MetroFocus: April 27, 2021

THE “NEW AMERICAN DREAM”

This past year has brought a dark truth that many already knew about our nation to the forefront of society; structural racism and white supremacy still impact the lives of millions of Americans each day. New American Dream, a five part, virtual town hall series, presented by The WNET Group, is taking a deep look at white supremacy and structural racism in America today in relation to five aspects of contemporary society: voting rights, artificial intelligence and genetic data, journalism, antiracism, and cultural narrative.Tonight, five participants from the 5-week event- Afaf Nasher, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations of New York, Kimberly Peeler-Allen, the co-founder of Higher Heights, Allie Young, the co-founder and director of Protect The Sacred, Karen Hao, a senior editor at the MIT Technology Review, and singer songwriter and entrepreneur Sandra Lilia Velasquez- join us to discuss the goal of this discussion series- to examine our history of racist policies and present solutions on how to create a New American Dream; one that is more just for everyone.

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

THIS PAST YEAR HAS BROUGHT A DARK TRUTH THAT MANY ALREADY KNEW ABOUT OUR NATION TO THE FOREFRONT OF SOCIETY.

STRUCTURAL RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY STILL IMPACT THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS EACH DAY.

NEW AMERICAN DREAM, A FIVE-PART VIRTUAL TOWN HALL SERIES IS TAKING A DEEP LOOK AT WHITE SUPREMACY IN AMERICA TODAY IN RELATION TO FIVE ASPECTS OF CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY, VOTING RIGHTS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND GENETIC DATA, JOURNALISM, ANTI-RACISM AND CULTURAL NARRATIVE.

THE GOAL OF THIS SERIES IS TO EXAMINE OUR HISTORY OF RACIST POLICIES AND PRESENT SOLUTIONS ON HOW TO CREATE A NEW AMERICAN DREAM, ONE THAT IS FOR EVERYONE.

JOINING ME NOW ARE PARTICIPANTS FROM THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM DISCUSSION SERIES.

UP FIRST WE HAVE KIMBERLY PEELER-ALLEN, THE COFOUNDER OF HIGHER HEIGHTS.

WELCOME TO THE DISCUSSION.

WE ARE ALSO JOINED BY ALLIE YOUNG, THE COFOUNDER OF PROTECT SACRED.

WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

WE'RE ALSO JOINED BY KAREN HOWELL, A SENIOR EDITOR AT THE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

OF COURSE WE HAVE SINGER/SONGWRITER AND ENTREPRENEUR SANDRA VALESQUEZ.

AS PARTICIPANTS OF THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM VIRTUAL TOWN HALL SERIES, WHAT IS WHAT YOUR DEFINITION OF WHAT A NEW AMERICAN DREAM WOULD BE?

KIMBERLY, I'LL START WITH YOU TO GET YOUR PERSPECTIVE.

WHAT IS IT THAT WE'RE REIMAGINING HERE?

I THINK WHAT WE'RE REIMAGINING IS THE POSSIBILITIES THAT EXIST, REFRAMING THE NORMS, REFRAMING THE VISION OF WHAT'S ACCEPTABLE OR WHAT THE STATUS QUO IS.

I THINK THIS IS A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY TURN ALL OF THAT ON ITS HEAD.

SINCE OUR INCEPTION, OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN BASED ON WHITE MALE SUPREMACY.

SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE PUSH THE POWER AND LEADERSHIP TO PEOPLE OF COLOR AND WOMEN.

THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE ALL OF THE WAYS THAT WILL BE AFFECTED.

ALLIE, I WANT TO TURN TO YOU AND SORT OF ASK, BECAUSE THIS IS ALSO SOMETHING I THINK THIS COUNTRY STRUGGLES WITH.

THAT IS JUST SORT OF DEFINING WHAT WHITE SUPREMACY IS AND IN SOME CASES EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING THAT.

IN THIS REIMAGINING OF WHAT THE AMERICAN DREAM CAN BE, HOW CRITICAL IS IT THAT WE ALL COME TO A OVERALL UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT IS THAT WE'RE EVEN TALKING ABOUT?

YEAH, IT'S EXTREMELY CRITICAL.

