2 Years Later: Have Black Lives Changed?


Dr. Phil devotes his platform to analyzing how life has changed for Black Americans in the almost two years since the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the subsequent widespread Black Lives Matter protests demanding racial equality.


Dr. Phil meets professor Dr. Shaun Harper from USC, who says that while he remains an optimist, he claims to have not seen nearly enough effective change in society to start the process of creating equality and justice between Black and white Americans. Former BLM activist Rashad Turner says he quit the movement because, according to him, they did not prioritize education for Black children.


Dr. Phil also meets the President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Lydia Pope, who says Black people still don’t have equity in lending or in many other areas that govern us. Then, anti-racist attorney Natasha Scruggs joins the conversation and says Black communities are fighting on a daily basis to achieve equality and a better life for their children.


Plus, white ally Allison Mahaley joins the conversation with what she believes white people should understand. Watch while Rashad and Natasha engage in a spirited conversation about what needs to change in the Black community for equity to be realized. And, Dr. Phil visits a Black-owned, Black-run restaurant in South Los Angeles, Alta Adams, to break bread with owner and chef Keith Corbin, who says being a Black business owner is as challenging as it is rewarding.


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Quotes:

  • "Someone actually gave me an opportunity. They saw the value in me!”- Keith Corbin

  • “Juneteenth has become a Federal holiday, but critics have called this, and other changes performative, and superficial which brings us to this question… It is now two years later and exactly what has changed for the average, Black American.” - Dr. Phil

  • “We all want the opportunity to exercise that right to vote. But the question that always comes up in my community is, do we see those votes translate to Black lives actually improving?”- Dr. Harper

  • “This is about unconscious bias. So anti-Black bias is so predominant in our country.” - Allison Mahaley


Resources:

  • ALLY CONVERSATION TOOLKIT An Initiative of The Dialogue Company Helping people have a productive dialogue with others about Racism The Ally Conversation Toolkit helps anti-racism allies do their part in the fight against racism. We empower and equip them with the R.A.C.E. Method, a unique dialogic approach designed from best practices of non-violent communication (listening, storytelling, and compassion) and the neuroscience of persuasion. With your help, we are working to move the racism needle in America. https://thedialoguecompany.com/signature-initiatives/ally-conversation-toolkit/



  • Race In The Workplace Join Shaun Harper, one of the world’s leading racial equity experts, and Zoom’s Chief Diversity Officer Damien Hooper-Campbell, for a multi-part series focused on practical approaches to improving and advancing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in organizations. https://time.com/race-in-the-workplace/

Research

AVG. AMERICAN’S GROWING CONCERNS ABOUT RACISM (2020)

  • 60% say racism ‘big problem in US’ (49% in 2015)

  • 19%: racism most imp. problem in country (highest figure since 1968, 20%)

  • 51%: the way racial minorities treated in criminal justice system ‘very big problem’ (44% in 2018)

  • 42%: Black ppl treated less fairly than whites when seeking med treatment (33% in 2019)

  • 60%: new civil rights laws needed to reduce discrimination against Black Americans

Source: Commonwealth Fund/New York Times/Harvard T.H.

Chan School of Public Health



WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE GEORGE FLOYD’S MURDER 2020- 2021:

  • Over 240 proposed police reform bills including:

4 states limiting officer immunity

5 states restricting ‘No-Knock’ warrants

10 states mandating body cams

16 states restricting neck restraints

  • Corporations pledged over $49B to address racial inequality

  • 1/4/21: Bill ‘H.R.40’ introduced to examine slavery & discrimination in US from 1619 to present & recommend appropriate remedies/reparations.

  • 4/25/21: Oscars: 6 Black winners (highest ever number)

  • 6/9/21: ‘Juneteenth’ made federal holiday to commemorate end of slavery in US

Source: congress.gov ; National Conference of State Legislatures VOTER SUPPRESSION METHODS IN BLACK COMMUNITIES

  • Voter registration restrictions

  • Criminalization of the ballot box

  • Felony disenfranchisement

  • Voter purges

  • Redistricting & gerrymandering

  • 36 states have identification requirements at the polls.

Source: ACLU.ORG


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Keith Corbin

Exec Chef/Owner

Alta Adams'

https://altaadams.com/

·Keith Corbin grew up in Watts, California, in the housing projects. He felt brainwashed into thinking that the life of crime was the only way to survive. He eventually ended up in prison, and while there, he had time to think about what he wanted for his life. After being released, he worked for a restaurant, doing what he loves cooking. After years of proving himself, he was given an opportunity to open Alta West with the help of a visionary who saw his talent beyond his rap sheet.

