Breaking the Silence of Racism


manOn Saturday December 1, the City of Davis Human Relations Commission will sponsor an event entitled, “Breaking the Silence of Racism,” which will take place from 1pm to 3pm in Community Chambers, 23 Russell Blvd.

Community members are invited to share their recent experiences and thoughts regarding racist incidents in the Davis community and ask questions of a panel comprised of local leaders and officials.

The panelists will not be asked to present, but rather will answer questions or address comments that come from participants. Sandy Holman, founder of The Culture C.O.O.P., will moderate the panel, which will include the following individuals.

  • Rochelle Swanson, City Council Member and Local Business Owner
  • Jonathon Raven, Yolo County District Attorney’s Office
  • Rev. Kristin Stoneking, Campus Minister of CA House
  • Rahim Reed, UC Davis Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations
  • Captain Darren Pytel, Davis Police Department

The Commission hopes that “Breaking the Silence of Racism” will

  • Allow participants to share their stories
  • Allow participants to discuss whether existing public policies are sufficient to address indifference, discrimination and racial violence
  • Help the public understand the components that sustain racism in our community
  • Continue and advance community dialogues on racism

The Commission understands that the problems we face in this community related to race will not be solved in a single community event. However, the Commission will commit to continuing this discussion in the months following this meeting, developing a framework of goals and outlining a full agenda of specific actions. The Commission commits to taking the public’s concerns and using them to create an action plan.


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One thought on “Breaking the Silence of Racism”

  1. medwoman

    I just returned from an eyeopening experience that I believe is pertinent to this topic. We recently accepted the invitation of a long time friend of my partner who has very close ties to Haiti to visit him there. For me, there were many take home lessons. However, the relevant one is the experience, which I have never had before, of being the only light skinned person within sight most of the time.

    While I did not experience any overt hostility, and on a number of occasions was treated with what I would consider more than a usual amount of consideration and deference, there was not a single doubt in my mind that I was regarded differently based on the color of my skin. I cannot help but wonder whether there is not a similar, if less glaring difference in how blacks perceive that they are treated by the majority population in Davis despite the feelings of many that there is no racism here,

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