During the inaugural gathering of the State of Black IE Symposium, Assemblymember Corey Jackson was at the forefront of the day’s discussions about social justice, the economy, reparations, Black entrepreneurship, and Black health– including infant mortality. The symposium served as a point of connection for, and discussion of, the most critical and prominent issues faced by the Inland Empire Black community.
“I realized there is no central event that brings Black folks together to talk about what the data says about the state of our people. I want to make sure that every year people have the most up to date information possible,” said Assemblymember Jackson.
The event was held Saturday, October 7, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Moreno Valley Conference Center and concluded with a discussion between Assemblymember Jackson and Pulitzer Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the 1619 Project. Much of their discussion focused on understanding and unpacking the historical and social structures and implications of systemic racism in the U.S.
Jones touched on the division created through political parties and policy which she said disadvantages millions of people of all races. “Whiteness is just something that they made up to order our political and economic and social relations. That’s about power, that’s not about your ethnicity, and white folks have to give that up,” Jones declared.
Jones also spoke of the Bacon Rebellion held by Virginia settlers from 1676 to 1677, where “exploited unfree laborers, [white] indentured servants, joined with enslaved Black people to challenge the white elite.” She said this alarmed the white elite.
“So they create special privileges for whiteness, where no matter how poor you might be, you’ll never be as low even as the highest Black person,” Jones said. “So we have to be able to convince our brothers and sisters, that we actually are brothers and sisters, that we all are united in the same struggle.”
Jones ended the conversation with a focus on unity-driven solutions.
Preceding Jones and Assemblymember Jackson’s conversation was an Elected Officials panel discussion between State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Assemblymember Jackson, Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson, Joseph Williams of the San Bernardino Community College District, San Bernardino Council Member Kimberly Calvin and Nalaisha Burnett of the San Jacinto School Board.
Black Voice News captured the event through photographs. Check them out below!