Meeting Minutes ~ 12.8.21

Action Ridge General Meeting, December 8, 2021.  Meeting commenced at 7:15pm.

Nan welcomed everyone and introduced Tim Milburn, who has signed on as the lead of the Environmental Committee. Tim invited input into what lens/focus Action Ridge wants with environmental initiatives. Nan responded that AR is looking for opportunities to take actions that have impact, but reinforced that AR is non-partisan. AR looks forward to Tim doing a presentation at a general meeting in the next few months.

Featured Speaker: Dr. Lisa Page – JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Training

The training helps white people to better understand what it means to have white privilege and provides actions on individual and community levels.

Attitudes against communities of color can be a function of dealing with personal failure by blaming others, the desire to unite with other white people (against POC) to fulfill a need to “belong”, and believing stereotypes of other communities without having personal interactions. 

Dr. Page discussed examples of overt and covert white supremacy and reviewed the difference between equality and equity. Equality provides people with the same resources/opportunities; equity acknowledges that people begin with different advantages/disadvantages and seeks to “level the playing field”.

The group engaged in an exercise to Google certain terms (“successful man”, “intelligent woman”, “CEO”) and analyze the images that the search produced, usually involving white people. This exercise illustrated the bias that is built into media.

Dr. Page reviewed the tenets of Bystander to Upstander Training to interrupt hostile interactions.

  • Distract
  • Delegate (ask for help)
  • Document
  • Direct (name what is happening in a non-confrontational way)
  • Defend
  • Delay (your departure from the scene)

Following the formal presentation, there was spontaneous conversation among attendees about addressing racism in our lives.

General Business and Updates

Housing. Ann Kapustiak, Nan Parson, and Kristin Berg were invited to do a presentation in Maine South social studies classes about the history of exclusionary housing practices in Park Ridge. Kristin is also gathering data from local school districts to get a handle on the argument of overcrowding that often is used to block multi-unit housing developments. The City Council has indicated that it will revisit the comprehensive plan in March 2022.

Special Projects. Ann Kapustiak is going to be working with a community member and the library to address historical inaccuracies and cultural deficiencies in D64 textbooks.

Policing and Criminal Justice. Alissa Goldwasser is keeping tabs on City Council meetings that discuss public safety and is analyzing data from published police activity logs.

Gun Safety. Joan reported that the Illinois Association of School Boards backed legislation prohibiting guns in schools but wouldn’t take a stand on safe firearms storage in the home.

Environment. Tim Milburn announced that there will be a Sierra club meeting December 9 to review initiatives and legislation. The meeting will be open for virtual attendance.

Nan raised the possibility of viewing a documentary by Margaret Byrne in February 2022 titled Any Given Day about “the hard-fought triumphs and struggles of living at the intersection of mental illness, poverty, and addiction.” 

Action Ridge’s next general meeting will be on January 12, 2022.  Meeting ended at 8:30pm.

Meeting minutes submitted by Alissa Goldwasser and Nan Parson.

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