I’ve been hearing about Diana for years, but I didn’t meet her till this week. In 1980 I worked in New Orleans at Tremé Street Academy, a community hub where she and her husband joined Ron Chisom, David Billings, and others to develop a training curriculum which they have refined in the years since. Their training is now a fine-tuned machine, and a new generation of trainers is taking over and moving it forward. The program teaches what racism is, how it works, and how the legal structure of the USA was designed--from the period of colonization and genocide, through the drafting of the constitution, up to the present moment--to benefit white people by all means necessary. Their research is mind-opening and their hope is unequivocal. Racism is a system created by people, and people can take that system down. If this concept interests you, browse their website and peruse their fact sheets. If you ever have a chance to enroll in one of these workshops, do it.
Diana, who is 71, lives much of her life out of a suitcase, traveling around the world facilitating these workshops. A former microbiologist, she brings the methodologies of a scientist and the rigor of an artist to her work. I had heard nothing but admiration for her, but I didn't expect the strength of her wisdom and the kindness of her heart.
Tomorrow we will experience the third and final day of this workshop, a chance to explore specific ways to undo racism. I'm ready for it.