April 25, 2005

Directory of Nonprofits of Color

Here is another link to an excellent resource for Affirmative Action Officers and anyone else interested ...

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs publishs this Directory of Nonprofit Organizations of Color

There is a searchable online version and you can also order a hard copy version of it. If memory serves me right the hard copy has sheets in the back formated for mailing labels.

In the past I brought several copies of this directory with me to a Central Committee Meeting and I will investigate to see if I can bring some to the Meeting on May 21st. I will update you here on the progress of that.

Posted by thom0286 at 12:55 PM

Interesting Link

Something that might be interesting for folks to check out and discuss ....

The Recovering Racist Network

It is a bit out of date but offers a bit of a different perspective on things.

Posted by thom0286 at 12:40 PM

April 22, 2005

I am running for Affirmative Action Officer

I have filled many roles in the DFL but the most pertinent to this
position would be that I was the Affirmative Action Officer for three
years, 1996 to 1999. During those years we did some exciting things and
I would like to get those back on track plus engage in some new
initiatives. For example:

* Restart the Affirmative Action Small Grants Program. Under this
program local DFL units and other sections of the DFL were, and will be,
able to submit an application detailing a program that would reach out
to bring in members of under represented communities. When we first
offered this program the proposals that came in were amazing! There is a
lot of talent, initiative and creativity in the DFL! Obviously we were
not able to fund every proposal but we funded as many as we could. In
fact we funded more programs in Greater Minnesota than in Metro areas.

* Establish and maintain a steady resource stream for DFL Affirmative
Action Officers at all levels as well as any interested DFL activist.
This means not only having regular meetings of the Affirmative Action
Commission but also regular trainings as well as web based information
and other resources.

A note on the trainings .... they should be focused on developing skills
and resources ... not be those annoying events where a bunch of metro
people arrive to tell Greater Minnesota how to do their job. Just as any
training we do needs to be culturally appropiate they also need to be
geographically appropiate.

* Assert the importance of affirmative action and diversity in the DFL
hiring process. As Affirmative Action Officer I served on all hiring
committee and would expect to in the future. Additionally, it is
important that the Affirmative Action Officer assist the DFL Staff
getting hiring information out in the community in a manner that will
ensure a diverse hiring pool.

These three areas are basic. They are the minimum that should be
expected of an Affirmative Aciton Officer. But, in addition to these I
want to be part of making the DFL a leader in the quest for social
justice in Minnesota. I do beleive that we can serve as the model of
diversity and celebration that we wnat to see in the world.

The first step to that end is by declaring that the DFL is a "safe
space". Traditionally that has meant that it is a place where diverse
people can feel safe to be who they are and active e.g. I do not feel
threatened in the DFL because I am a lesbian. But, I want this idea of
"safe space" to also mean that the DFL is a safe place for us to discuss
some of the hard issues around race, sexual orientation, gender,
disability and so on. I believe that we are good hearted people who have
a sincere desire to make this a better world. We must be able to ask
questions and discuss difficult things free of judgement and hostility.
In fact it is the only way we will make any true progress.

It is my hope that you will elect me to serve as a leader of these
efforts. I beleive that I have demonstrated my ability to accomplish
these things and I know that if we can pull together we can make a huge
impact in terms of not only winning elections but also in making the
world a more just, equitable and safe place.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. Email is
best at mthomas@hhh.umn.edu. If you have instant messaging capability I
can be reached at izizizmegan (AIM).

Posted by thom0286 at 11:06 AM

My hopes ..

I am setting up this blog in the hope that I will be able to use it as part of my campaign for Affirmative Action Officer and, if elected, as a resource and place for DFLer's to discuss and act around issues of affirmative action, diversity and general politics.

Posted by thom0286 at 10:57 AM