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January 29, 2001

'Race rave' comes to UCSC on February 2-3

By Robert Imada

Students, scholars, and community activists will gather in February to Rave at UC Santa Cruz. But don't expect to find the latest designer drugs at this venue.

Sponsored by the Uniting for Racial Justice: Truth, Reparations, Restoration and Reconciliation (UFORJE) campaign of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community (CJTC) at UCSC, this rave will focus on racial justice. More than 300 participants will meet to explore racism and the intersections of oppression, to promote reparations and healing, and to develop the framework for a truth and reconciliation process in the United States. The Western U.S. Race Rave is the first of a series of such gatherings meeting on college campuses across the country.

The Race Rave will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Friday, February 2, with a ceremonial opening by the Pajaro Valley Ohlone Indian Council and a keynote address from David Anthony, provost of Oakes College at UCSC.

The Saturday, February 3, session will open at 9 a.m. with a presentation by noted Hawaiian nationalist-activist, Haunani-Kay Trask. Trask is a professor at the Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii. She is cofounder of, and longtime activist with, Ka Lahui Hawai'i, the major organization advocating Hawaiian sovereignty. Her classic book, From a Native Daughter, has just been revised and reissued by the University of Hawaii Press. As quoted in an article by David Barsamian in The Progressive, Alice Walker calls Trask's book "a masterpiece" and a work "so powerful it will change the way you think about Hawaii, and lands seized by force."

Directly following Trask's presentation, a panel introduction to racism in the United States will feature Fran Beal, national secretary of the Black Radical Congress, speaking on racial disenfranchisement and the electoral process; Dorsey Nunn of Critical Resistance, speaking on the Prison-Industrial Complex; UC Santa Cruz sociology associate professor Dana Takagi; and Daniel Nane Alejandrez, founder and executive director of Barrios Unidos. (Other panel members will be announced at the Rave.)

Following this panel introduction, Race Rave participants will attend discussion groups including "Racism in Education," "White Privilege," "Criminalization of Youth," "Racism and Homophobia," and "Genocide of Native Americans."

Discussion-group facilitators include: Luz Alvarez Martinez, executive director of the National Latina Health Organization; Laura Partridge, convenor of the UFORJE International Committee; Raha Jorjani of the Women's International Leadership Development; and Andrea Smith, UCSC graduate student and organizer of the Color of Violence conference at UCSC last year.

Race Rave activities will be led by people of color--supported by their white allies--and will involve people of all ages and races. The program will include the arts, spiritual aspects of healing, and inspirational guests who, together with student organizers, will lead discussions that will bring ideas to light and identify solutions to specific ways that racism operates--and can be healed--within this society.

The Race Rave also features:

  • A writing project that will be a part of opening activities Friday night. Race Rave participants' stories will be used as documentation for the United National World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances, August 31 to September 7 in South Africa.

  • A spoken-word program featuring JUICE, a UC Santa Cruz student spoken-word performance group. JUICE will begin the program at 10 p.m. Friday, February 2, after the opening address in the Stevenson College Dining Hall.

  • A Uniting for Racial Justice Celebration. This final segment of the Race Rave, scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday, February 3, in the Stevenson College Dining Hall, will consist of music, dancing, and spoken word.

Parking and food are provided. The event is alcohol-, drug-, and tobacco-free. The participation fee is based on a sliding scale, from free to $100. For registration information contact Chris Ballin chrisballin@knobhill.net; (510) 428-0639 or leave a message at CJTC; (831) 515-4144. The main events, performances, and other activities will be in UCSC's Stevenson College Dining Hall and surrounding classrooms. Discussions will also be held at nearby Merrill and Cowell Colleges.

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