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Confession: I've never been to the Bay Area.

If you don't work in tech, this probably doesn't matter to you, but trust me—I'm risking my street cred by admitting this publicly. The good news is two-fold: 
  1. In exactly one month, I'll be speaking at Responsive Conference in Berkeley, California.
  2. If you'd like to meet me there, and you'd like a 15% discount on tickets, today is the last day for the early bird discount.
I don't take it lightly that I have the privilege and honor of bringing this message to audiences that look nothing like me, whose lived experiences are nothing like mine. Paradoxically, I think the differences in our experiences help us understand the ways in which we can come together. 

I'm not sure how to proceed with the important work of healing and reconciliation and empowerment without healthy doses of compassion and empathy (my guiding principles). I'll get off my soapbox, but I'll be back on it when I present next month.

One of the reasons I agreed to speak is because the event won't just be people on stage sharing TED Talk ideas that everyone in the audience will agree with. On the contrary, attendees and speakers will be engaging with complex problems and coming up with solutions. Tech, complexity, diversity, and real conversations? That's my kinda party.

[If the link above doesn't work, the code for the 15% discount is Responsiveorg.]
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This week on Abernathy:
Tuesday brought an article entitled The Desire to Drown by Fulbright scholar and Army veteran Bernard Hayman. His is the story of an emotionally distant man looking to understand and challenge the societal forces that produce black men who have a hard time relating to their partners with vulnerability and compassion. 

"The image of a man as a bulwark against all the hardships of the world, as the one who cuts off his own emotions in order to 'keep the bad men from the door' is outmoded and useless. We have to be willing to drift and be subsumed and find comfort in the surrender. We have to be willing to drown."
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This morning, we published The Black American Dream and Milwaukee by the prolific Bethany Criss-June. Bethany is a Milwaukee native, community organizer, and someone uniquely qualified to speak about the unrest we're seeing there. To boot, Bethany outlines and explains four steps laid down by previous generations on addressing the systemic issues afflicting the black community.

"In order to change the trajectory of Sherman Park and reclaim the black middle class of Milwaukee, we need access to good jobs that offer a true, living wage, jobs that are comparable to the manufacturing jobs that have since left the city. Absent this, the black middle class of Milwaukee will continue to dwindle, and the one time bastion of success for black Milwaukeeans will disappear." 
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From the archives, please enjoy Love in the Time of Curfew by Baltimore-based wordsmith Kasai Rex, on the uprising in Baltimore following the 2015 arrest and death of Freddie Gray.

"The 'they have to go where the crime is' crowd missed the point that the causes and conditions that lead to such crime, segregation of opportunity, and the carceral cycle that churns black bodies among them, are only exacerbated when police take on and savor their role as overseers tasked with containment so that the “New Baltimore” can work and play in peace. And these same police are just as detrimental to community cohesion when acting as runaway slave catchers."
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Ciao for now.
 
Copyright © 2016 Abernathy Magazine, LLC. •, All rights reserved.


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