THE ESTABLISHMENT

Background | Problem | Philosophy | Operations | Solutions

P-CoC Inc approaches the combat of colorism and racist ideologies from a place of understanding and not blame, but yet lift to the surface elements that reinforce racism, and colorism to advocate for change

 
 

BACKGROUND

"Juneteenth," celebrating the date of the emancipation of the last slaves, also marks the first meeting of this Education-Advocacy group, P-CoC Inc | Parenting Children of Color, on June 19th, 2020, at the residence of the Founding President, Dr. Damaris-Lois Yamoah Lang.  Dr. Lang, whose doctoral work focused on the neurobiology of behavior (paternal care), explains that social behaviors, including racism and colorism, stem from the brain's perceptions. She emphasized that addressing racial inequities in our society will require curtailing of negative outside influx, which causes a shift in our facial skin-tone recognition primed-brain into the realm of unconscious bias associated with racial stereotypes. The work of P-CoC Inc is laser-focused on Racial Equities. Although racial injustice symptoms may present themselves as those of other social injustices, the pathology of racial injustice is undoubtedly different from those of other social injustices. Understanding race's neuronal basis is critical in treating the social pandemic of racism and colorism at its core. 

PROBLEM

Exploring the hows' of practices associated with racism and colorism will guide the work against racism and colorism. Solving any problem requires identifying how the issues are causing these problems to perpetuate. Combating racism and colorism requires us to determine how these practices are happening and enforced. In racism and colorism, how do persons of color assume the bottom rung status of the society? The answer lies in the developed social constructs of Blackness and Whiteness. Let's start with the innocuous color symbol associations. White and Black color representations include Light vs. Dark, Pure vs. Impure, Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong, Innocent vs. Skirmish, Angelic vs. Demonic, Clean vs. Dirty - the list goes on to create the abstract symbolism associated with Whiteness vs. Blackness. The characteristics of Whiteness carry predominantly positive adjectives creating the stereotypes related to the privilege of Whiteness. The attributes of Blackness have mostly negative adjectives hence providing stereotypes associated with the prejudice against Blackness. This seemingly harmless concept has seeped into associations between skin tones and skin color as expressed globally by individuals of White and Black cultures, causing the benefit of Whiteness in contrast to bias against Blackness. Stereotypes produce an unlevel standing. The justification of discriminatory atrocities against persons of color, a marginalized group carrying the aspects of Blackness, continues because of capitalizing on the sure banking of a no-one-is-perfect state that all humans share. Although no one is perfect, marginalized groups carry the unrealistic burden of proving a higher level of innocence than their non-person of color counterparts who take on the aspects of Whiteness. There is a lower tolerance for errors towards persons of color (Blackness) than non-persons of color (Whiteness). An amplified lens of social scrutiny often causes an increase in the discrediting and over-punishing of those who carry the social attributes of Blackness more than those having the social qualities of Whiteness. Furthermore, when these marginalized groups (persons of color bearing the social characteristics of Blackness) stand on par with their non-persons of color counterparts in varied professions, a biased criticism lens diminishes their worth, causing the marginalized to be overlooked compared to the privileged group. Understanding such social behaviors requires us to understand the several human dimensions of our human endeavors, encounters, and experiences. These dimensions include not only social but natural, spiritual, cognitive, and conscious. The focus of our work lies in cognition and the natural molecular state of the human in shaping our social behaviors. Studies in the neurobiology of behavior have given an understanding of several brain areas and neuronal circuitry that shape behavioral output. One such account is that learned concepts shape mental states in informing cognitive actions expressed in behaviors. From a neuronal perspective, the imagery and ideas surrounding Whiteness and Blackness establish synaptic potential baselines in the brain's neuronal circuitry, forming mental relatedness associated with these color attributes. For Blackness, it is primarily negative, and for Whiteness, it is predominantly positive. As such, the required threshold stimuli input for summative enforcement of a negative outlook for Blackness is much less than Whiteness. Conversely, the threshold stimuli needed for summative enforcement of a positive outlook for Blackness is much higher than Whiteness. This mental state of affairs has left us with a society where the privilege of Whiteness constructs prejudice against Blackness globally. Where we go from here is what has drawn the work of P-CoC Inc | Parenting Children of Color - a Charitable Professional Society, laser-focused on race and color equity for persons of color, supporting ethnicity, cultural expression, fair treatment, and education for all. The focus of our work is solely on colorism and race-related matters. P-CoC will serve families of color and the general public by providing community outreach, educational programs, support, and advocating for equity and changes that will promote the expression of authentic ethnicity, a non-conforming racial identity, and unlearn social norms that perpetuate hate and self-hate. ​Colorism propels the wheels of racism. Racism plagues the marginalized by implementing stereotypes established to favor the self-proclaimed dominant groups leading to harmful practices that enforce inequities. As one human race, we should all actively work against this plague to treat and remove the enforcing elements promoting Racism and Colorism.

