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AV: Steven Parker, BSU Diversity Officer

Steven Parker

...every time I see a replay of George Floyd or I see a Breonna Taylor or I see a Daunte Wright

one of the things that I think about is once I step out of my office, when I take off my fancy clothes, I am my brother, my sister who just lost their lives....but racism just doesn't impact my body because I'm a minority, it impacts all of us - Steven Parker, BSU Diversity Officer


Steven Parker is Bemidji State University’s Diversity Officer.  He joined the morning show to discuss his work, the impact police related deaths have on the minoritized populations he serves, and he shared his thoughts regarding  a potential path to healing.  



...if we're going to move forward, not only do we need to communicate and start that reflection on a personal level, but I would love to see us look at things from a micro, a meso and a macro level.  

At that micro level, we have to understand that our system, what we function in every day, not that of liberation, it's not that of anti-racism, it’s not that of that feminism...The foundations that we are built on are dehumanization, racism, white supremacy. These are the foundations of our land that was colonized... When we look at it at a micro level, that is work that we have to do right at the grassroots level to get everyone seeing the reality and speaking the truth...

At the meso level, these are the organizations that keep us running and moving and grooving. We need to be able to educate and create policy that's going to love on those people just a bit more… and we need to stick to it.  Just as  I stood up every day and in K through 12 and said the Pledge of Allegiance, we need to institutionalize a space of equity, healing, empathy, understanding and truth telling.  

And then we go to that macro level where we're talking about people who have the opportunity to speak the truth, to share the truth. We're talking about people who are leaders not only to us, but to the world.  Those brothers and sisters have to stand up and use their authority, their voices to make change. This is just a simplistic model of how we can envision change, but something must change and we all have a part in it. - Steven Parker, BSU Diversity Officer

Click on the arrow above to hear the full conversation!


Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. She returned for a second stint in 2016-23. She produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota.