is by invitation from an existing BRJA member. If you are interested in meeting with one or more members to become acquainted, please contact us at [email protected] .
BRJA Advisory Board:
A. Adar Ayira, Dottye Burt-Markowitz, Sine Hwang Jensen, Dianne Lyday, Cristina Meneses, Maggie Potapchuk, Cindy Plavier-Truitt, Avis Ransom, Betty Robinson, Harriet Moon Smith, Erica Taylor .
Olivia Fite . Marisela Gomez . Stan Markowitz . Betsy Merbitz . Jamal Mubdi-Bey . Lucy “Silver” Oppenheim . Cynthia A. Taylor . Brenda Zook-Friesan
People of Color Affinity Group (Baltimore Activists of Color Organized for Equity):
A. Adar Ayira, Tracy Durant, Michael Franklin, Rajani Gudlavalleti, Sine Hwang Jensen, Dayvon Love, Sohpia Mak, Yvette McEachem , Cristina Meneses, Anthony Newman, Avis Ransom, Erica Taylor, Lisa Williams .
White Affinity Group (White Anti-Racism Network):
Mohammad Arefnia . Dottye Burt-Markowitz . Julia Coles . Elizabeth DuVerlie . Alisa Engsberg . Deb Gardner . Micaela Gramelis . Laura Hesselton . Nora Howell . Eva Bonomo Jannotta . Diane Kuthy . Julie Little . Dianne Lyday . Cynthia J. Newcomer . Massimo Petrozzi . Maggie Potapchuk . Bob Rand . Betty Robinson . Olivia Robinson . Rachael Shannon . Harriet Smith . Sarah Tooley . Cindy Plavier Truitt .
A. Adar Ayira is a poet, artist, social observer, consultant and anti-racism / anti-oppression facilitator and trainer with more than 20 years of experience and a commitment to continued internal growth and external learning on these issues. An “anti-oppression philosophy” provides the foundation for all of her work. She studies the historical development, manifestations, and trends around the “ism” issues in American society that have been used to systematically and institutionally oppress groups of people since the inception of the United States of America, with a particular focus on racism/white supremacy and internalized oppression. For 19 years, Adar has been Principal Consultant at Core Concepts, a nonprofit-specialist consulting firm which provides skills development, technical assistance, organizational and program development, and fundraising services that are essential to an organization’s viability and growth. Core Concepts, founded by Ms. Ayira, reflects her activist philosophy, support of grassroots-level programs, and commitment to social change. During the past 5 years, Adar has been Project Manager of the More in the Middle Initiative, an economically-driven strategic intervention of Associated Black Charities and its partners targeted toward creating an economically healthier and more prosperous Maryland and region for all its residents. Adar was trained by Dr. Margo Okezawa-Rey and participated in her first training class specifically for People of Color. Follow Adar on her blog Blogging Amerikkka and on Twitter: @AdarAyiraViews
Dottye Burt-Markowitz is a co-founder of Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA) and owner of Paso Training and Consulting, which has been doing anti-racism/anti-oppression work with nonprofits and faith communities for over 25 years. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University, and has a long history of volunteer work on issues of education, the environment, international peace and justice, community organizing, and the criminal (in)justice system. She is chair of Alternative Directions, Inc. working with prisoners, women leaving prison and their families.
Elizabeth DuVerlie founded and chairs the Working Group on Racism among Quaker Monthly Meetings in the Baltimore area and is immediate past chair the Working Group on Racism of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (of the Religious Society of Friends). She received her initial anti-racism training with BRJA and has had additional trainings through Pendle Hill Conference Center, notably “Beyond Diversity 101.” She is an experienced facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) in Maryland prisons, and is a trained mediator and restorative justice facilitator.
Marisela Gomez, an activist, health practitioner, author. Her work and writings address the social determinants of health, community organizing, social policy and practices for racial and class equity in marginalized communities, prison and community health, and rebuilding equitable and sustainable communities. She received her undergraduate degree and masters of science from University of New Mexico and a master’s in public health, PHD, and MD from the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health. She is lead consultant for Social Health Concepts and Practice, Inc.
