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Spearfish Non-Profit Offers Anti-Racist Inclusivity Workshop for Teachers; Governor Says No Way!

Make SPACE—the Spearfish Partnership for Arts, Cycling, and Equity—is offering “equity training” for educators this summer:

MakeSPACE, poster for equity training for educators, posted to Facebook 2022.03.31, retrieved 2022.04.28.
MakeSPACE, poster for equity training for educators, posted to Facebook 2022.03.31, retrieved 2022.04.28.

Looking for an opportunity to learn, grow, and better support all of your students? Join us for the 2-day professional development workshop. 15 CEUs offered!

Topics we will cover: Anti-bias & anti-racism, fostering gender & LGBTQ+ inclusive classrooms
July 27 & 28 – 9am to 5pm


Register here:

Limited to 35 educators

More details available upon registration [MakeSpace—Spearfish Partnership for Arts, Cycling, and Equity, “Equity Training for Educators,” event posted to FB 2022.03.31, retrieved 2022.04.28].

The poster offers teachers one continuing-education graduate credit for this training…but not if Governor Kristi Noem has anything to say about it. Mention anti-racism and inclusive, and she swats the program down with her heavy hand of government:

Gov. Kristi Noem, tweet, 2022.04.28 07:26 CDT.
Gov. Kristi Noem, tweet, 2022.04.28 07:26 CDT.

Noem refers to her April 5 executive order which she pretends bans critical race theory from classrooms but which actually prohibits the Department of Education from promoting “divisive concepts” that bother Noem and other right-wing snowflakes who feel their white supremacy slipping. That thought-control order “is promoting a great evil,” but it does tell Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson she’d better not give any teachers credit toward recertification for learning how to be less racist and more inclusive:

“Our focus at the Department of Education is to help students succeed and to guarantee each student equal opportunities,” said Sanderson. “Training like this one do not help achieve that, they divide students into groups instead of focusing on equal opportunity for every student. The Department of Education does not pre-approve training that claim to offer CEUs; but we do determine whether a training can be counted toward the CEUs that educators need to earn as part of the recertification process” [Austin Goss, “Spearfish Organization Plans to Host Educator ‘Equity Training’,” KOTA-TV, 2022.04.27].

Five Black Hills-area women direct MakeSPACE. Among other things, MakeSPACE works on getting girls and young women out on bikes. MakeSpace is taking donations to support this training and the organization’s other programming.


  1. Ryan 2022-04-28 10:23

    a Partnership for Arts, Cycling, and Equity…

    what an interesting selection of things to support.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-04-28 10:44

    Spearditch is the seat of whiteness in LawCo so in the winter Exit 14 looks like a monument to the clear-span building that has been air-dropped into Antarctica.

    So, it’s little surprise the assisted living, funeral home and florist industries do very well and now that brown workers can take the driver’s license exam in Spanish white people can spend more time snorting and shooting meth.

  3. Mark Anderson 2022-04-28 11:00

    Divisive comments like any talk of slavery or quoting Theodore Roosevelt whose big bronze statue is going to North Dakota, he’s already on a mountain in So. Dak., he said “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.” He also said” the most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.” Looks like Lincoln is the only President worthy, and you can dig up sheet on him too. It’s time to stop treating those old founding fathers with kid gloves. Slaveholder isn’t a minor little glitch no matter what great things were done in the name of freedom.
    Jefferson writing didn’t even register in their heads as applying to their property. That needs to be pointed out to our youngsters and pointedly. Then you can point out their wonderful founding of our country, its always nice to point out revolutionary ideas to students.
    The only crybabys are Noem and her ilk, like Fury. Wouldn’t it be fun to debate the Hilldale boys. Talk about cancel culture in action.

  4. mike from iowa 2022-04-28 11:50

    Time someone says it, Noem is an effing MORON!! She is also a raging homophobe, in my opinion, humble be damned!

  5. JNNelsen 2022-04-28 12:00

    I believe the constitution directs us to educate ALL South Dakota students, not just the ones Kristi likes.

