Capturing Impact

Our Recap of A Gathering of Leaders 2014

An Open Circle, Not a Closed Table: Expanding the Conversation About Boys and Men of Color As part of the AGOL 2014 commitment to full inclusion, three leaders representing diverse experiences and perspectives were asked to share their feedback and reflections on the issues raised thus far, at the midpoint of the conference.


Quyen Dinh Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Raymond Foxworth First Nations Development Institute
Hector Sánchez-Flores National Compadres Network

Quyen Dinh

  • Who are we talking about when we say “boys and men of color”? Are we only talking about African American boys and men?
  • I recognize the legacy of the Black community and the civil rights movement. The organizing I do would not be possible without these efforts.
  • Is there room for all of us to be at the table, including American Indian, Asian, and Latino? I’m not here to co-op the space but to work in solidarity with you all because our struggles are the same.
  • What are the similarities among us in terms of issues like incarceration and educational attainment? How can we work together across ethnic lines?

Raymond Foxworth

  • From the perspective of Tribal Nations, the movement has not been inclusive and has not gotten inclusive over time.
  • I have attended all three Gatherings, and there are more Tribal Nations present this year, but it’s still not enough.
  • Do American Indians have a seat at the table? Or are they just going to be invited to dinner?
  • We have some of the highest incarcerations rates and longest sentences.
  • We are not an ethnic group but are made up of various nations.
  • We have fought many wars but today we are still struggling to maintain our land rights. How does our history affect other boys and men of color?
  • Christianity and the Church was used to colonize American Indians and disassemble American Indian culture. We need to have a discussion about these processes that got us all to this space today.

Hector Sanchez Flores

  • The conversation about expanding the table is important.
  • Circles can grow, expand, and accept a lot of different people, and we will all be stronger for that.
  • Once you sit in circle with one another, it's not just membership; it’s family
  • I would like to invite us to no longer quantify our traumas and instead focus on healing our traumas.
  • How is it possible that I am able to benefit from the struggles of my ancestors? My life was affected by someone else—knowing that connection exists allows me to do my work.