Activism on Race, Gender & Sexual Identity | DeRay Mckesson | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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June 30, 2016
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Activism on Race, Gender & Sexual Identity | DeRay Mckesson | Talks at Google

TL;DR

DeRay Mckesson discusses the importance of intersectionality and the need for meaningful conversations about identity, race, and justice. He emphasizes the power of storytelling and the role that social media plays in sparking change.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How can we address intersectionality and encourage meaningful conversations about identity?

Mckesson advises having open conversations about intersectionality, acknowledging the complex identities that individuals embody, and creating safe spaces for people to be themselves. He also urges individuals to be allies and listen more than they talk.

Q: What can we do to challenge the hidden biases within marginalized communities?

Mckesson acknowledges the existence of sexism, homophobia, and other biases within marginalized communities. He suggests having one-on-one conversations in private spaces, using examples that indirectly address the biases, and helping individuals understand the impact of their words and actions.

Q: How can individuals leverage their skills and privileges to drive change?

Mckesson encourages individuals to use their skills, talents, and access to ally with marginalized communities. He emphasizes the importance of joining existing organizations or creating new platforms to address social and economic issues, and to promote dialogue that leads to actionable solutions.

Q: Is #activism enough, or is it just a means of procrastination?

While Mckesson praises the power of truth-telling through #activism on platforms like Twitter, he also acknowledges that conversations need to translate into actions. He emphasizes the need for a balance between discussing the problems and actively seeking solutions. Mckesson believes that telling the truth is an essential first step in promoting awareness and change.

Q: How can we navigate the fine line between opening up conversations and protecting vulnerable populations from abuse and harassment?

Mckesson acknowledges the issue of harassment and abuse on social media platforms. While he is not immune to it himself, he emphasizes the importance of standing up against harmful behavior. Mckesson suggests utilizing blocking and reporting features, as well as creating rules and guidelines to establish safe spaces for dialogue.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Mckesson shares his personal journey, from being a protester to an activist dedicated to ending police violence and promoting social justice.

  • He highlights the importance of telling the truth in public and how protest is not limited to street demonstrations, but can encompass various forms of activism.

  • Mckesson emphasizes the need to transform conversations into tangible actions that bring about real change, rather than talking about the issues without taking substantive steps.

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