AS A PERSON FROM THE NAVAJO NATION, WE'RE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT ACKNOWLEDGING WHO NATIVE PEOPLE ARE, WHERE WE COME FROM.

WE DO THAT IN THE WAY OF LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

WE'RE SEEING INCREDIBLE PROGRESS, I THINK, ESPECIALLY WITH THE NEW ADMINISTRATION AND JUST THE DIVERSITY IS REFLECTING WHO WE ARE AS AMERICA.

BUT EVEN STILL AT THE INAUGURATION I WAS QUITE DISAPPOINTED BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T DO A LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT.

I THINK THAT ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF HOW OUR HISTORY WAS FOUNDED ON GENOCIDE AND SLAVERY IS VERY IMPORTANT.

THAT'S WHAT A LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT DOES.

IT DRAWS ATTENTION TO ACKNOWLEDGING THE HISTORY OF THE COU COUNTRY.

WAY BEFORE AMERICA, THERE WERE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES HERE WHOSE LAND WHITE SUPREMACY DECIMATED.

THAT'S THE TYPE OF HISTORY THAT I THINK IN ORDER TO MOVE FORWARD AND PROGRESS AND HEAL AS A NATION, THAT'S THE HISTORY THAT WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE AND WE MUST POINT OUT AND NAME WHITE SUPREMACY WHEN IT'S HAPPENING.

WHEN IT COMES TO THE STRUCTURE THAT THIS COUNTRY CREATED WITH WHITE SUPREMACY TO CREATE NOT ONLY A HIERARCHY OF CLASS BUT TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN CERTAIN GROUPS, SO TO SPEAK.

KAREN, I'M WONDERING IF YOUR PERSPECTIVE IS IT ALSO GOING TO BE NECESSARY TO CONSIDER OR TO ADDRESS THE WAY SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH WHAT THEY THINK IS UPWARD MOBILITY, BUT IS ACTUALLY PERHAPS MORE OF THE TOXIC ASPECTS OF WHITE SUPREMACY?

THAT'S A REALLY GREAT QUESTION.

I REALLY LIKE THE WAY YOU FRAMED IT BECAUSE YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HOW THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN ABOUT SEPARATING DIFFERENT GROUPS OF PEOPLE.

IN MY COVERAGE IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS THAT I SORT OF OBSERVED OVER TIME WITH RESEARCHERS WHO WERE TRYING TO RESIST THIS IS THE FIELD OF A.I.

IS BUILT ON THIS IDEA THAT WE SHOULD BE TAKING THESE CLASSIFICATIONS FROM OUR HISTORY AND PROJECTING THEM INTO THE FUTURE, WE SHOULD BE CODIFYING THEM AND AUTOMATING THEM.

A LOT OF THE RESEARCHERS WHO WERE AT THE MARGINS WITHIN THIS FIELD THAT RECOGNIZE THAT THIS IS A VERY PROBLEMATIC FOUNDATION FOR SUCH A POWERFUL AND INFLUENTIAL TECHNOLOGY REALIZE THAT THE WAY TO FIX IT IS NOT TO FIX THE TECHNOLOGY ITSELF BUT TO BE FIXING THE CULTURE AROUND US.

I THINK IN FIGURING OUT HOW WE DEFINE THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM AND HOW TECHNOLOGY SHOULD PLAY A ROLE IN THAT, IT VERY MUCH IS ABOUT ACKNOWLEDGING THE HISTORY THAT WE COME FROM, ACKNOWLEDGING HOW THAT COULD CONTINUE TO PERPETUATE SOME OF THESE REALLY RACIST, SEXIST COLONIAL IDEAS AND GRASP AT THE ROOT AND REALLY FIGURE OUT A WAY TO MOVE FORWARD FROM THAT AND STOP TRYING TO CATEGORIZE, SEGREGATE AND SEPARATE PEOPLE.

YOU KNOW, IN ADDITION TO ADDRESSING THESE THINGS FROM A LEGISLATIVE STANDPOINT, TECHNOLOGY, AS KAREN JUST POINTED OUT, AND EVEN JUST GETTING INTO THE WAYS THAT STRUCTURAL RACISM AND WHITE SUPREMACY AFFECT OUR DAILY LIVES, THERE'S ALSO THE NARRATIVE THAT WE TELL OURSELVES.

