In the wake of the George Floyd tragedy and the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States, the Cal Alumni Association collaborated with the Berkeley Chinese Alumni International Association and the Cal Armed Forces Alumni to create a series of conversations that explore the shared pain of systemic inequality. We hope that meaningful conversations like these can open the door to a more equitable and inclusive world. “Ethics and Identity” is part three of a series of dialogues that began with “The June 19th Dialogues: Stories & Histories from the Black and Asian Communities.”
Moderated by UC Berkeley philosophy Professor R. Jay Wallace and featuring Chuck Ng, Raymond Banks ’08, Shanti Brien ’94, and Lupe Gallegos-Diaz ’86, “Ethics and Identity” discusses the forces inhibiting the acknowledgment of equality of all people. The panel is composed of representatives from the Berkeley Chinese International Association (Chuck Ng), Cal Armed Forces Alumni (Raymond Banks), Native and Indigenous Alumni Chapter (Shanti Brien), and Chicanx Latinx Alumni Association, East Bay (Lupe Gallegos-Diaz). Each panelist brings their experiences of the past two years, and their lifetime, to bear on the longer history of inequality and violence in the US.
In this episode, panelists discuss important themes of acknowledgment, relationships, reparations, education, economics, and collective versus individual identity. “There needs to be acknowledgment that what we have now [in the United States] came from violence and pain,” said Shanti Brien ’94, member of the Native American Muscogee tribe and founding president of the Native and Indigenous Alumni Chapter.
Sharing much more than struggles, the panelists offer their support to each other and vow to support all movements toward equity. “We need to be in relationship with one another. We need to break bread with each other if we want to see change,” said Lupe Gallegos-Diaz ’86.
We invite you to listen to this conversation and to join CAA in challenging the collective denial of inequality in the United States. As Raymond Banks ’08 said, “what matters is what we do today, and what we continue to do.”