Corbin gives people the same opportunities he was given. He provides professional jobs and opportunities to


Located in Los Angeles’ historic West Adams neighborhood, Alta Adams is designed to be an inclusive setting, serving comforting food and great cocktails in a lively setting. Alta Adams’ culinary vision is led by chefs Keith Corbin and Daniel Patterson. They met during the opening of the original LocoL in Watts and worked together for four years, both at LocoL and then later at Alta Group restaurants in the Bay Area. With the opening of Alta Adams, Corbin returned to Los Angeles, introducing his distinct interpretation of soul food that draws the connection between traditional West African food and California cuisine. The menu they created together fuses the Southern flavors and dishes Corbin grew up eating and preparing alongside his grandmother with a vibrant aesthetic and produce-driven approach. Offerings include black eye pea fritters, a candied yam gratin with spiced pecans, and braised oxtails — each composed to encourage sharing. The bar program features cocktails, wine and beer with an emphasis on California producers and local ingredients. Alta Adams is dedicated to cultivating an equitable environment that celebrates inclusivity and empowers rising culinary talent, while serving delicious food that brings communities together.



Shaun Harper

Provost Professor of Management and Organization; Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership; USC Race and Equity Center Executive Director shaunharper.com

Shaun Harper, Ph.D. is the Clifford and Betty Allen Professor at the University of Southern California. He also is founder and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center. Dr. Harper has published 12 books, and is author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and other academic publications. He is recipient of dozens of top honors in his field. Prior to joining the USC faculty in 2017, he spent a decade at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a tenured professor.

A prolific and energizing speaker on a range of diversity, equity, and inclusion topics, Shaun has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses around the world, many to audiences comprised of thousands. More than 75,000 professionals across a multitude of industries have been in his home for live virtual speeches and presentations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Harper has testified twice to the United States House of Representatives and spoken at numerous White House convenings.


Lydia Pope

NAREB President Ohio

Lydia has been in the Real Estate Industry since 1995. She is Owner/President of E & D Realty & Investment Co, Inc. (www.edrealty1.com), E&D Realty Property Management Division and E&D Construction Company. https://www.nareb.com/profile/lpope/


Lydia is currently Branch Manager for NID-HCA, a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency and Certified Property Manager from REMBI. Some of her past and current accomplishments are: 1st Vice President of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (NAREB), Past President of the Women’s Council of NAREB, Mt. Pleasant Advisory Board, Ohio Housing Finance Agency Committee, Cleveland Realtist Association Past President & Chair, Cleveland/Akron Legislative Committee, NAACP Member and more.


She holds a Bachelors in Communications and a Masters’ in Business & Project Management. She is also Partner with “Man Talk Inc” which is a Non-Profit Mentoring Organization (www.mantalkinc.com). Lydia is involved in Church activities and currently married to Pastor LeNard E. Pope, Sr. with 4 adult children.


Rashad Turner

Director at ACLU Minnesota https://www.aclu-mn.org Rashad Turner (he/him) is a parent, and the founder and executive director of Minnesota Parent Union, a nonprofit organization that partners with parents to help ensure more of our children are receiving a quality education. Rashad earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Hamline University and his Master’s in Education from St. Mary's University of Minnesota. Rashad has worked in education ever since earning his undergraduate degree. His passion for education justice stems from his childhood experiences as well as his lifelong advocate – his grandmother. Rashad’s big step into advocacy was in 2015 when he founded the Saint Paul chapter of Black Lives Matter and organized and mobilized thousands in Minnesota and across the country in the fight against police brutality.


Allison Mahaley CEO Red Fern and Principal, The Dialogue Company

Allison Mahaley brings deep expertise in youth development, non-profit leadership, grassroots organizing and anti-racism work. As an entrepreneur, Ms. Mahaley has built a successful consultancy that focuses on human understanding and cultural competence. As an educator in the K-12 space for nearly two decades, Ms. Mahaley developed anti-bullying curricula, youth empowerment initiatives, and successfully developed anti-racism strategies that consistently closed the achievement and discipline gaps for students of color and their white counterparts.

Ms. Mahaley co-authored “Equipping Anti-Racism Allies: A 30-day Guide to Transformative Allyship” with Dr. David Campt. Together, the two have trained thousands of people in the methodology outlined in the book, a dialogue method aimed at persuading white America to transform society toward building a fully inclusive society by openly speaking about how bias works in themselves and in our world. In addition to being certified in HPLJ, she has recently become an Intercultural Development Inventory and Conflict Style Inventory qualified administrator. These tools are useful in developing strategic interventions for both groups and individuals. As a consultant, Ms. Mahaley has designed and delivered training for Fulton Bank, The American Red Cross, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the University of Southern California, the Canadian Unitarian Conference, and many others.

