Complaint made with Human Rights Commission about racially segregated Alaska Humanities Forum event

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Anchorage resident Jay McDonald has filed a human rights complaint against the Alaska Humanities Forum over its advertised conference for August that excludes white people from half of the conference.

McDonald, who is also a candidate for House, said that the Aug. 6-7 conference excludes his children, who do not identify as “BIPOC,” as the conference has labeled people of color.

“No family in Anchorage should have to fear that they will be forced to leave a public space based on the color of their skin,” McDonald said.

“Bad faith actors have been exploiting loopholes in Alaskan laws regarding 501c3 corporations to engage in prejudicial and discriminatory conduct against protected identity groups. I hope to work with the Alaskan Human Rights Commission and the House Majority in the coming legislative session to strengthen anti-discrimination law and close these loopholes. I have asked the AHRC to open an investigation into this event.”

The Alaska Humanities Forum’s president and CEO is Anchorage Assemblyman Kameron Perez-Verdia.

28 COMMENTS

  1. How awkward it be someone like me sign up as a white attendee then pull out my native card, which i regulary do go back and forth. Sometimes iam white and sometimes i am native. All
    depending on the goal.

  2. Since “[t]program is still being developed,” the Alaska Humanities Forum will quickly resolve the matter by changing the format of the conference or dropping it altogether! Thus eliminating the need for the Alaska Human Rights Commission to intervene! That’s how it will go! Voila!

  3. Someone finally stood up and said something!!!! I wish the rest of us had the balls to say something.. we don’t. That’s why this keeps happening.

  4. Thank you, Jay McDonald!
    .
    Might suggest, especially if the Commission upholds your complaint, asking the IRS to revoke the group’s 501c3 status… which could make them liable for truckloads of back taxes.
    .
    What, smack ’em when they’re down?
    .
    Yes.
    .
    Thanks again, Jay.

  5. Good for you, Jay MacDonald. I’d bet that 95% of MRAK readers are behind you in the suit.

  6. How does race and culture have anything to do with the land? What, are we druids now? I can’t believe money is wasted on these type of events. The land doesn’t care what your race is, we all try to respect the Earth God gave us. Be good stewards of his gift to all mankind.

    • There is a link with natives. They were here much longer and have centuries of culture created by living with the land.

      Climate and environment are major drivers of culture. We live differently than people in Florida do.

      That said, it’s both illegal and stupid to exclude people based on matters as trivial as race.

      • It's time that the state legislature rethink how it can better promote and integrate the humanities in the lives of all Alaskans!

        Well said, Avenger! The Alaska Humanities Forum has bloomed into a “bureaucratic think tank.” (What an oxymoron!) You would think that there would be at least two or three persons within that organization who could facilitate, if not lead, the two day event. You’d definitely think that Taylor Strelevitz, the forum’s Director of Conversation Programs, would be able to facilitate such a conversation without having to bring a Black woman from Ohio to Anchorage to lead the discussions about race and land in Alaska! It’s time that the state legislature rethink how it can better promote and integrate the humanities in the lives of all Alaskans!

  7. It’s kind of messed up that white people made this country into what it is, invented clothing like blue jeans, invented welfare, invented modern education on a massive scale, invented transistors and modern personal computers, invented the internet, invented modern firearms, invented vitamin D tablets, invented wholesome activities to do in the winter, invented hiking in the summer, invented cell phones and mobile data, invented ANCSA money given to people forever because they have a pulse and are related to someone else, and everything else we take advantage of in modern times. No matter how much white people invent and provide to everyone else, the day after tomorrow will always be worse than the day before.
    Mumble rap and complaining about representation in high status positions are not contributions to society.
    Sorry, not sorry.

  8. Since “[t]he program is still being developed,” the Alaska Humanities Forum quickly will resolve the matter by changing the format of the conference or dropping it altogether, thus eliminating the need for the Alaska Human Rights Commission to intervene! That’s how it will go–nothing to see here! Voila!

  9. Well, my do nothing Assembly member Perez-Verdia finally accomplishes something – hosting a segregated event in Anchorage. I hope that anyone who contributes to the Humanities Forum re-considers, if their mission is segregation. Why Democrats constantly want to divide us is troubling. Why anyone supports Democrats is equally troubling. They are clearly incapable of governing.

  10. The problem being, until the GOOD people of Anchorage grow a spine and stand up to these communists, this will continue. And it has to be many not few.

  11. How are they going to handle the blue eyed, blond haired mixed blood Alaska natives of Scandinavian & Russian descent? Awkward comes to mind!

  12. All attendees should go full on Elizabeth Warren. Tell them you’re Indian and that your “Popa” had high cheek bones. It worked well for her, a full on Harvard education and cushy high paying gov’t jobs.

  13. If anyone wants to see real hypocrisy, go look at old historical photographs of the gold rush days, etc. All pictures I’ve seen of natives show a fairly dark skinned people. But there has been so much intermingling between races that you rarely meet a dark native now. Aren’t the two sisters who had high positions in two of the native corps only 1/8th? I have NEVER understood why someone thinks they should have to reject part of their genetic heritage to honor the other part. I’m German and my husband is Irish and I think it’s cool if my kids want to eat sauerkraut after listening to Irish pipes!

  14. Perez-Verdi’s Alaska Humanities Forum’s website still says *whites are not allowed* to the event as of 7/15/22:

    “Saturday August 6th will be specifically for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) folks. Sunday August 7th will be open to everyone.”

  15. Anchorage Councilman Perez-Verdia’s Alaska Humanities Forum is promoting Drag Queen Story Hour in their June 27th post on their Facebook page, which shows a flyer for the event, and says:

    “Join Native Movement this Thursday for the second Drag Queen Story Hour! This is a free, family friendly event featuring local drag sensations as they read storybooks and perform songs for the whole family to enjoy!”

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