SANDRA, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN AS NOT JUST AN ENTREPRENEUR, BUT ALSO A CREATIVE, A MUSICIAN.

THAT'S ALSO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S VERY UNIQUELY ALMOST WEIRDLY TIED UP IN AMERICA IS THAT OUR CULTURE TRIES TO SAY ONE THING ABOUT OURSELVES WHERE IS THE REALITY SO MANY PEOPLE LIVE CAN BE DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT.

WHO IS IN CONTROL OF THE NARRATIVE?

HOW DO YOU SEE THAT AFFECTING THE WAY THAT WE'RE ABLE TO ADDRESS THESE STRUCTURAL ISSUES?

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

I THINK THE THING THAT I'VE ALWAYS SAID ON STAGE WHENEVER I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A MICROPHONE IS NONE OF US GET TO CHOOSE WHERE WE'RE BORN.

WE'RE JUST BORN WHERE WE'RE BORN.

IF YOU'RE BORN IN A PLACE THAT IS DANGEROUS, THEN IT IS YOUR HUMAN INSTINCT TO GO TO A SAFER PLACE.

THE THING ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY IS ALSO, TO ME, THE UNDERLYING FACTOR IS ENTITLEMENT.

THAT'S THE MAIN THING THAT IS SO HARD FOR US TO REALLY KIND OF UNDERSTAND, THOSE OF US WHO ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR.

WHY DO PEOPLE FEEL ENTITLED, YOU KNOW, TO LAND, TO WEALTH, TO THINGS AND WHERE DOES THAT COME FROM?

I ACTUALLY DON'T HAVE THE ANSWER.

TO ME, IT'S LIKE A LIFETIME OF RESEARCH TO REALLY UNDERSTAND WHERE THAT COMES FROM.

I DON'T KNOW IF I ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION, BUT TO ME THAT'S THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION OF DISMANTLING ENTITLEMENT.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S OUR HUMAN TRRIGHT TO LIVE IN A SAFE PLACE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR FAMILIES AND BUILD GENERATIONAL WEALTH.

WE ARE ALL ENTITLED TO THAT.

THIS THING OF GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY, THAT KIND OF MENTALITY, I THINK ALL OF US THAT ARE CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS, WE ALL ARE IMMIGRANTS.

AT WHAT POINT DOES SOMEONE GET TO DECIDE SOMEONE GETS TO CLOSE THE DOOR BEHIND THEM?

I THINK THAT'S VERY FAIR.

TO GET A LITTLE BIT MORE TO I GUESS THE QUESTION I WAS TRYING TO ASK, WHICH I MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN AS ARTICULATE AS I COULD HAVE BEEN, BUT WITHIN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, LET'S SAY, FOR A LONG TIME YOU HAD PEOPLE WHO -- LET'S BE FRANK.

YOU HAD A LOT OF WHITE MEN WHO WERE ABLE TO CONTROL THE WAY A LOT OF MUSIC AND THINGS IN ART WAS PRESENTED TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC REGARDLESS OF THE ETHNICITY OR RACE OF THE ARTISTS CREATING THEM.

THAT SEEMS TO BE SHIFTING A LOT NOW AS WE SEE MANY, MANY MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR TAKING CONTROL OVER THEIR ART AND THE WAY THAT IT'S PRESENTED AND THUS CONSUMED BY THE PUBLIC.

I'M WONDERING, FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, DOES THAT ALSO HELP SHIFT THE WAY AMERICA UNDERSTANDS PERHAPS THE STRUCTURAL INEQUALITY THAT SO MANY PEOPLE OF COLOR HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR YEARS?

THE SHORT ANSWER IS, YES, IT DOES.

THE LONGER ANSWER IS THAT THE INTERNET CHANGED EVERYTHING.

IT WAS THE GREAT EQUALIZER.

THERE ARE PROS AND CONS TO EVERY EVOLUTION THAT WE EXPERIENCE IN OUR LIFE, BUT THE INTERNET REALLY ALLOWED PEOPLE TO BECOME THEIR OWN RECORD PRODUCERS, THEIR OWN RECORD LABEL, TO NOT HAVE TO RELY ON CLIVE DAVIS TO PRODUCE MY ALBUM.

IT ALLOWED US TO BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF OUR OWN COMPANIES.