In the non-profit sector, as a volunteer, Ms. Mahaley was awarded multiple grants to support community based anti-racism courses for white people of privilege. Funded by BluePrint NC, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, she provided training and worked on various campaigns to fight systemic racism and provide an alternative narrative about issues from immigration to poverty to under-achievement.


Natasha M. Scruggs Anti-racist Attorney https://www.scruggsfirm.com/

For Natasha Scruggs, her interest in law came naturally. Her grandfather, after receiving his master’s degree, went to law school but did not complete it in the 70s, and those stories of a vocation unrealized left a curiosity in Scruggs about law, public service, and how the law can help both protect and transform her community. Natasha Scruggs was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her love for words and also knack for all things legal came at an extremely early age, she speaks about her earliest childhood memories, “My grandfather made us look up words in his encyclopedia collection and develop an opinion early.” The household turned out to be a family of lawyers, “I began playing fake court with my cousin at age 5 and my grandmother was the judge. I knew I would be an attorney. After I graduated, my cousin who grew up in my childhood house and my older brother graduated from law school as well.” Scruggs became hyper-aware of the cruelty of the state and the need for people that knew the law, on our side at a young age through personal experience. She recalls, “I always knew that I wanted to be an attorney, but two things occurred that confirmed it: When I was around 10 years old the police brutally beat my big brother in the mall. They then threatened to charge him with something false. My mother was scared, so we did not pursue anything.” The other formative experience about the failure of the police ended in even more tragedy, “When I was 17 my 29 year old uncle was killed by the police and they covered it up. This was 6 years prior to when Michael Brown was killed.” Now, in this political moment we are living in 2020, Scruggs’ service to the community is even more pronounced and needed. We are in a political moment where the people resisting need someone that doesn’t just know the law, but knows the struggles and the souls of the people they are representing. Natasha Scruggs is the answer to such cries. “I had a specific interest in helping my community on my terms,” Scruggs says when asked about how she came to create her law firm, The Scruggs Firm. Law has been notoriously weaponized to oppress Black people, both individually and collectively. It is necessary that now, we have representation that serves us and that takes a certain amount of rebellion and innovation. She continues, “I never wanted to attempt to conform to what people believed an attorney was. Now, I feel like I want to make a larger global impact rather than representing individual clients.” Scruggs’ stance is now aligned with pro-Black revolutionaries like Dr. Angela Davis that demanded the need of prison abolition and an implementation for a different kind of way to maintain public safety and policy, Scruggs says, “My goal in my career is to implement prison abolition in place of the current penal system that we have. My goal for my community is to educate them so that we move accordingly and become empowered in the best possible way.” This has been the long-term goal and vision for The Scruggs Law Firm, but of course, as the deaths of Breana Taylor and George Floyd echo in our minds; the need for the work she is doing and the vision she is creating is even that much more necessary. The Scruggs Law Firm is creating a new way for people to participate in and think about law. The firm is quickly turning into one of the pioneering resources to help organizers and the public alike navigate the legal system. One of the most vital and innovative tools created has been The Law Lab — a webinar hosted by Natasha Scruggs herself that guides high-school and college age people that desire to have a career in law. It’s a way for our future generations to truly connect with someone from their community about the good, bad, and the ugly of becoming a lawyer. This is also keeping with the firm’s roots, “My firm started as a virtual law practice. I would say our firm's technology and the ability to hire us online [is what helps us stand out from other law firms].” Another digitally based service is the webinar, Level Up Program, a motivational webinar that guides people on how to transcend the tragedies and hardships in their life and arrive at the life and accomplishments they dreamed of. What also speaks to Scruggs’ dedication to the community is how she envisions her future, “I see myself as an owner who gives opportunities to young attorneys. I also see the firm as a facilitator of prison abolition.” The road she has in front of her is not easy or commonly walked, but nothing truly revolutionary ever truly is, she is paving a way for the next generation of Black women that look to get us just that much closer to a free and just society. She says, “Black women have helped me every step of the way in the law. It feels like Black women understand the larger picture and the issues navigating a white, male dominated field.” Natasha Scruggs and The Scruggs Law Firm are the forces challenging that outdated paradigm and guiding us — legally — into the future. (Written by Myles Johnson) Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. B.A. in Criminal Justice - Jackson State University J.D. - Mississippi College School of Law Licensed in Missouri

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