Eva Bonomo Jannotta is a white woman raised in Maryland. She earned bachelor degrees in Gender and Women’s Studies and English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she was first introduced to critical race theory and activism through feminist studies and women of color feminisms. She now works for MOM’s Organic Market. She joined WARN and BRJA in 2011.
Sine Hwang Jensen is a member of Baltimore Racial Justice Action’s Advisory Board. She is currently working on a master’s degree in history and library science at University of Maryland, College Park with a goal to work in preserving and sustaining the cultural heritage of historically oppressed communities.
Diane Kuthy is an artist and educator who has taught art in a variety of contexts in Baltimore including K-12 public schools, universities, museums, and community settings. In 2000 she was awarded an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship at the Stadium School in the Waverly Community in Baltimore City to forge community connections through art. Currently she is a lecturer of art education and studio art at Towson University as well as a doctoral student in the Language, Literacy and Culture program at UMBC.
Dianne Lyday was raised in a small, homogeneous, farming community in Ohio, and has spent the decades since then in various metropolitan cities across the U.S. settling finally in Baltimore. She began her Bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Los Angeles, and finished at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and completed a Masters in Theology at Baltimore’s St. Mary’s Seminary & University’s Ecumenical Institute. She is retired from the Social Security Administration (SSA) after 34 years of service determining eligibility for benefits in the Kansas City Payment Center (now Mid-America Program Service Center), followed by two decades in the Office of Systems as a computer programmer, and IT supervisor. She now works as a facilitator/co-facilitator with Baltimore Racial Justice Action conducting racial equity workshops and training courses and performing project management.
Stan Markowitz grew up in working-class de-facto segregated neighborhoods in Northern, NJ. He served in the Army in Atlanta, Georgia from 1957 to 1959. That background led him to question racism at an early age. Stan received an Master of Arts degree in U.S. History at the University of Maryland where he helped create an organization which worked for equal housing and equal employment.
Tori McReynolds is a Master of Social Work student at the University of Maryland Baltimore, where she focuses on Organizational Development and Philanthropy in Social Work. She has served as a community organizer for the LGBT and Labor communities, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Service Employees International Union. “Every broken system in the U.S. can trace its dysfunction to institutional and structural racism,” she says, “Therefore, I can think of no greater work than to dedicate my life to dismantling racism.”
Jamal Mubdi-Bey, Director, Office of Community Outreach at Sojourner-Douglass College, a long-time social justice activist, and a current member of the Stakeholder Group of Change4Real, a dynamic and interactive blend of theoretical visioning, resource development and practical implementation to help determine, in real time, the parameters of change in community development.
Cynthia J. Newcomer has done anti-racism work for over 20 years, first with DCLARE (DC White Lesbians and Bi Women Against Racism Everywhere). She has designed and conducted anti-racism training with white lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and organized as an employee in a number of state and national social justice organizations. Cynthia is grateful for the anti-racism/anti-oppression education training she received from Dr. Margo Okazawa-Rey, which is a great foundation for organizing in her current hometown of Greenbelt MD.
Cindy Plavier Truitt is the Chief Development Officer of Humanim, a not for profit which provides workforce development and human services to over 4,500 individuals a year throughout Maryland. Prior to this position Cindy served as Vice President of Clinical Services at Humanim. In her current role, she oversees Baltimore Region operations as well as a $3.2 million dollar document management/IT social enterprise employing individuals in poverty and with barriers to employment.
Maggie Potapchuk, founder of MP Associates , a national consulting firm dedicated to building the capacity of organizations, and communities to effectively address structural racism and white privilege issues for building a just society. Her work includes: building capacity of organizations to achieve racial equity, working with whites on white privilege through developing modules and caucus facilitation, and advising communities’ racial equity initiatives. Her research includes: Community Change Processes and Progress in Addressing Racial Inequities and Flipping the Script: White Privilege and Community Building.
