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Arnoldo Curiel: Beyond Eliminating Racism

By YWCA of Minneapolis
December 17, 2015
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Jess Ibri is a Carleton College student, currently interning with the YWCA of Minneapolis. She had the opportunity to interview our new Vice President of Racial Justice, Arnoldo Curiel.

Arnoldo Curiel joined the YWCA as the Vice President for Racial Justice in June of 2015, after a career focused around social justice, multicultural education, and community organizing. After getting involved in service to others “because of a girl,” he admits, Arnoldo managed the Weed and Seed program in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood, served as the diversity training coordinator for the Minnesota Youth Work Institute, and co-founded Shop with Cops.  He then went on to create educational environments that support and value the contribution of diverse students as an assistant professor and coordinator of the Educational Experience for the Graduate Teaching Licensure program at the College of St. Scholastica. As Arnoldo begins his new position at the YWCA, he stresses the importance of a holistic social justice approach in order to be leaders at the forefront of racial equity work.

When it comes to talking about race, posing the question, “if we eliminated racism, would the world be a better place?” to which his response was, surprisingly, “no.” Or more accurately, “not yet.”  What it comes down to is inequality, and racism is just one of the many threads of inequality. In order to eliminate interpersonal, institutional, and systemic racism, it is essential to go after the root causes of inequality, and understand intersections of identity. We can’t get rid of racism without simultaneously combating socio-economic disparities, sexism, adultism, ableism, discrimination based on sexual orientation, and more.

Through workshops, consulting, trainings, and events such as It’s Time to Talk, Arnoldo’s goal is to take racial equity work to the next level and become national trendsetters, by empowering communities through the lens of intersectionality and social justice.