ATLANTA…On Friday June 27 through Sunday June 29 in Chicago an "International Conference on Racism and Globalization" will take place sponsored by Agriculture Missions and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund.
"This is a conference by and for people of color from around the world," said Jerry Pennick, the facilitator of the gathering. "At the event we will strategize on how we can best confront globalization in its current context. It is my belief that the fuel that drives globalization is racism because those most adversely impacted by globalization, as it is practiced today, are people of color."
"It is important," Pennick said, "that people of color define globalization based on their experience and to create a new paradigm of what globalization could be if practiced with respect of people, their history, and their culture. Hopefully, this conference will be the first step in this direction."
The keynote speaker will be Katie Geneva Cannon, who is the Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary-PSCE in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Cannon is the author of Teaching Preaching (2002), Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community (1995), and Black Womanist Ethics (1988).
In the promotional literature, the organizers of this historic gathering provide the following overview and goals:
As economic and other forms of globalization march forward, the technological and economic advances of the modern era have failed to fulfill expectations of peace and prosperity for the vast majority of the world's inhabitants. Globalization is a system of inequality that is relentlessly imposed across the globe that uproots people from their communities, ravages ecosystems and destroys peoples' culture for the benefit of a very small, rich and powerful elite.
Globalization personifies an added dimension of racism. Racism is not solely exemplified by apartheid or racial separation. Increasing conflicts over land, water and other natural resources all have a racial dimension just as viscous and persistent as historic slavery and colonialism. This conference will explore the systemic racial underpinnings that perpetuate the negative impacts of globalization.
The goals of the conference are:
• To raise the level of awareness of the interconnectedness of racism and globalization in the current context and affirm our commitment to seek to end racism within our organizations, our communities and ourselves.
• To develop international networks that will assist organizations, individuals and communities in using their power to confront and defeat any aspect of globalization that is driven by racism and negatively impacts our lives.
The conference will be held at the Lutheran Conference Center, 8765 West Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631. (For information go to the Agriculture Missions website at www.agriculturemissions.org.)
Jerry Pennick is the director of the Land Assistance Fund of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund that has served minority farmers across the south since 1967.