International Walk & Talk Against Racism
Join us for a dialogue about racism against the inspiring backdrop of the Washington Mall.
Racism is an issue that has long gripped the country (and the world). It’s a problem that we must acknowledge. And it’s one that we must work to overcome, together.
We completed these walks twice in 2021 and found that we’ve been a very international group – from all over the world and the U.S.; long-term residents and new arrivals to the area; young and old. We believe that our varied perspectives are a resource as we address these issues.
We will lament the history and present day of racism; and we will talk about how we can respond to racism as individuals, as families, and in our communities.
Photos at left are from our Spring 2021 International Walk & Talk Against Racism, when we started at the Chinatown Arch, where we discussed the outbreak of anti-Asian racism, before proceeding past the National Museum of African American History and Culture to the MLK Memorial.
Our Fall 2021 walk followed a slightly different path, starting at the base of the Washington Monument, where we we sought inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered there 58 years earlier. Then we proceeded alongside the Washington Mall to the shadow of the Vietnam Memorial, where Sally Dai offered heartfelt comments about the reality of racism against Asian-Americans. Then we paused at the Lincoln Memorial before walking to the MLK Memorial, where English Now! instructor (and civil rights protester in her college years!) Barbara Lewis told us about those experiences – and her view of racism and how it has changed. See here for photos of a very powerful experience together.
Our Community Service Week Steering Committee is considering how to take International Walk & Talk Against Racism programs forward in 2023. If you’d like to participate or if you have ideas, please contact us.
Other programs. WCIE and English Now! continue to focus on issues related to race and racism. One new development in 2022: a “teach-in” on the occasion of the Juneteenth holiday brought a group of educators, international friends, and visiting State Department Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Fellows together for a meaningful conversation about the history of Juneteenth and its role reminding us of the ongoing challenge of racism in American life. We appreciate the many perspectives on race and racism shared at that event, which remind us of the opportunity to learn by listening, in a diverse environment. See the photo to the left, and join us for this program next year.
FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: We also invite teens to consider joining our Youth Facing Racism Student Service Learning Program. This dynamic WCIE SSL program includes online discussions as well as a service project at Corhaven Graveyard, a historical burial ground for African-Americans who were enslaved in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Program information here.
Join us to think globally and engage locally, including on the toughest issues of our times.