENCE, “One of the 40 Most Inspiring African-Americans”

Learn more about Mawi’s work with youth at www.MentalKarate.com.

Seating is limited. Reserve your seat with Janice Abramson (JaniceA@Spokaneschools.org)


Written by Arroyoribera

August 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

Walk a mile in my kid’s shoes

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The following is an excerpt from the minutes of the May 19, 2005 meeting of the Washington State Human Rights Commission meeting at Gonzaga Law School in Spokane, Washington:


Executive Director Marc Brenman next spoke about equity in education issues and the disparate impact of the Washington Assessment and Learning Exam (WASL) on African Americans and limited English speaking individuals.

During the community testimony portion of the forum, the following other individuals spoke:
NAACP Chair V. Anne Smith; Cristina Mitman of the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, Frank
Coyle, Hate Incident Response Team of Spokane, Kiondra Bullock; Chepa Knows His Gun,
Kitera McClure, Bonnie Joseph, Sheila Olajoyegbe, Virla Spence, Gary Lewis, Kathy Costner,
Sherrie Cleveland, Ashley Murphy, Lilly Hugerford, and Bethen Bray.

Many of the individuals that spoke expressed deep concern regarding Spokane School District
Parents testified regarding harassment and lack of support from the principals, teachers, and school board in addressing racism in Spokane #81 schools.  Some commented about the prevalent use of the “n” word in the schools and how officials have categorized the use of the term as “free speech.”

Many expressed concern about how their children have been, teased, bullied, and unfairly
disciplined by school officials because of their race.

Commission staff Investigator Gary Lewis spoke about his experience in Coeur d’Alene with his
His two sons have experienced difficulties in the Coeur d’Alene School District because of their race.  The text books used in those schools have false information regarding Black History.   He is working with others to address these systemic problems in the schools. Hethen spoke about cultural competency and the need for school districts to be culturally competent.

(end quote)

Written by Arroyoribera

January 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Schools