 

PHILOSOPHY

P-CoC's embedded driving philosophy is this; problem-solving becomes problem creation if not tackled from a place of goodwill. Addressing racial inequities through awareness alone is woefully inadequate. P-CoC combats racist ideologies from a place of understanding and not blame while seeking to lift to the surface elements that reinforce racism and colorism. The driving work of P-CoC lies in studies surrounding Neuroethology, Cognitive Psychology, and Racial Education. Neuroethology is the study of the neural basis of natural behavior. Studies have provided insights into the underlying mechanism of how facial skin-toned recognition(an element of racial identity) leaned at early human development (as neonates) can be impacted by social reinforcers positively or negatively, from childhood into adulthood, significantly heightened at puberty age. Negative social stereotypic re-enforcers produce racial bias – a learned behavior, which requires a mechanism of active unlearning to mitigate the social impact created. An intentional and active measure is needed. Neuronal studies show that the difficulty in facial recognition based on race corresponds to decreased activation in the brain's fusiform area whiles increasing the amygdala-the fear center. Furthermore, the negative societal stereotypes ascribed to black skin-toned individuals further reinforce the brain's fear centers, increasing biases exhibited in social characteristics in colorism and racial inequities.

 

OPERATIONS

The work of P-CoC is to support and provide Educational-Advocacy in Schools and Communities. P-CoC Inc holds workshops, seminars, and advocates by calling to action the need for an active approach to solving racial inequities. The Governing Board of P-CoC, the Board Officers (President, Secretary, and Treasurer), Vice Presiden, and the Chari of the Advisory Board Council] are committed to the work of P-CoC Inc. One of the Governing Board's vital work worth emphasizing is to guard against "mission creep" (a change that pushes an organization past its original reasons for its establishment and goals). The organizational structure, the middle across collective-impact, an integrated approach of our logic of engagement, and the mode of operation in a collegial, collaborative, solution-oriented, and assertive, if needed, serves as the propeller in running the organization.  P-CoC Inc's work includes direct engagements by the governing board, together with operations through ad-hoc committees.

 

SOLUTIONS

Persons of color often face a stereotype threat-a predicament that adds to school difficulty in our society. Studies have shown that the brain clouded with emotions does not perform rationally, including academic achievement, especially in adolescence who exhibit massive changes in their cognitive and metacognitive states. The first step is for the education system to break free from the shackles of skewed and stereotypic representation of persons of color. Attain a well-rounded holistic education school's curricular material must reflect an increased ethnic diversity, as portrayed in the human race. Societal systems should include a broader representation of persons of color outside negative stereotypes. These efforts will aid in alleviating norms perpetuating hate, including self-hate, and applying appropriate pedagogy in our children's education process on race-sensitive material. Positive representation in social outlets, entertainment, media, and the like, will collectively influence society's socio-racial outlook. These practical efforts are necessary to diminish unconscious bias attitudes or stereotypes that affect our views, actions, and decision-making ability. Racial identity learned from infancy will require that persons-of-color see themselves reflected in our curricular literature and their educators in academic settings to facilitate a more rigorous inspirational engagement vital to academic success. Most of the curricular literature "the classics" lacks racial diversity, dominated by non-persons-of-color (euro-centric). Curricular material development and academic publishing will require a more active and intentional approach to developing racial diversity within curricula. The community approach requires the general public's education to understand the issues at stake, increase awareness, and work against ideologies that set one ethnicity as dominant over the other within our human race, thereby achieving an anti-racist society's mindsets.