In this episode, SooJin and Hannah talk with Mary Moriarty, former Chief Public Defender in Hennepin County, Minnesota. During our discussion, Mary shares many stories that shaped her antiracism journey while living in Minnesota. Minnesota is considered to be a progressive state; however, it struggles with some of the worst racial disparities in our nation. Her examples clearly illustrate how racism can show up both subtly and explicitly in a state that strongly resists talking about race. Mary talks about how her actions and attitudes around antiracism have evolved over the years, explaining that she speaks up because she wants to live in a place where racism isn’t tolerated. And through her work, Mary is learning first-hand the risks involved when people (of any race) challenge our racist systems and institutions. We conclude that systems are made up of individuals; therefore, we need more individuals disrupting and coordinating antiracist efforts. When we have enough individuals working together, we can achieve the type of society we want to live in - a truly antiracist, inclusive society.
NOTE: We use the acronym BIPOC, which means Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color.
Check out these resources referenced in this episode:
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan Metzl