  6. DaveFN 2022-04-28 12:16

    President Larry P. Arnn of Hillsdale College writes some of the more divisive propaganda there is. I find no rebuttal by anyone, let alone Hillsdale students. Such is Hillsdale’s version of educational indoctrination.

  7. leslie 2022-04-28 13:02

    Speaking out against the Governor’s cocooned stupidity. I like it! She would never meet these Six Women, white or not, life-long Spearfish residents or not. But she should!

    There is only so much bullsheit the Republicans can peddle and get away with it.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-04-28 14:00

    Wow: in the speech to which Dave provides a link, Arnn says today’s despots are public servants, journalists, and elected school boards, while he defends the people threatening school board members and educators with violence and ignores the actual despot, his friend Trump, who staged a coup in the U.S. Congress.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-28 15:14

    Yes, Cory, there are few institutions in this country whose teachings are more divisive than Hillsdale College. The Governor is trying to jam that brand of muscular, absolutist Protestantism down the throats of South Dakota voters…I’m repelled by the entire effort..Fascist and totalitarian.

  10. P. Aitch 2022-04-28 15:33

    Governor Kristi might not recognize these credits as valid, but these credits will look very good on your resume when moving to a sensible state.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-28 16:07

    Mark…your quote by Theodore Roosevelt is a correct one, but he mellowed considerably as he aged and by his death, at 60, in 1919, he was considered more of a social liberal than Woodrow Wilson. But…he was a man of his generation, and he would not recognize today’s USA. Nor would we recognize his. Great book about his last years “River of Doubt” about his expedition down an uncharted river in the Amazon, which resulted in his early death.

  12. Donald Pay 2022-04-28 17:01

    I think the impetus for Noem’s jihad on “equity training” is mostly momey, as I stated in a post earlier. One the other that doesn’t really explain why anyone with working synapses, and no money incentive, would credit her thinking on this.

    In my 70 years I’ve seen and experienced a lot of stupidity, hate and cowardly behavior from succeeding generations. I’m really not surprised by how scared by change some people are.

    When I was in high school and just after, I tutored a young man who had disabilities. He was seeking to move from a special school into the vast halls of Lincoln High in Sioux Falls, and I helped him prepare for the greater academic load he would need to carry. He was certainly bright enough to go to “regular” school. And he really wanted to. Back then there were few “handicapped” students allowed in public school, despite federal law encouraging such efforts having passed a few years before. They had to prove themselves worthy. Well, my friend did go to Lincoln and did well, but the idea that education should be “inclusive” was resisted for years for successive waves of people with various disabilities. Some people didn’t want to be “inclusive.” Apparently it was a “divisive concept.” Able bodied children would feel “guilty” for being able bodied.

    When I think of “inclusive” and “equity” as concepts, I think of my friend. Back then, Noem would consider providing fairness for a disabled student a “divisive concept,” as many conservatives back then down to today are opposed to special education. They didn’t want “those people” in the schools. Conservatives were opposed to girls sports in public schools, as well, and strongly opposed Title IX. Funny how Noem now thinks she’s “saving” girls sports with anti-science statutes on the matter of transgender students in sports. If conservatives like Noem had had their way, there would be no girls sports for her to save.

    Being inclusive has always been a divisive concept. Shakespeare wrote plays, like “Romeo and Juliet”, about how difficult it is for some to accept “love.” When you don’t accept love, when you embrace hate, you have tragedy. We all know this, but it’s still never been easy to make progress. Generations of people have had to overcome conservative objections and scardycattedness, but in the end including more people, whether at school or on our team or in our circle of citizens, is better for all, even for conservatives. They just can’t admit it. I don’t know why.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-04-28 18:05

    I wonder what the full implications are of Noem’s attack on this Spearfish non-profit. Is she trying to destroy their credibility? Is she going to try to shut them down completely?

  14. larry kurtz 2022-04-28 18:15

    That any Democrats still live in Lawrence County remains a mystery.

  15. grudznick 2022-04-28 18:45

    Lar, Spearditch is a LawCo bastion of libbyism. Every time I go there to see if Mr. Dale is at the SteerFish Steak and Smoke to have a beverage, a whopping helping of food, and talk to the tobacconist, I end up in an argument with one of the hippies that live there.