Avis Ransom – Avis Lynette Hurt was born to Myrtle and Edgar Hurt in Chicago, Illinois but grew up in Burkeville Virginia and attended all black schools through high school. She graduated second in her class and moved to Baltimore, Maryland to attend Morgan State University. She graduated four years later with a B.S. degree in chemistry and began her career as an engineer working for department of defense contractors. After receiving an MBA from Loyola University she operated her own business for 15 years providing consulting services to small businesses and government agencies. Currently she is employed at Morgan State University School of Engineering as a writer, editor and technical analyst. Avis began to provide antiracism training and workshops about 20 years ago. She is on the board of Baltimore Algebra Project, the Job Opportunities Task Force and the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board. She provides services to nonprofit organizations in the area of grassroots organizing, and as a member of Baltimore Racial justice Action she provides consulting services to organizations seeking to purge themselves of the remnants of racists policies, practices, and ways of operating and facilitates trainings and workshops on anti-racism and internalized oppression. She is an inspirational speaker and author of a soon to be released book entitled The Inner Ground Railroad.
Betty Garman Robinson worked as a staff member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1964-1966 and is co-editor of Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC. She was the Lead Organizer for Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CPHA) from 1997-2003, supervising organizers in inner city neighborhoods. In 2003 she was awarded an Open Society Institute Community Fellowship to connect Baltimore organizers and to popularize the history of organizing in Baltimore. As part of this work she developed a curriculum on social justice organizing history which included analysis of different organizing models.
Harriet Smith, raised in Baltimore, uses a racial equity lens to approach her interests in health, healthcare, and gender and sexuality. Most present is her work with midwives in Maryland. She is also keen to examine the role of racism in healthcare, in particular reproductive and mental health. She has recently worked as Program Manager at the Youth Empowered Society (YES), a center for youth experiencing homelessness. Through her work with YES she became more deeply convinced of the present and urgent need for white women to examine their role in the Non-Profit Industrial Complex especially as it relates to services for Black youth. As an Advisory Board member of BRJA, Harriet takes on event coordination and facilitating trainings on racial equity. She is currently co-facilitating BRJA’s class for the White Anti-Racism Network.
Cynthia Taylor is an organization development consultant, facilitator, trainer and coach. In 2005 she retired after working over 30 years as a technical writer, manager, leadership coach and internal consultant for a federal agency. In addition, over the years she has designed and facilitated training, meetings and retreats for federal agencies (HHS and CDC), colleges, religious organizations and area nonprofits.
Erica K. Taylor, Ph.D. , MPH, MA is currently a data analyst at CMS’ Innovations Center where she serves as an expert on program evaluation and as the minority health lead for Million Hearts®, a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in five years. Dr. Taylor has extensive experience working in areas of Medicare, nursing home surveillance, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, Alzheimer’s Disease research and violence prevention among adolescents. Currently Dr. Taylor serves on the executive board of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) and on the advisory council of the Baltimore Racial Justice Action (BRJA). She is also a member of several other professional organizations including the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the Brown Club of Greater Baltimore. Dr. Taylor is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) where she teaches a course entitled, The American Health Care System and the Black Community. She is also performs with the Baltimore Flute Choir.
Sarah Tooley grew up as a white liberal yankee in Massachusetts. In growing awareness of people’s movements through anti-globalization and anti-war organizing in early 2000s, she developed a white anti-racist analysis by attending workshops offered by Challenging White Supremacy, Catalyst Project, and Project South. Her education continued by participation in white anti-racism peer education/action groups in DC and Baltimore.
Posted on 4/28/2015, 1:40:06 PM by PoliticallyShort
“We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth…We can and we must write in a language which sows among the masses hatred, scorn, and the like towards those who disagree with us”, wrote Vladimir Lenin. The basis of Lenin’s statement is very much alive today within the Democrat party as they relentlessly attack and sow hatred towards cultural, moral, and religious institutions that conservatives hold dear.
“This is the basis of the great cultural war we’re undergoing…. We are two countries now. We are two countries morally, culturally, socially, and theologically. Cultural wars do not lend themselves to peaceful co-existence. One side prevails, or the other prevails”, states Patrick J. Buchanan in the opening scenes of James Jaeger’s film, Cultural Marxism: The Corruption of America.
The truth that conservatives must come to terms with is that the other side, the Democrat party, has prevailed as Cultural Marxism has advanced on the long march throughout our nations most revered institutions. This march began in the United States in the 1930’s as Marxists Antonio Gramsci and George Lukacs established the Frankfurt School at Columbia University in New York City. “The primary goal of the Frankfurt School”, writes Linda Kimball of American Thinker, “was to translate Marxism from economic terms into cultural terms.”
