I AM ABLE
3410 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60624
Saint Anthony Hospital Community Wellness Program
3810 West 16th Street
Chicago, IL 60623
3508 W. Ogden Ave.
Chicago, IL 60623
Westside Community Triage and Wellness Center
4133 W. Madison
Chicago, IL 60624
The Encompassing Center
Lawndale Mental Health Clinic
1201 S. Campbell St.
Chicago, IL 60608
Zero-sum thinking The idea that progress for some of us must come at the expense of others. McGhee traveled across the country tallying up what we lose when we buy into the zero-sum paradigm. She argues that “the racial zero-sum story is resurgent because there is a political movement invested in ginning up white resentment toward lateral scapegoats (similarly or worse-situated people of color) to escape accountability for a massive redistribution of wealth from the many to the few” (McGhee, p.30)
Draining public swimming pools McGhee uses the example of numerous cities in the mid-twentieth century —including Chicago— draining and filling in their public pools rather than allowing Black residents to swim alongside white residents to illustrate how racism caused the destruction of something that could have benefitted all residents. This “zero-sum thinking” (we’d rather have NO pool than an integrated pool) is a key theme throughout the book. Further, the draining of public pools becomes a metaphor McGhee uses throughout the book to explain the countless examples (e.g., health care system, welfare system, public schools, student debt, etc.) of government institutions and elected officials weakening public goods to the point where everyone, except for the ultra-wealthy, are living at the bottom of a drained pool.
Solidarity Dividend McGhee coined the phrase “The Solidarity Dividend” to describe Americans reaching across racial lines to work together for the common good—and securing better lives for us all. McGhee argues that until we destroy the idea of zero–sum thinking, opponents of progress can always unearth it and use it to block any collective action that benefits us all. If we want to improve the lives of all, the fastest way to get there is to refill the pool of public goods.
The book club concluded with four community book discussions on the National Day of Racial Healing, January 17, 2023: Woodson Reagional Library (South side); Legler Regional Library (West side); Suzler Regional Library (North side); Virtual Session. Guided by the TWH Healing Framework, OERJ and librarians adapted The Sum Of Us’ official discussion guide questions to facilitate conversation.
Black Brown Dialogue: The Southern Route of the Underground Railroad Afro Descendants’ Migration to Mexico. Following the success of its Black and Brown Dialogue series in 2021, the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago partnered with OERJ and Malcolm X College to honor Juneteenth and celebrate the African roots that unite Mexico and the United States. This event was built around a panel discussing the lesser-known southbound route used by some African Americans seeking freedom from slavery. This route went from Texas into Mexico and represented a new “promised land” for many. The conversation explored the legacy that this diaspora left in Mexico and enriched the conversation about the shared history between Black and Mexican communities.
“Let’s Talk Healing” conversations
OERJ partnered with two affinity-focused organizations to engage in cross-racial candid conversations on healing. Using the “Let’s Talk Healing” card deck as a guide for the conversations, participants explored critical topics about race, healing, and solidarity.
– National Museum of Puerto Rican Art and Culture— Highlights from the discussion:
– Hana Center— Highlights from the discussion:
Parade of Hearts
Hosted by the Luv Institute, “Parade of Hearts” is an exhibit of local artist paintings on heart sculptures across multiple neighborhoods. This exhibit aimed to address an ongoing battle of healing by building healthy relationships between community members and fostering artistic creativity that will empower youth and future community leaders.
Inequity for Sale / Solidarity Heals
Partnering with the artistic project “Inequity for Sale” which critically explores the racist practices of the land sale contracts in Black neighborhoods, TRHT hosted a “Solidarity Heals” event which created a community solidarity circle honoring the land and people that fell victim to red-lining and segregation practices
Intersections in the Fight for Freedom: UBUNTU Center Chicago Talks Juneteenth The UBUNTU Center Chicago partnered with OERJ and the DuSable Museum to host a dialogue that provided background and insights on the contributions of same-gender-loving men and women toward the Black freedom movement after the establishment of the Juneteenth holiday. This history sits at the foundation of subsequent efforts by Black gay men and women in having a liberation day in Chicago that eventually became the gay pride parade. The dialogue also covered the work of the UBUNTU Center Chicago and the Chicago Black Lesbians and Gays (CBLG), the first and only Same Gender Loving organization that has marched in Chicago’s Bud Billiken Day Parade.
Dr. Taylor’s Table: Juneteenth Episode The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) featured a Juneteenth episode in its bi-weekly Instagram Live talk program hosted by Dr. Erica Taylor, medical director for CDPH. The program aimed to create a safe space for the Black community to discuss health disparities, health care, wellness, mental health, and other related issues. Dr. Taylor was joined by Theodore Crawford and ESPN author Scoop Jackson to discuss Juneteenth along with the topics of Black Culture and fatherhood.
Voices for Justice Juneteenth Celebration: Clint Smith Chicago Public Library welcomed Clint Smith as part of its Voices for Justice speaker series, and in celebration of Juneteenth, to discuss his book How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. Smith was in conversation with Chief Equity Officer Candace Moore and Dr. Obari Cartman, President of the Chicago Association of Black Psychologists. WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore moderated the conversation.
Black Brown Dialogue: The Southern Route of the Underground Railroad Afro Descendants’ Migration to Mexico Following the success of its Black and Brown Dialogue series in 2021, the Consulate General of Mexico in Chicago partnered with OERJ and Malcolm X College to honor Juneteenth and celebrate the African roots that unite Mexico and the United States. This event was built around a panel discussing the less-known southbound route used by some African Americans seeking freedom from slavery. This route went from Texas into Mexico and represented a new “promised land” for many. The conversation explored the legacy that this diaspora left in Mexico and enriched the conversation about the shared history between Black and Mexican communities.