  16. larry kurtz 2022-04-28 18:56

    You and Dale Bell still play cornhole in the buff, grud?

  17. Mark Anderson 2022-04-28 18:58

    Yeah, I know Arlo. If they would let me, I’d jackhammer off his glasses off the mountain and reveal his true nature. He was a racist and became less of a one. It’s just so important to communicate to kids that racism is still with us even though Republicans believe it’s divisive to say the truth. Right Ian?

  18. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-28 19:39

    Mark—it’s tough to say and not 100% accurate to say that our founders and heroes were racists. It’s a lot more dynamic than that but they certainly weren’t inclusive in their thinking, saying that African descent people would never serve on juries and only the most intelligent would vote (Lincoln) to advocating for removal to Africa (Jefferson). They were not abolitionists, and in 1860, prior to the Civil War a small minority of Americans were (estimated at 20% mostly living in New England, Up State New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin)…opinions changed as the bloody Civil War raged and it became obvious the South was fighting to preserve slavery. Abolition and full citizenship remained minority views after the War but were used to enforce Reconstruction by the Republican Party. It didn’t last long, being dealt away in a deal to insure the election of the great Rutherford P. Hayes as President. Equality and full citizenship issues reverted to the States though basic rights seemed to be protected by amendments to the Constitution. White Supremacy was maintained throughout the country until the rulings of the Warren Court made overt racism more difficult. The Democratic Party in the South was a solid bastion of White Supremacy.

  19. DaveFN 2022-04-28 20:40

    As I understand Noem’s March 28th HB 1012, the ban is on mandatory CRT trainings and orientations at colleges in South Dakota. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but while this may apply at some level to the classroom, the primary import is on Human Resources offices and diversity offices operating on behalf of the State of SD, which offices in the past are known for having given seminars and lunch-and-learn talks if not “training” itself on concepts such as “implicit bias,” some of which has merit and some of which doesn’t. While I’ve not heard Noem use the term “implicit bias,” one might infer that, for her, implicit bias is embedded in CRT (it’s far from that simple, however).

    Most faculty rightfully balk at such imposed behavioral “training” by university offices, be it sexual harassment training via “watch this 3rd party created one-size-fits-all video on your office computer, answer the questions, and signoff that you understand,” or other such videos meant only secondarily to inform and educate (poorly as they do it). The true intent is to clear the institution from liability by securing the consent of the employees in the event of some future infringement. While such 3rd party produced videos have their net effect, they are at another level deceptive and a sham, and faculty are some of the best critics of this kind of canned training a la BF Skinner. Nonetheless, they are the way administrations operate: argumentum ad baculum with concurrent dumbing down implied.

    Let faculty communicate this to right-wing university donors and the latter take it from there; it goes from there all the way to the top, and in this little state that means to the governor. I’ve seen the most minor of student complaints work the same way.

    Of course, there is the larger context of the national scene, but I’m not addressing that aspect.

    Noem likely sees the Spearfish inclusivity training workshops as deliberately flying in the face of her ban so digs a trench around them.

  20. Donald Pay 2022-04-28 20:47

    Cory, I assume there could be a lawsuit coming if Noem stands by her statement, and doesn’t back down. She can’t just make pronouncements that DOE won’t grant credits without some basis, and she has no basis. She’s blowing smoke out of her butt, as usual, but if that non-profits’ training or the non-profit itself is damaged by her fraudulent butt smoke, she might be making it easy for taxpayers to enrich this non-profit with taxpayer money. Noem is a serial bully, so one must expect a bully would act this way. It could be, however, that the Noem temper tantrum will make this training the place for teachers to be. Learning how to deal with a bully Governor should be one of the topics. Many of us could even weave in a little history from the Janklow years.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-04-28 22:13

    you raise an interesting question, Donald, about whether the nonprofit will have grounds to sue the state. Obviously Governor Noem‘s statement seems designed to damage this nonprofit. However, taking a narrow view, I could say that no organization has a right to offer any training they want and demand that the state recognize that training as worth a certain number of continuing education units. If there are regulations in place dictating what constitutes credit were the trainings that will count toward teacher recertification, then sure, the nonprofit could make a case that they’ve been denied some thing to which they have a legal rate. But in this case, the governor isn’t forbidding teachers from taking this training; she’s just saying her Department of Education won’t give official credit for the training toward recertification. The executive branch may have the authority to say what trainings count and what trainings don’t count as credit toward recertification. We need to read the Department of Education regulations and find out how private trainings get approved for recertification.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-04-28 22:14

    Of course, The T-shirt/campaign ad take away from this situation is this:

    This training is anti-racist.

