Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Local leaders, officials hear continued dialogue on racism

Forum moderator Sandy Holman greets Francesca Reyes before the start of public comment at the Breaking the Silence of Racism workshop on Saturday. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | December 02, 2012 |

Racism, a prejudice which holds that members of one racial group are superior to another, may exist in many forms — it also may not be as far from home as some like to think.

This was the sentiment shared during “Breaking the Silence of Racism,” a workshop sponsored by the city of Davis’ Human Relations Commission. More than 200 residents gathered Saturday in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd., and approximately 30 let their voices be heard.

The community was allowed to share personal experiences with discrimination during the workshop. A six-person panel of local leaders and officials was present to hear the stories and engage in discussions on how public policy could remedy the situation.

Sandy Holman, founder of the Culture Co-op and event moderator, began the talk with an admittance that solving the problem of racism in the two hours they allotted is unrealistic, but said it’s part of continuing a much-needed conversation.

“We want to hear all of your stories and record the memories,” she said prior to inviting the guests up to the podium to speak. “We’re doing it so that when this committee changes, we don’t have to go back to square one.”

Sitting on the panel were Davis City Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson; Jonathan Raven of the Yolo County District Attorney’s office; Rev. Kristin Stoneking; UC Davis representative Rahim Reed; Pam Mari of the Davis school district; and Capt. Darren Pytel of Davis Police Department.

The first voice heard was that of Francisca Reyes, a Hispanic Woodland resident. She made an emotional plea for her son, who was convicted of a gang-related crime, and she said could be sentenced to 35 years to life.

“I can’t help but think, ‘Would he be facing the same if he were white?’ ” Reyes said. “I feel that the justice in our community is unfair … We all make mistakes, and should have second chances.”

Reyes was followed by another Woodland mother undergoing similar circumstances, Maria Quezada, who also cast judgment on what she describes as racial bias within the District Attorney’s office.

“I can’t comment on that specific case,” Raven responded. “However, Woodland has a serious gang problem … One of the things we’re trying to do to prevent this is reaching out to the young.”

Education became the next subject of question, as former Davis High teacher Bill Calhoun took the podium to disclose the hardships of being the first black teacher in the local school district.

A lack of diversity among the faculty and administration continues to leave students of color with few role models to look up to, Calhoun said.

Ken Bradford, a local businessowner, also shared a story intended to expose bigotry within the school system. He told the room of the experiences of his grandson, who was bullied and mistreated for his African-American heritage.

“You explain this to a black person in Davis, and they understand,” he said. “When you try to tell a white person about it, they respond, ‘No way, we’re a very liberal and progressive city.’ They just don’t get it.”

As a representative of the Davis School District, Mari assured them that addressing these issues is a mission that stays with her in every waking moment, and that improvements have been made.

The discussion wrapped up with more attendees sharing stories and further discussing issues, such as racial profiling by cops. When asked about it, Capt. Pytel explained that this is a criteria that recruits for the local department are screened on.

Councilwoman Swanson added that compiling a database of who is being stopped by police most often is an idea she would pitch to the city manager by Monday, but she could not promise a deadline for it.

“As a mother of two bi-racial children, this is an important issue to me too,” Swanson said.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

     
    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8