Scot Nakagawa

scott nakagawaScot Nakagawa got his first job as a community organizer in 1980, and since then has worked in organizational management, social research, public policy analysis and advocacy, and philanthropy. He also has a background as a teacher and a service provider working with low-income communities to create accountable organizations that are responsive to community needs. Before forming ChangeLab, Scot served as the Field Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Associate Director of the Western Prison Project (now the Partnership for Safety and Justice), Interim Executive Director of Social Justice Fund Northwest, Executive Director of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation, and as Education Co-Coordinator of the Highlander Research and Education Center. Scot’s primary work in progressive social change has been as a social movement analyst with a particular emphasis on analyzing and creating strategies to counter rightwing movements. His current blog, Race Files, addresses race and racism in U.S. politics and culture.

White Progressive Colorblindness

White Progressive Colorblindess

lived for nearly 25 years in Portland, Oregon. There I staffed an organization dedicated to fighting vigilante white supremacists. In order to fight the white right, we built a base that was made up almost entirely of white progressives. I also served as the Executive Director of the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation, a financial resource […]

Gentrification – Racial Tension in the City

Gentrification

Scot Nakagawa: So you grow up in the burbs, attend better schools and enjoy other advantages as a result, and then decide that now that you’re a big wage earner, you’d rather live where the poor people are and push them to the places you’re abandoning because those neighborhoods make you “nauseated.”

When Blacks and Asians Clash

Blacks and Asians Clash

Scot Nakagawa: By sensationalizing Black-Asian tensions (and isolating these tensions from the tensions between Blacks and whites, whites and Asians, Asians and Latinos, Native Americans and settlers, etc.) while also ignoring the context for them, the media also heightens those very same tensions.

The Language of Anti-Racism

Ending White Supremacy

Scot Nakagawa: American history revolves around the story of the exploitation and exclusion of Black people. We live in denial of this reality at our own great peril.

What Goes Down in Ferguson Is a 99% Issue

Peaceful Ferguson Protests

Scot Nakagawa: The crisis of Ferguson is also being driven by changing racial demographics and forced migration. And in these dynamics, Black people are just the canaries the mine shaft. What happens to them is a harbinger of what may happen to all of us.

James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room

james baldwin

Scot Nakagawa: Like Van Gogh, Baldwin drew our attentions to lives lived on the margins of the known world in the 20th century just as we margin-dwellers were beginning to push toward the cultural center, contributing, in the process, to its continuing disintegration.

O’Reilly, Race, and Asian Americans

Bill OReilly Asian Americans

Scot Nakagawa: Wednesday, Bill O’Reilly took us from the No Spin Zone to the make-your-head-spin zone in his rant, “The Truth About White Privilege.” And what was O’Reilly’s “truth?” That white privilege is a myth, the proof of which lies in the experience of Asian Americans.

Pot Legalization Dead End for Poor

Pot Legalization

Scot Nakagawa: While I support legalization as an incremental step in the right direction, I think we are wrong to promote legalization as a means of achieving racial justice.

How The Asians Did Not Become White

are asians white

Scot Nakagawa: Asians are the least likely among all racial groups to make it to the top in the private sector, including among law firms, again in spite of being better educated.