    Kristi Noem opposes this training.

    Kristi Noem is anti-anti-racist.

    By definition, Kristi Noem is racist.

  23. Mark Anderson 2022-04-29 09:08

    You know Arlo, Jefferson did great things but he also had 600 slaves, freed two and had children with a slave who was 14 when he first “slept” with her. Is any of that on the mountain? I’d love to teach the facts of our history. I’d also teach other divisive topics. Anywhere, anytime.
    You know I’d love to teach Noem that Thomas Jefferson believed his most important legislation was the inheritance tax that he believed prevented Aristocracy from developing in America. He layed that out in a letter to Adam’s. Noem would love that wouldn’t she? The death tax is Thomas Jeffersons legacy. How divisive is that? Maybe she would have him changed into Trump on the mountain. That hair would be a real swirl.

  24. Jenny 2022-04-29 09:16

    The republicans really do contribute to the skyrocketing rates of suicide among LGBTQ youth.
    Man, today’s Republicans would really have thrived in the years before Civil Rights. I’m sure it just must be brutal to be a gay or transgender youth in SD, with leadership like Noem.

    Can you imagine if there was an openly transgender legislator in Pierre? I would fear for their safety, honestly.

  25. larry kurtz 2022-04-29 09:36

    Mrs. Noem laughing all the way to the bank while attacking education with her white nationalist christianic religionism? Whoremongering is a time-honored profession made mainstream by her orange gilded idol.

  26. John 2022-04-29 11:30

    Hey Republicans, if you’re sick of people mouthing off about social justice, advocating for the poor and commanding us to welcome refugees and stuff, you’re really gonna hate this book called The New Testament. The lead character is super woke and just won’t shut up about it.

  27. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-29 21:12

    DaveFN–thank you for the article…you are correct that their were many other candidates for parenting Sally Hemings children as Thomas Jefferson kept a very large household with relatives visiting or just moving in to Montecello when circumstances dictated. He also had house guests commonly staying for a month or more. (In those days. if you made the long and arduous trip to Montecello, you stayed on for a good while.) Jefferson had no sons by his first wife, who died very young and he never remarried or even courted anyone else. He grieved his first and only wife’s loss for many years.

    But we know, from Dr. Gates and “Finding Your Roots” if not from our life experience that these relationships are the result of the proximity between the man and woman over a number of years and that is the denominator between Jefferson and Hemings. Hemings worked in his household from the time she was a young child, was of service to him in his wardrobe, his cleaning, and cooking. Jefferson takes Sally Heming with him when he goes to Paris, for 3 years. She was that important to his daily life and work. They were in close proximity for over 20 years. If there was an affair, it was not a casual affair but a long relationship. The Jeffersons of the Marietta, Ohio area are descended from Sally Hemings. If they are also descended from Thomas Jefferson is a mystery, but not much of one.

  28. DaveFN 2022-04-30 17:33

    You are welcome, Arlo.

    Yet note:

    “Contrary to popular belief, Jefferson did not bring Sally Hemings along with him to Paris, nor did he later request Sally to join them in Paris. Rather, he requested as a last resort an older and more mature slave named Isabel to accompany his youngest daughter Polly (aka Maria/Mary) to Paris…

    There has never been an account by any of the hundreds if not thousands of people who came in contact with Jefferson that noted any behavior or hint of a relationship between him and Sally Hemings. Many historians and novelists have theorized and fictionalized these notions but there are no first-hand accounts of such behavior. There are many descriptions of Jefferson’s disciplined composure and the way he carried himself around people, but there is practically nothing on Sally Hemings. In fact, the only first-hand observations of Sally Hemings demeanor in the entire historical record come from Captain Ramsay and Abigail Adams upon her arrival in London. Beyond these two descriptions, everything else is speculation.”