SO THAT DOES CREATE A SHIFT.

YOU KNOW, THE COMMENT WAS THAT THE RECORD INDUSTRY COLLAPSED BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN EVERYONE WANTS MUSIC FOR FREE AND THEY CAN JUST HAVE IT STREAMING.

THAT WAS THE DOWNSIDE OF IT.

BUT THE PLUS SIDE OF IT WAS THAT IT EQUALIZED THE INDUSTRY.

KIMBERLY, GIVE US A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE KINDS OF STRUCTURAL RACISM THAT YOU SPEND SO MUCH OF YOUR TIME AND ENERGY ADDRESSING AND ATTEMPTING TO FIGHT.

WELL, I THINK OUR VOTING LAWS ACROSS THIS COUNTRY ARE BASED IN WHITE SUPREMACY AND PAY TRIARCH ABOUT PROVING YOUR ELIGIBILITY AND WHAT YOU BRING WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO TO THE POLLS AND WHETHER OR NOT YOUR VOTE IS COUNTED.

WE'VE SEEN 200 BILLS MOVING THROUGH STATE LEGISLATURES THAT WILL ROLL BACK VOTING RIGHTS.

WE'VE SEEN DISMANTLING OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL AND HOW THAT HAS PLAYED A ROLE IN GERRYMANDERING AND DECIDING WHO SITS IN WHAT DISTRICTS TO BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS.

AND THEN WE'RE ALSO LOOKING AT THE STRUCTURES AROUND WHAT MAKES A VIABLE CANDIDATE, WHAT IS THE NORM, WHAT IS AN APPROPRIATE WAY FOR A CANDIDATE TO PRESENT THEMSELVES.

THOSE ARE KIND OF THE MORE SOFTER NUANCED STRUCTURES OF RACISM AND SEXISM AND MISOGYNY THAT MANY CANDIDATES, PARTICULARLY WOMEN HAVE TO OVER COME.

SO MUCH OF THAT IS INGRAINED IN THE ACTUAL STRUCTURAL REFORMS THAT NEED TO BE MADE AS WELL AS THE NUANCE AND UNDERSTANDING.

THERE IS THE LEGISLATIVE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO PROTECT AND EXPAND VOTING ACCESS AND ACCESS FOR CANDIDATES TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO EVEN RUN FOR OFFICE.

THEN WE ALSO HAVE THE CULTURAL ASPECT OF WHAT ARE APPROPRIATE ROLES FOR WOMEN, HOW DO WE PERCEIVE LEADERSHIP WHEN IT COMES FROM A PERSON OF COLOR OR A WOMAN OF COLOR, AND WHAT ARE THE GENDER NORMS THAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY AND HOW HAVING A CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE STATE OR OF A MAJOR CITY AS A WOMAN, HOW THAT DISRUPTS OUR GENDER NORMS.

THERE IS A LOT OF WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE, BUT WE HAVE SEEN THROUGH SUCCESSES ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY OF PLACES WHERE PEOPLE OF COLOR, WOMEN, PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MARGINALIZED BECAUSE OF CLASS OR ETHNICITY OR REGIONAL DIVERSITY, HOW THEY HAVE BEEN ABLE TO STEP INTO LEADERSHIP AT ALL LEVELS AND THE ELECTORATE IS SEEING THE VALUE IN HAVING THESE DIVERSE VOICES AROUND DECISION MAKING TABLES OR EVEN AT THE HEADS OF THE TABLES AND SEEING THAT REALLY ACTUALLY WE ALL BENEFIT WHEN WE HAVE MORE DIVERSE VOICES.

SO IT IS A PROCESS.

AS MANY STEPS FORWARD AS WE'RE ABLE TO TAKE, THERE ARE ALWAYS FORCES PUSHING AGAINST IT BECAUSE IT IS DISRUPTING THE POWER STRUCTURE IN THIS COUNTRY THAT'S BEEN SO INGRAINED FOR ALMOST 250 YEARS.

SO WE JUST HAVE TO CONTINUE TO PUSH FORWARD KNOWING THAT WITH EVERY ADVANCEMENT THERE WILL BE A NEED TO CONTINUE TO PUSH FORWARD.

