Race and Systemic Racism | CAI

Race and Systemic Racism

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police May 25, 2020, not only sparked protests nationwide, it inspired national conversations and deep reflection about race and diversity, police brutality, and systemic racism in the U.S.  

CAI is committed to continued coverage of race and racism on the Cape, the Coast, and Islands with news features, short interviews, and extended conversations with local residents and officials, and regional and national experts.  

Eve Zuckoff

Scientists around the country are celebrating and speaking out for “Black in Marine Science Week.” 

The week features online panel discussions on career growth, celebrates natural hair as a professional look, and focuses on increasing the visibility of Black marine scientists across social media.

“Having an event like this where we all get together has been a revelation,” said Gwyneth Packard, a senior engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  

NENC/America Amplified

Despite progress in civil rights, segregated communities still exist throughout New England. This week on NEXT, we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live. It’s the second show in a special series on racism in New England, produced by the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified.

As part of our ongoing conversation about racial injustice and white privilege, we discuss the importance of recruiting and retaining teachers of color. In Massachusetts forty percent of students identify as people of color; this is true of only eight percent of teaching staff. On The Point, Host Kathryn Eident talks with our guests about the growing body of evidence showing the positive impacts of teachers of color on all students, and reasons why we have so few. We also discuss concrete steps to take in recruiting, training and retaining people of color as educators.  

NEXT Episode 216

Sep 22, 2020
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem. But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and white supremacy. It’s a legacy that lives with us today.

Cape Cod Camino Way Facebook Page

As we've reported, the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May spurred protests around the country, and across the Cape, the Coast and the Islands against police brutality and systemic racism.

Wikicommons / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Sander Flight / bit.ly/31ZSb3B

The Mashpee Police Department will become one of only a few police stations across the state to use body cameras when it begins a pilot program next month.

Ten Mashpee police officers will wear the cameras as a way to increase transparency.

Dartmouth Public Schools

As communities around Massachusetts consider whether to eliminate their Native American school mascots, Dartmouth’s handling of the situation continues to come under scrutiny.


White supremacy and institutionalized racism perpetuate inequality in both obvious and in subtle ways in the United States. Making changes will take effort, but knowing where to start can be a challenge. On The Point, we talk with diversity educator Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. about his 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, and resources to help us on the journey toward equity and justice for all. 

Image from FCTV livestream

Falmouth Police Chief Edward Dunne is responding to questions about qualified immunity, police funding, and other issues under scrutiny nationally as part of a renewed push for racial justice in the United States.

Dunne fielded questions from a panel of local residents during a televised forum hosted by No Place for Hate - Falmouth.


On The Point, we talk about implicit social cognition: thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. 

Buy Back New Bedford

Many communities and activists trying to harness the momentum that has come from the protests that erupted after the death of George Floyd and other African-Americans in police custody.

One response has been a movement to support Black-owned businesses.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

The rain held off Saturday as 150 people came to the Hyannis bandstand to listen to people share their personal experiences of racism on Cape Cod.

Liz Lerner

Newly available data show that Black people on Cape Cod have contracted COVID-19 at a rate three times that of the white population.

Vaira Harik of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services said the disproportional effect on Black residents is concerning — and reflects broader disparities in five social determinants of health: economic stability, education, access to health care, a person’s residential environment, and the community context.

Institutionalized racism and white privilege are largely left out of public school curriculum while myths about the founding and history of our country are perpetuated. What changes should be made to curriculum to teach the truth? How will more diversity in teachers impact content and learning? Can testing be modified to remove cultural and racial bias? And what are teachers already doing to bring conversation about racism and white privilege into the classroom? We tackle education as part of our ongoing conversation about racism on The Point.


Peggy Jablonski

A Brewster woman is setting out today on the first of a series of walks around the Cape.

Peggy Jablonski isn't walking for fitness, or to enjoy the Cape's gorgeous scenery. She's walking to learn more about racism on the Cape and about her own whiteness.

tedeytan / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

The first time Joe Lima came to Provincetown years ago, he felt as though he’d arrived in another world.

“You don’t even feel like you’re still on the Cape,” he said. “You almost don’t feel like you’re on this planet.” 

wikipedia / Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee

School officials in Sandwich and in Barnstable will meet with graduates in the coming days to discuss how to better include Black and Indigenous history and discussions on race and racism into school curricula. The meetings stem from two separate letters written and signed by more than 15-hundred  alumni from both districts asking for these changes. 

Eve Zuckoff

More than 100 people wearing kippahs, crosses, and face masks gathered on the Hyannis Village Green on Monday for a multi-faith memorial service in honor of George Floyd.

J. Junker

On The Point: Talking about race can be hard, but anti-racist activists and diversity trainers say that understanding whiteness and white privilege is critical in dismantling racist systems. 


White supremacist flyers have been discovered in a Falmouth man’s mailbox and along Yarmouth roads.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

Activists who oppose Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson held a rolling protest through the streets of New Bedford and Dartmouth on Thursday.

More than 30 cars decorated with signs demanding that Hodgson resign and alleging that he sympathizes with white supremacy drove past the jails he operates.

J. Junker

Racial injustice, institutionalized racism and white privilege are part of our country’s history and very much present in our society today. Today, here on the Cape and Islands, people of color and indigenous people experience racism and live in a society created by white people for white people. On The Point, we talk with activists and with a historian, and we hear some of the voices and stories of people of color and indigenous people living on the Cape and Islands. 


Wikicommons / Jennifer M. Rangubphai / bit.ly/3fqv33c

This Friday is Juneteenth, a holiday that marks the date in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. Now, a movement to make Juneteenth a national holiday is gaining local support. 

Liz Lerner

Zoning laws have long helped protect the Cape's natural resources and beauty. 

But zoning laws have also been used to encourage, and enforce, racial segregation in the U.S.

Sandwich Police Department

Police departments around the region have not been quiet about police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death. 

Sandwich police condemned the actions of the officers who were involved, calling the incident "horrible" on Facebook. The post also says Sandwich officers undergo bias and de-escalation training.