    I am a patrilineal descendant of my 3rd great grandfather Gideon Farrow b 1760 of New Jersey, thus have his Y chromosome, and in turn, that of his father. Gideon was illegitimate, the son of Elizabeth Pharo as I’ve verified by exhaustive autosomal DNA work including triangulation of the DNA segments of her descendants. Elizabeth was disowned by the Quakers for her child out of wedlock. In fact, she had at least 3 children out of wedlock, all by the same man, suggesting that the man was himself married so not free to marry. Who was the man? I know he was a DeCamp based on my 111 marker Y DNA test and my matches. Time and place at best suggest he was son of Johannes DeCamp 1717-1782 X Deborah Morris. The latter couple had at least 5 sons, including one Dr. Gideon DeCamp, a logical candidate for Gideon’s father based on first name alone. Autosomal work, however, suggests instead that the father was John DeCamp who died on his horse, the brother of Dr. Gideon. Note the word “suggests.” Y-DNA is far from conclusive as all 5 DeCamp brothers carry identical Y-DNA. Autosomal is even less conclusive. Relevant because:

    There were more than two-dozen Jefferson males known to have been in Virginia when Eston Hemings was born into slavery at Monticello, son of Sally Hemings, and there is good evidence that at least seven of these Jeffersons were at Monticello. The odds that Thomas Jefferson was Eston’s father therefore fall within 4 to 14% based on these numbers alone. Y-DNA cannot distinguish one Jefferson from another, whether of the same or of a different generation. Nor can autosomal DNA.

    “Because of the circumstantial nature of the evidence in the case, it can not be proven conclusively that Jefferson fathered any of Sally Hemings’ children. It is possible but not probable. If Jefferson were to stand trial for paternity with the current evidence in hand, an honest jury would find him “not guilty.” So should historians and so should the public.”

  29. larry kurtz 2022-04-30 18:30

    Crow Peak just outside Spearditch or Paha Karitukateyapi is translated as “the hill where the Crows were killed” stemming from a battle between the Lakota and Crow Nations. The Crow allied with Custer and the United States Army believing they would reclaim the Black Hills.

    For at least two decades South Dakota’s Republican congressional delegations have been obstructing attempts by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to streamline the agency as it weans support from a hatchery notorious for introducing invasive species to Black Hills watersheds and into the waters of the United States. These clowns won’t support combating bulging jails and prisons but will wholeheartedly jump on the bandwagon to save a Spearditch tourist trap in a town where a Democrat could win a legislative seat.

    It’s hard to imagine the Service continuing to support the release of hybrid and non-native trout by South Dakota’s Department of Game, Fish & Plunder when native species are being threatened in the Missouri River basin. Finescale dace was the only fish identified in Black Hills streams by the Custer Expedition in 1874 but the creek chub and white sucker are also native. Rainbow trout have recently been released into Lake Sharpe but the USFWS should block introduction of these fish into any part of the system.

  30. Mark Anderson 2022-04-30 20:00

    Just look it up folks, go to Frontline or even to check it out, it’s not only possible it’s more than probable. Check it out for yourself.

  31. Mark Anderson 2022-04-30 20:17

    If you want to look at a true hero from the time of Jefferson and Washington look at Robert Carter III. He should be honored everywhere.

  32. Arlo Blundt 2022-04-30 22:37

    DaveFN–you make a good case…there are people saying that a small bedroom adjoining Jefferson’s was found in side a wall in 2017, and that this bedroom was Sally Hemings…She was Mrs. Jefferson’s half sister…there was a lot going on at Monticello.

  33. All Mammal 2022-05-01 02:48

    What kind of sick place worships slave masters on their dollar? And idolizes an imposter of a freak farm called Monticello on it’s 5 cent piece? The same place too full of itself to admit mistakes and correct them already.

    Perhaps there’s a correlation with a forest boasting a slave master mountain and a hateful, racist governor who hates history and despises partnerships of art, cycling, and equity (SPACE)?