SO VERY QUICKLY, I'D LIKE TO WELCOME ANOTHER GUEST INTO OUR CONVERSATION WHO I BELIEVE SHOULD BE CONNECTING RIGHT ABOUT NOW, MOMENTARILY.

AS SOON AS WE GET OUR GUEST CONNECTED, I WILL INTRODUCE.

THERE WE ARE.

F WE'RE JOINED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE COUNCIL ON AMERICAN ISLAMIC RELATIONS OF NEW YORK.

SO JUST TO BRING YOU UP TO SPEED, WE WERE DISCUSSING WHAT WERE THE KIND OF STRUCTURAL INEQUALITIES WITHIN WHITE SUPREMACY THAT PEOPLE ARE FIGHTING AGAINST.

KIMBERLY WAS JUST SHARING WITH US WITH PROBLEMS WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING RIGHTS.

I WANT TO ASK YOU AS SOMEONE WHO WORKS ON BEHALF OF MUSLIMS IN AMERICA, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES YOU FIND YOURSELF DEALING WITH?

IT'S REALLY INTERESTING THAT THE VARIETY OF ISSUES THAT WE DEAL WITH IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY, IT'S REALLY HUGE.

THE POPULATION ALSO FACES VOTE RIGHTS ISSUES AS WELL.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO LAY A LITTLE BIT OF GROUNDWORK.

WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE MUSLIM AMERICAN POPULATION IS EXTREMELY DIVERSE IN AND OF ITSELF.

FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN WE SPEAK ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS, WHICH IS VERY UNIQUE IN AMERICAN HISTORY, THAT IMPACTS MAYBE 20 20-25% OF THE MUSLIM AMERICAN POPULATION.

BESIDES THOSE ISSUES, WE ALSO HAVE HATE CRIMES THAT COME INTO OUR COMMUNITY, UNFORTUNATELY.

WE HAVE A HUGE AMOUNT OF PROFILING.

THAT MEANS NATIONAL SECURITY PROFILING AT AIRPORTS.

EVERYONE IS SORT OF ASTONISHED AT JUST HOW MANY OF OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS GET A KNOCK ON THEIR DOOR BY AN FBI AGENT ASKING THEM QUESTIONS NOT BECAUSE OF SOME SORT OF SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR NAME OR BEING SEEN PRAYING OUTSIDE OR SIMPLY RENTING A HOME IN AN AFFLUENT NEIGHBORHOOD.

THESE ARE ALL SOME OF THE STORIES THAT WE FACE.

AGAIN, WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION IS EXTREMELY HIGH WITHIN THE MUSLIM AMERICAN COMMUNITY AND SO IS BULLYING.

EVEN THE YOUNGEST POPULATION WITHIN THE AMERICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY FACES DOUBLE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE OF BULLYING REPORTS FROM PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND THAT IS BASED ON RELIGIOUS BULLYING.

IT REALLY IS AN IMMENSE UNDERUNDER TA TAKING.

I SORT OF WANT TO ALSO BE CLEAR FOR THE AUDIENCE, BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THERE'S VALUE IN DIVERSITY AND HAVING DIVERSE VOICES AND A LARGER, WIDER SWATH OF AMERICA REPRESENTED.

YOU CAN ALSO VERY EASILY FIND PEOPLE WHO ARE BIPOC, WHO ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR, WHO ARE WOMEN, ET CETERA, BUT SAY, ACTUALLY NO, MY VALUES ARE THESE MORE TRADITIONAL CONSERVATIVE VALUES.

FOR SOME PEOPLE, THAT CAN MAKE THIS ALL VERY CONFUSED.

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, WHAT DO YOU MEAN SPECIFICALLY WHEN YOU SAY THE VALUE IN DIVERSITY, YOU SAY I SUPPORT A DIVERSE PERSON, BUT THEY HAPPEN TO BE SUPPORTING WHAT MY VIEWS MIGHT BE, AND TO SOMEONE ELSE YOU MIGHT SAY, WELL, YOUR VIEWS ARE SUPPORTING THESE STRUCTURAL INEQUALITIES OF WHITE SUPREMACY.

I'M WONDERING IF THAT PLAYS INTO THE WORK ANYONE IS DOING ADDRESSING SPECIFICALLY WHAT IT IS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN WE SAY A MORE DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE BEING INCLUDED INTO AMERICA.

