The Past Calls Out to Us

So many of my friends and colleagues are bewildered, disappointed and angered with all that is going on around us. It seems as if all that we fought for throughout the sixties is being dismantled, attacked or banned. Many are wondering: who amongst us will emerge to save us all from these dire times of … Read more

Lunchee, Lunchee!!

I rang my Tibetan bell to begin a workshop with about 100 doctors and administrative staff from a major hospital. An older doctor yelled out, “Lunchee, lunchee!!” Many in the audience laughed, but just as many were stunned and looked away or down. There was a long silence. The doctor looked around quizzically.

The Challenge of Hope

Each year, at this time, we are inspired by the possibilities of another beginning. Yet, if we have not learned from our past, then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. It has now been thirty-three years that I have been doing diversity work and making films. And so, the question most often asked … Read more

I’m Leaving This Town

With all that is happening in Gaza, I was reminded of an incident that occurred many years ago in one of my workshops. I think it is a good reminder of the words of Mother Teresa: Perhaps we have no peace because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. A European American woman … Read more

HAY OTRAS OPCIONES (There is another way)

Recently, I was asked by two of my trainers if I could help them with setting up discussion circles at their respective colleges to help students talk about the Israeli, Hamas and Palestinian conflict. I agreed and when they were finished having the discussion groups, they were exhilarated at the response from the students and … Read more

The Dream of a Better World

In 1995, in the last scene of Stolen Ground (racism towards Asian Americans), I asked each of the Asian men in the cast: What if you were facing an all-white audience … what would you say to them? There was a prolonged silence and eventually tears intertwined with a deep sense of sadness, anger and … Read more

What is the Fear for Whites to Talk About Racism?

My group experience as a community therapist and facilitator has taught me that whenever there is denial and/or defensiveness, there is also a fear and need to protect something or someone. I think that the general reaction of most whites is that when the subject of racism comes up, they will be scapegoated and blamed by BIPOC, and that the focus of discussion will be on how they have continued to perpetuate racism.

A Gun in the Mouth

As I’ve grown older, life seems to be filled with so many deja vu moments: some joyous and others painfully familiar. Such is what happened recently when I read about a sheriff’s department in Mississippi under investigation after a series of disturbing reports of violent interactions with Black men, including two that were fatal and … Read more