Diversity Equity Inclusion – The Current Issue VI

Welcome to “The Current,” a bi-weekly resource list of how you can make a positive change in your community through education, engagement, activation, and allyship. We begin August by taking action with connecting a local DACA recipient to a California Congressperson, reflecting on our history and supporting local artists. 

Currently Taking Action 

Help Ilian renew her DACA by connecting her to a California Congressperson 

Are you looking for an easy way to support a DACA recipient? Please help Ilian, a 25-year-old Harvard grad working in the public interest sector and is also her younger brother’s caregiver. Ilian’s DACA authorization expired and her renewal application has not yet been processed. She hasn’t been able to work for 3 months and is at risk for deportation. If you know someone who works at a CA congressperson’s office, connect them with Ilian ([email protected])! The more people who see it, the more likely it is that we connect Ilian with someone who can help. Connect the congressperson to Ilian’s email.

Currently Taking Action 

Summer Days of Action 

“Lawmakers in at least 26 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.” -Zinn Education Project. Take action by participating at zinnedproject.org 

Currently Listening 

Freedom in Feeling Seen, “Open Water” by Caleb Azumah Nelson 

“His upbringing helps explain his multi-genre approach to storytelling. Azumah Nelson grew up with either a book, camera or violin in his hand, he said, raised by parents who emigrated from Accra, Ghana, to England as teenagers. He and his younger siblings have lived their entire lives in South East London, where “Open Water” is set… “It’s where my world begins and ends,” Azumah Nelson said. “It’s just this place that I know I’m going to be writing about for so long.” —New York times Recommend listening on Audible to hear and feel the poetic voice.

Currently Reading 

Los Angeles Confronts Its Shady Divide, by Alejandra Borunda 

“Vargas, the tree planter, takes the long view. He knows the value of a moment of shade, and he knows that it matters even more for the abuelitas in his neighborhood walking to pick up their grandchildren; for the domestic workers walking to the bus stop in the sweltering summer; for everyone who doesn’t have an air conditioner. A bead of sweat rolls down his cheek as he digs a hole for a spindly crape myrtle, one of 1,400 new trees he’s helped plant in Huntington Park, his hometown in southern Los Angeles County.” Read the article in the July 2021 issue of the National Geographic Magazine.

That algorithmic bias is accidental. It’s not. 

“When artificial intelligence software produces differential and unequal results for marginalized groups along lines such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status, Silicon Valley rushes to acknowledge the errors, apply technical fixes, and apologize for the differential outcomes… But the fact that these incidents continue to occur across products and companies suggests that discrimination against marginalized groups is actually central to the functioning of technology.” — Future Tense Read the article on Slate 

For next month, read “This Is What America Looks Like, My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman.” By ilhan Omar 

“An intimate and rousing memoir by progressive trailblazer Ilhan Omar—the first African refugee, the first Somali-American, and one of the first Muslim women, elected to Congress.” —Harper Collins Get the book at Harpercollins.com 

Currently Participating 


“The month-long festival will culminate in a group exhibition featuring the work of 450 San Francisco Bay Area artists at the SOMArts Cultural Center. The expansive exhibition on view from October 21 through November 21 celebrates the abundant creativity of the region and is accompanied by a variety of festivities, including an opening party, art salons, and more as allowed by continued minimized COVID-restrictions.” 

Join the festivities at Artspanart.org 

Tovah’s Art Gallery Show 

Join me on August 14th at 7PM PST where I will share what I have learned at my summer ceramics residency. Clayroom SF Potrero 1431 17th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 RSVP at Clayroomsf.com 

Written by Tovah Cook, she/her
Author of “Black Binder, A Notebook for Activists and Accomplices

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