YOU KNOW, IT'S TRUE.

DIVERSITY HAS A VALUE JUST IN TERMS OF US LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER'S EXPERIENCES.

SOME OF THOSE EXPERIENCES ARE SHARED AND THEN SOMETIMES IN COMMUNITIES THEY ARE NOT SHARED.

BUT HAVING SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT VALUES AND DIVERSITY, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE'RE INDIVIDUALS, BUT WE'RE ALSO COLLECTIVE COMMUNITIES.

I THINK ONE VALUE THAT CAN BE SHARED THROUGHOUT EVERY COMMUNITY NO MATTER HOW DIVERSE WE ARE, NO MATTER HOW DIFFERENT OUR THINKING IS, IS THAT BIGOTRY AND HATRED HAS NO PLACE ESPECIALLY IN A DEMOCRATIC NATION SUCH AS OURS AND IT'S OUR COLLECTIVE DUTY TO FIGHT IT.

WHETHER WE FIGHT IT IN THE CONTEXT OF WHITE SUPREMACY, THAT IS SOMETHING I WOULD HOPE WE SHOULD ALL BE ABLE TO AGREE ON.

I BELIEVE THERE IS A UNIVERSAL RIGHT AND WRONG WHEN IT COMES TO DISCRIMINATION, WHEN IT COMES TO HATRED AND WHEN IT COMES TO BELIEVING THAT YOUR RACE IS SUPERIOR SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU ARE ONE RACE.

THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I BELIEVE HAS NO ROOM FOR DIVERSITY IN TERMS OF THAT BELIEF.

THAT'S, AGAIN, A COLLECTIVE DUTY FOR ALL OF US TO FIGHT, WHETHER IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S PERPETRATED SYSTEMICALLY THROUGH POLICIES, BECAUSE WE HAVE GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES WHICH PERPETUATE WHITE SUPREMACY, BUT ALSO ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL, WHO FOR EXAMPLE, TRAVELS ACROSS STATE LINES SIMPLY TO STAB AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY MEMBER BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT TO SEE BLACK PEOPLE DATING WHITE WOMEN, FOR EXAMPLE.

ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE WHAT, REGARDLESS OF OUR DIVERSITY, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS CAN ACTUALLY SAY THAT IS OKAY.

ALLIE, I WANT TO BRING YOU BACK INTO THE CONVERSATION AND ASK, YOU KNOW, WHEN IT COMES TO THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM, IF YOU WILL, DOES PART OF ACHIEVING THAT REQUIRE ALL OF US TO A CERTAIN EXTENT TO RECOGNIZE AND ADDRESS THE WAYS THAT WHITE SUPREMACY HAS EITHER AFFECTED US OR THAT PERHAPS A LOT OF US MAY HAVE INTERNALIZED IT.

MUCH LIKE SEXISM, IT'S JUST SO PREVALENT IN AMERICAN SOCIETY, THAT A LOT OF AMERICANS MIGHT NOT EVEN REALIZE HOW THEY ARE PERPETUATING AND EXASPERATING THESE ISSUES.

YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

I MEAN, WITHIN MY OWN COMMUNITY, I THINK THERE ARE FOLKS WHO HAVE BEEN SO ASSIMILATED INTO THIS PATRIARCHAL CULTURE SYSTEM WHERE AS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, MANY OF OUR TRIBES ARE MATRILINEAL SOCIETIES.

WOMEN WERE THE DECISIONMAKERS.

IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY I SEE US STRUGGLE WITH THAT AS WELL.

THE NAVAJO NATION, WE HAVE OUR OWN GOVERNMENT.

WE HAVEN'T HAD A FEMALE NAVAJO NATION PRESIDENT SINCE THE TRIBAL GOVERNMENT STARTED, WAS CREATED.

THAT, TO ME, IS VERY PROBLEMATIC.

I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE SAY WE CAN'T EVER HAVE A FEMALE NAVAJO NATION PRESIDENT BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT THE LEADERS.

THAT'S TO ME HOW WE'VE INTERNALIZED THIS PATRIARCHAL WHITE SUPREMACY SYSTEM.

