Op-Ed

Acting instead of action: Staging Racial Justice across Champaign-Urbana

Each time I return from a community meeting convened to discuss racial disparities, I marvel at how African Americans have survived in Champaign-Urbana for over a century. On the most recent occasion, I attended the November 30 Champaign County Board Racial Justice Task Force meeting to discuss their “Report and Recommendations Developed to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Champaign County Criminal-Justice System.”

More and more, these meetings feel like the scene from Jordan Peele’s social thriller Get Out when the main character, Chris, attends a family party with his girlfriend, Rose.  Throughout the gathering, Chris remains utterly confused about what exactly is supposed to be accomplished at this event. Attending these racial disparity speed dates all over town leave me in that same headspace.

Nicole Anderson-Cobb, local educator and anti-violence activist, dives into the idea of "taskforcing" racial issues in the community and finds very little honest ado about something very serious.

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