Understanding the Jim Crow Era…those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.
Race and racism continue to be complicated and divisive issues in our society. At times Western Michigan appears to make great strides toward deeper understanding of race related issues and at other times it appears that our advancements on race and inclusion are but a simple facade masking our unconscious thoughts and lack of understanding. Accordingly, there is much we still have to learn about race and racism and we must actively look for chances for constructive dialogue.
Cascade Engineering is purposefully working towards the goal of eliminating all forms of racism within our company and promoting a culture that values the virtues of diversity and inclusion. We began our journey to be an Anti-Racist company in 2009, and realize that we have much to learn on this path. We of course have not yet eliminated all forms of racism within Cascade, but we have set goals for confronting important issues of race and racism head-on through dialogue and learning.
The Ferris State University traveling Jim Crow Museum offers us a unique opportunity to study and experience (or re-experience) the history of race relations in this country. As you may know, the Jim Crow era represents a time when racial segregation and laws supporting the inferiority of people of color were institutionalized throughout much of the United States. Although Jim Crow policies are no longer the law of the land, it is our belief that we must understand the historical roots of race and racism in order to understand the power it still holds today. It is from this understanding that we will gain the ability to work towards the elimination of racism. We realize that this work can be awkward and even painful to some, but again, without a historical reference as a starting point, there is no context to allow a deeper understanding of our present day conditions.
Cascade Engineering hopes that sponsoring this event will provide insight and direction on how to better improve the understanding of race in our community. We also believe that those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it…and we do not want this to be the case. We invite you to join us as we experience the Jim Crow museum and the lessons that it can teach us regarding inclusion, diversity and race relations in the United States.
Please confirm, with your Cascade Engineering contact, a preferred date and time you would like to tour the exhibit.
Chief Administrative Officer and Services Group Vice President
Sharon L. Darby, BBA, CM, SPHR, DTM
Sr. Manager – Environmental, Safety & Sustainability
(616) 254-4170 direct dial
(616) 340-0296 cell
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