AND I THINK THAT THE, FOR EXAMPLE, DEB HOLLAND, SHE GOT INTO POLITICS BECAUSE SHE S STRUGGLED WITHIN HER OWN COMMUNITY AND HER OWN TRIBE.

SHE TRIED TO ENTER TRIBAL POLITICS BUT SHE COULDN'T GET VERY FAR BECAUSE OF THE SAME REASON, THAT WOMEN WEREN'T LEADERS.

IT'S VERY BACKWARD AND WE SEE THAT IN OUR OWN LEADERSHIP.

IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE TALK ABOUT THAT AND ADDRESS IT AND SAY, HEY, WE NEED TO GET BACK TO WHO WE ARE AS INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND THAT MATRILINEAL SOCIETY THAT HAS KEPT US ALIVE FOR CENTURIES.

DOES ANYONE WANT TO ADD TO THAT?

IT PROMPTED ME TO THINK BACK TO SOME EXAMPLES WITHIN THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND THE WAY INTERNALIZED RACISM AND SEXISM CAN PLAY A ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TECHNOLOGY.

BUT IN REVERSE, THE TECHNOLOGY HAS IN SOME WAYS HELPED RESURFACE SOME OF THESE ISSUES.

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO THERE WAS THIS INVESTIGATIVE REPORT WHERE AMAZON WAS TRYING TO DEVELOP A HIRING TOOL USING AI.

THE WAY THAT AI WORKS, YOU GATHER ALL OF THIS DATA FROM THE RESUMES OF THE PEOPLE YOU PREVIOUSLY HIRED AND REJECTED, FEED IT INTO THIS ALGORITHM, THE ALGORITHM LEARNS WHAT PATTERNS MIGHT MAKE THE PERFECT CANDIDATE AND AUTOMATES THAT.

IT AUTOMATES THE DECISIONS FOR WHAT FUTURE CANDIDATES WHO COME INTO THE PIPELINE, WHICH ONES SHOULD GET JOB OFFERS.

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE YEARS THAT AMAZON WAS DEVELOPING THIS IS THEY REALIZED THAT THIS ALGORITHM WAS ONLY ACCEPTING MALE APPLICATIONS.

IT WAS BECAUSE THE ALGORITHM HAD LEARNED FROM SEEING ALL OF THE HISTORICAL DATA THAT ANY RESUME THAT HAD THE WORD WOMEN, LIKE WOMEN'S CHESS TEAM OR WOMEN'S SOCCER CLUB, SHOULD BE DISQUALIFIED.

IN THAT PARTICULAR INSTANCE, WHAT'S INTERESTING IS AMAZON THEN ACTUALLY STOPPED USING THAT SYSTEM.

THEY REALIZED THERE WAS NO WAY FOR THEM TO USE THE SYSTEM, FOR THEM TO CORRECT THE SYSTEM AND USE IT PROPERLY.

IN A WAY, IT'S ALMOST A SUCCESS STORY BECAUSE IT THEN FORCED AMAZON TO KIND OF CONFRONT THIS INTERNALIZED SEXISM IN THEIR HIRING PRACTICES AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY ACTUALLY DID ANYTHING WITH THAT KNOWLEDGE WE CAN'T REALLY SAY, BUT SOME OF THE OPTIMISM WITHIN THE AI COMMUNITY, SOME PEOPLE HOPE THAT PERHAPS AI CAN BE A MIRROR OR MAGNIFYING GLASS TO OUR SOCIETY AND HOPE WE CAN ADDRESS SOME OF THESE ISSUES MORE FULLY.

THAT WAS GOING TO BE MY FINAL QUESTION TO YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ANSWERING IT.

WE HAVE COME TO THE END OF OUR TIME.

OF COURSE THIS IS A CONVERSATION THAT IS WORTH CONTINUING AND WE WILL BE DOING THAT.

I WANT TO SAY THAT FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN STREAM THE NEW AMERICAN DREAM DISCUSSION SERIES, GO TO 13.ORG/NEWAMERICANDREAM.

YOU'LL BE ABLE TO CONTINUE WITH THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT DISCUSSION.

AS WE WRAP UP, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY ENTIRE PANEL.

KIMBERLY PEELER-ALLEN, ALLIE YOUNG, KAREN HOWELL AND SANDRA VELASQUEZ.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ABSOLUTELY.

THANK YOU.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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