Minority poetry inspires call to action (9/23/13) He stood quietly, not moving behind the podium. A dim reading light made his face glow faintly in the dark. Toledo’s Manuel Caro gave no indication he was aware that there were 500 people gathered at the Sofia Quintero Arts & Cultural Center eagerly awaiting his first public performance in nearly two decades. Once Mr. Caro, 62, had been a well-known, respected Chicano poet and an outspoken civil-rights leader. Like many Mexican and African-Americans in the late 1960s and 70s, they had used poetry and prose to speak out about racism, educate their communities about their heritage and culture, and to make their people aware of their considerable, but often ignored contributions and accomplishments. READ MORE
Forums intend to spark discussion (9/1/13) A public forum featuring a renown anti-racist author and educator aims to spark a community discussion about race in Toledo. Tim Wise, author of the memoir White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and other books, will speak at a free Sept. 12 forum at Woodward High School Auditorium. The event is sponsored by the Toledo Community Coalition and The Blade. It launches an ongoing effort to combat racism through forums, which will take place every other month into March, along with smaller community study groups. READ MORE
COMMENTARY: Time for plain talk -- and action -- on racism in Toledo (9/1/13) In the charged aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a lot of Americans have argued that we need to engage in honest, candid conversation about race if we are ever to overcome our economic and social divisions. The 50th anniversary last week of the March on Washington reminded us of how much progress our nation has made in race relations since the civil rights era — but also how much farther we still have to go. We need to do more than talk about such ills, of course. But peaceful, constructive action starts with open and productive dialogue. So the Toledo Community Coalition and The Blade invite you to take part in starting a community conversation about racism and other vital issues that affect this city and region. READ MORE
Bouts with racism mold white community leaders (9/2/13) Karen Shepler, 62, is one of several white community leaders in the Toledo area who’ve dedicated most of their lives to fighting racism and trying to educate other white people about the issue. She recently retired as the pastor of Monroe Street United Methodist Church. It’s not an easy position to be in — they often have to overcome initial mistrust from people of color whose experiences have taught them to be skeptical of white people’s intentions or ability to understand their problems and concerns. READ MORE
Initial forum on race seen as way to open hearts (9/11/13) Speaker Tim Wise is the featured speaker at a 7 p.m. community forum Thursday at Woodward High School. The event, sponsored by the Toledo Community Coalition and The Blade, is the first in a series of forums and other activities aimed at combating racism locally. Organizers expect hundreds to attend the event, which is free and open to the public. It is the start of a multipronged effort aimed at igniting a citywide conversation about racism, changing minds, and — ultimately — lives. READ MORE
Toledo forum calls for action on race, discrimination (9/13/13) A diverse, standing-room-only audience at Woodward High School’s 575-seat auditorium attended and applauded author and activist Tim Wise’s speech on Thursday. The Nashville author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son provided the keynote speech during the two-hour community forum “Changing Minds and Changing Lives: Combating Racism,” which was sponsored by The Blade and the Toledo Community Coalition.
COMMENTARY: On the path to practical hope (9/13/13) Combative and funny, Tim Wise aims to makes his audiences think. In many ways, he was a fine choice to be the first speaker in the Community Coalition and The Blade’s first public forum on racism Thursday night. And the auditorium at Woodward High School was full to the brim with an enthusiastic crowd. Anyone who thinks that racism in America is over needs to be confronted with Tim Wise.
PHOTO GALLERY: Community race forum at Woodward High School (9/13/13)
VIDEO: Author Tim Wise discusses the community forum on race at Toledo's Woodward High School (9/12/13)
VIDEO: Tim Wise on The Pathology of Privilege: Racism, white denial, and the costs of inequality