    The world is failing to keep it’s promise sworn after the Holocaust to NEVER FORGET. Forgetting is dumb.

  34. DaveFN 2022-05-04 17:40

    Arlo Blundt

    I am not positioning myself as someone who knows the truth. If I am making any case, it’s that no one knows the truth about this particular matter and that many mistakenly take the matter as a closed case based on, for example, Foster’s 1998 Nature publication deceptively titled “Jefferson Fathered Slave’s Last Child.” Preceded, of course, by James T. Callender’s muckracking while Jefferson was yet alive and (my distant cousin) the radical abolitionist journalist Samuel Farwell Wetmore’s 1873 fabricated interview with Madison Hemings, 3rd son of Sally Hemings. The Frontline story “Jefferson’s Blood” which aired some 22 years ago in 2000 followed on the heels of the specious DNA results. Fortunately, such “canned” and popular narratives on TV and in the press haven’t prevented the march of continuing scholarship, but unfortunately, they have imprinted on the minds of people old enough to have lived through them as some kind of final truth on the matter.

    The 1998 DNA study was soon called into question and Foster admitted to a misleading title:

    “It all started when a popular British science journal found itself in a rush to get an article into print. The title was simply too good for Nature to pass up: “Jefferson Fathered Slave’s Last Child” [November 5, 1998, p.27-28]. No matter that the shell-shocked authors of the DNA study soon complained on the journal’s own pages that “The title assigned to our study was misleading” and stated that “Thomas Jefferson can neither be definitely excluded nor solely implicated in the paternity of illegitimate children with his slave Sally Hemings” [January 7, 1999, p.32]. It was exactly what many wanted to hear and came at the same time that a sitting president [of middle name Jefferson] was having some very real problems with his sexual escapades in the Oval Office.”

    The Monticello Research Committee filed a minority report in 2000, much of which is taken even more seriously now than it was then, based on subsequent scholarship:

    Elements in the 2000 Frontline story that people take as a given have since been under continuing critical examination:

    As far as Sally Heming’s living quarters which you mention, a good deal has been determined since 2000:

    If I had my drothers, the DNA study of 1998 (which looked at a few microsatellites via a blood draw and the resulting haplotypes) would be redone by current Y-DNA technology which is able to interrogate some 700 short tandem repeats (STRs) and some 70,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). There is a reluctance–for whatever reason–for descendants to test, however.

    While it’s one thing to know a knowable truth, it’s another entirely to presume to know THE truth, which, from all extant evidence in the Jefferson case, remains fundamentally undecidable.

  35. DaveFN 2022-05-04 18:28

    Arlo Blundt

    Here is a link to the scuttlebutt on the long lost “secret room” in which Jefferson supposedly hid Sally Hemings.

    “A public perception that Sally either lived in the space over Jefferson’s bed or used it for access to an upstairs room derives from pure fiction. The space, not a bed but an out of season storage closet, varies in width from 2’6″ to 2’9″. According to architectural historians, who removed a modern staircase in 1979, the space was reached either by a ladder or a steep ladder-like stair. Nothing has been found in the documentary record to indicate that Sally ever lived inside the Monticello house….

    Historians at Monticello have intimated that a “secret” passageway was built in 1802-1803. This was actually a planned stairway, and was not available for the earlier Hemings births in 1795, 1798, and 1801. In actuality, there are no “circular” stairways or hidden entrances to Jefferson’s suite. He opposed such large staircases because he thought they wasted space. He designed his stairways, architecturally, after those he had seen in Paris. The very narrow and steep stairways to the underground passageway were not hidden entrances, but one of convenience and practicality for use by the servants and guests. These slightly winding staircases also lead to the upstairs bedrooms. More importantly, as it relates to the privacy issue, the door from the hallway to Jefferson’s Cabinet is see-through glass from midway up, allowing light from the greenhouse into the hallway. Thus, even if a servant was to ascend that way, there was no allowance for privacy. More to the point, the doors at the bottom of the stairs that lead to the underground passage were locked at night preventing intrusions to the family quarters.”

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