Let's Talk About It
Let's Talk About It seeks to provide a platform for constructive discussions on race from multidisciplinary perspectives.
Let’s Talk About It is a student-focused, facilitated conversation series, which explores racial justice and equity; including but not limited to topics on privilege, protest and anti-racism.
Participants must register by 11:59 p.m. on the Tuesday before the scheduled program to be guaranteed a spot.
How It Started
As a Black man, I have long seen men of color murdered at the hands of people who were supposed to protect the public. In many of those cases, the men (some of them just boys) were attacked by police based on a call from a “concerned” citizen. In some cases, they were accused of showing aggressive behavior toward others. In all cases, officers swooped in in force and became physically aggressive during a non-aggressive situation, leaving the Black man either dead or seriously injured.
At the same time, I’ve seen scenes in which a white man threatens or commits murder, and after some verbal exchange — sometimes while still holding his firearm — is peacefully taken into custody by sympathetic police officers. In many of these cases, the white man is physically abusive to the officers and still makes it to jail without physical harm coming to him.
For well over 400 years, Black men, women and children have been victimized, threatened and murdered without just cause or justice. Why have these crimes gone unpunished? How has the sense of “just-us” become so poisoned? Who will stand up with Black individuals and families to call for the system-wide change that must happen?
Why is a non-threatening Black man dead at the hands of the very officers who are supposed to protect him, while a white man who openly threatens those around him is taken into custody and treated with consideration — while the community openly agrees with and approves of these practices?
This was the platform for the Let’s Talk About It series: to give us all an opportunity to address our biases, our privilege, and the racial dynamic within which we exist and operate.
As a result of these conversations, participants have had meaningful, positive and life-changing awakenings. I have received many calls and messages from people who shared that they simply did not realize that what they were doing or saying was not racially appropriate or considerate — these conversations (and, in some cases, actions) were just what they’d learned from their families.
I am both proud and grateful that Let's Talk About It has given people an opportunity to embrace and enact positive change.
Johnie L. Reed, M.P.O.D., M.Ed., AFC®
Assistant Professor, Business Administration