According to Kimball, “it provided ideas on which to base a new political theory of revolution based on culture, harnessing new oppressed groups for the faithless proletariat…smashing religion and morals [while] also building a constituency among academics.” Moreover, Cultural Marxism emphasized culture as the main cause for inequality stemming from race, religion, sex, and everything in between.
In order to implement this new direction in Marxism, Gramsci and Lukacs began what they termed the “long march throughout the institutions.” This “march” was slow and systematic beginning in the primary institutions of culture (schools, churches, newspapers, movies, media, etc.), which were taken over by socialist thinkers and sympathizers. “Once taken over”, notes Nelson Hultberg of The Daily Bell, “they could then impart ‘true socialist values‘ to the people and raise new generations to give their loyalties not to God, country, and individualism, but to the State and collectivism.”
The emphasis of Cultural Marxism was thus placed on analyzing, controlling, and changing what was once the popular culture, the popular discourse, the mass media, and the language itself in America. By institutionalizing and spreading their influence, this kind of Marxism would ingrain a hatred of Western values into the culture and future generations to come. The reason for this is best explained by the justification used by Frankfurt teacher and Father of the “New Left”, Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse writes that, “The West is guilty of genocidal crimes against every civilization and culture it has encountered. American and Western civilization are the world’s greatest repositories of racism, sexism, xenophobia, antisemitism, fascism, and narcissism. American society is oppressive, evil, and undeserving of loyalty.”
With this notion in mind, Cultural Marxism placed a new emphasis on liberating all men and women from the “evil repression” and “tyrannical values” that Western civilization was built upon. To bring this about, the Frankfurt School designed numerous strategies to discredit and smear the values that had forged and sustained the West for the past 2,000 years.
“Critical Theory“, writes Hultberg, “was the first and most important of these strategies” as it was not only critical to discrediting capitalism but also social conditions of contemporary society and existing social institutions. Hultberg explains, “Under its auspices, every tradition of Western life was to be redefined as ‘prejudice’ and ‘perversion’. And these redefinition’s were to be instilled into the social stream via devastating scholarly criticisms of all values such as family, marriage, property, individualism, patriotism, faith in God etc.”
Critical Theory precisely defines the tactics used by the Democrat party today as they attack Christianity, capitalism, family, patriarchy, hierarchy, morality, tradition, loyalty, and patriotism. They routinely and consistently attack any and all foundations of our society in order to destroy our culture and advance their agenda.
Nowhere is this more apparent than with the various “Rights” the Left has aggressively promoted throughout the years. James Simpson of American Thinker, elaborates that “the Left doesn’t care about gay rights, any more than they care about civil rights, welfare rights, minority rights, animal rights or any other ‘rights’. According to the Left, ‘the issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.” In other words, the cause of political action that we see today being pushed by the Left – whether minority rights or women’s rights – is never the real cause; women, minorities and other “victims” are only instruments in the larger cause, which is power.
“The Left uses ‘Rights’ agendas to wrap itself in the mantle of righteousness and seize the moral high ground, tactically putting us [conservatives] on the defensive in the process. But they couldn’t care less about the actual issue except in its ability to facilitate their path to power”, concludes Simpson.
In his first autobiography, Dreams Of My Father, Barack Obama clearly identifies his Marxist agenda stating that, “once I found an issue enough people cared about, I could take them into action. With enough actions, I could start to build power. Issues, actions, power, self-interest. I liked these concepts. They bespoke a certain hardheadedness, a worldly lack of sentiment; politics, not religion”.
Take a second to think about this statement made by the future President in 1995 and then apply it to what we see happening today in America with the latest example being the riots in Baltimore. What we are witnessing in Baltimore, as we did in Ferguson, epitomizes how the Left pushes an agenda in a way that disguises their true intention.
Make no mistake about it, the riots in Baltimore have as much to do with the death of Freddie Gray as the riots in Ferguson had to do with the death of Michael Brown. The Left is using their deaths in order to push a false narrative that seeks to exploit their deaths as examples of police waging a war on the black community. As Milwaukee County Sheriff, David Clarke explains, the real war is on “our nation’s finest, the American police officer, and it continues to be fueled by some very important people.” Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, and former Attorney General Eric Holder have all contributed to fueling this fire.
