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Duluth public service campaign to tackle racism

Duluth area organizations are starting an anti-racism campaign, using posters, billboards, a website, events and broadcast public service announcements to raise awareness about white privilege in the community and to provide resources to help overcome the problem.

It’s called the Un-Fair Campaign and its slogan is: “It’s hard to see racism when you’re white,” says the Duluth News Tribune.

Among the sponsors: the city of Duluth, St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services, the Central Labor Body, Lake Superior College, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Wisconsin-Superior and the YWCA.

With Duluth’s population 90 percent white, organizers “hope their campaign will help white people become aware of the unfairness of judging people by their race, and of their responsibility to help bring racism to an end,” the story says.

The problem was illustrated at a Duluth workshop on racism, said Allegra Henderson, an integration specialist with the Duluth school district.

Workshop participants were asked to stand and to take a step forward each time they could answer “Yes” to a question such as “I can go shopping without being followed or hassled” or “I can look at the paper or TV and see people of my race widely represented.”

“All the people of color in the room were in the back and all the whites had advanced to the other side of the room,” said Henderson, who is black. “It was very clear — some of the advantages and privileges that whites have that we didn’t have.”

 “This is not something to be feared,” Henderson said of the Un-Fair Campaign. “This is about education. Most of us are living in historical amnesia. Most of us don’t look at our history or don’t really understand how we got where we are.”

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