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Diversity expert says ignorance is not an excuse in age of technology

She says if you have a phone, a computer, access to a library then you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.

People across the country are standing up for social injustice and saying no more. 

If you have a phone, a computer, access to a library then you have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips.

“There is no excuse for folks today to be uneducated about our history in the United States and to be uneducated particularly about the history of racism and racist practice," said Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder. She's a sociologist specializing in diversity and race relations. 

As a former University of North Florida professor, she currently works at a national nonprofit that focuses on increasing diversity in the tech industry. 

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Wilder says we are currently in the modern-day Civil Rights Movement. 

“We cannot continue to ignore this, as a society we have to continue to name it by naming the individuals who have lost their lives, by naming racism," says Wilder.

With a simple search on Google, you can learn about the life and death George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and more. The killings of these black Americans, and others, are the reason why people are protesting. 

In Northeast Florida, you can dig into the local history online. You can watch a Youtube video of part of the African American Heritage Trail that takes you through historical landmarks in and around Jacksonville. Visit Jacksonville's website has a trove of information on the local history of African-Americans. 

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“It goes beyond just tapping your African American neighbor or tapping and asking your friend of color,” Wilder says. Do your research. 

She says the value of this happening in 2020 is Google. We have access to so much information. If you are looking for a structured way of learning, Wilder’s friend created a 30-day Racial Justice Challenge.

Wilder wrote a book called "Color Stories: Black Women and Colorism in the 21st Century (Intersections of Race, Ethnicity, and Culture)" 

You can find her book here.

More resources below:

Resources on teaching kids about racism: https://rossieronline.usc.edu/youth-and-racism/resources 

Resources on teaching racial equity: https://www.racialequitytools.org/module/overview/racial-equity-learning-modules

Books on racism and social justice:https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/books-about-racism-and-social-justice 

Documentaries about black history and culture: http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/10-black-history-documentaries-to-watch/

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