From a Marxist standpoint, the issue “police war on blacks”, is not the issue; the issue is expanding federal control of community police forces. Using animosity and hatred towards police, the Left has selectively chosen which cases to report on in order to incite these communities into rioting no matter if actual or perceived targeting of the black community by police has occurred. The real issue is power and Obama stated as much when he introduced his plan for a progressive takeover of state and local policing.
“We have a great opportunity… to really transform how we think about community law enforcement relations,” stated Obama last month as he unveiled his goal in a report that gave recommendations on how Obama could institute his Task Force on 21st Century Policing. “Now Obama is trying to expand progressive control by attaching more conditions to federal funding of state and local law-enforcement efforts”, writes Neil Munro of Daily Caller. Obama drove this point home stating that, “We can expand the [federally-funded] COPS program… to see if we can get more incentives for local communities to apply some of the best practices and lessons that are embodied in this report.”
“Those best practices”, comments Munro, “likely will eventually include rules that restrict police investigations of groups that are part of the Democratic coalition, and rules that try to lower convictions and penalties among favored sub-groups of the United States, regardless of the actual rates of illegal activity among those groups.” Furthermore, Obama’s goal is to ultimately implement the plan among the nation’s 18,000 or so law enforcement jurisdictions. Thus, giving him an unprecedented amount of power and control over state and local police forces.
The riots we’re watching in Baltimore, as we did in Ferguson, signify the culmination of attacks brought about by Cultural Marxism, the end result of which will inevitably lead to anarchy in the streets and a consolidation of power by Barack Obama. Since Obama was elected we have seen the Left use this tactic from healthcare to education. This administration is directly using those championing “No Justice, No Peace” as pawns in order to consolidate unbridled tyranny.
The Democrat party is achieving their goal by as they depict the present as miserable while deliberately making it so. The prime objective of the ascetic ideal preached by the Left is to “breed contempt for the present”, wrote the famous American philosopher Eric Hoffer. Hoffer noted, “It fashions a pattern of individual existence that is dour, hard, repressive and dull. It decries pleasures and comforts and extols the rigorous life. It views ordinary enjoyment as trivial or even discreditable, and represents the pursuit of personal happiness as immoral.”
Sadly, it seems that too many Americans are not aware of the narrative and tactics that the Left has accelerated in pushing. We are truly living in a country that is undergoing a fundamental transformation between capitalist and communist society. As described by Karl Marx this period is “of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other…in which the State can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.”
Social media analysis suggests links between Baltimore and Ferguson violence
EXCLUSIVE - An analysis of social media traffic in downtown Baltimore Monday has unearthed striking connections to the protests in Ferguson, Mo. last year, according to a leading data mining firm that shared its findings exclusively with Fox News.
The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because of its government work, found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore that were also tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson. While further analysis is being conducted on the data, it suggests the presence of "professional protesters" or anarchists taking advantage of Freddie Gray's death to incite more violence.
Gray, 25, died April 18, a week after being injured while in police custody. A wave of violence erupted in Baltimore following his funeral Monday.
One account, which also tracked the recent union protests in New York City as well as other disturbances, tweeted photos of Gray's funeral and used language that seemed to anticipate violence in Baltimore.
The discovery that some social media accounts were tied to cities 825 miles apart was described to Fox News as “surprising.” While it is possible to spoof accounts and make it appear as if someone is in one location when they are really in another, the data mining firm told Fox News that it can’t fully explain the numbers.
The use of social media to fuel violence in Baltimore has already beenhighlighted by law enforcement. On Monday, police said an online call was issued for a "purge" at 3 p.m. ET, starting at Mondawmin Mall and ending in the downtown area. That type of threat is based on a movie called “The Purge,” the plot of which involves rampant lawlessness.
The Washington Times also reported Monday that law enforcement intelligence officials issued a warning after someone sent a text urging people to “kill all white police officers” in reaction to Gray’s death. The text has fueled fears that the violence in Baltimore could spread nationally, according to safety memos obtained by The Washington Times.
Baltimore's mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, announced a 10 p.m.-5a.m. curfew would be imposed beginning Tuesday.
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.