Navigating the messy middle between the truths of a chaotic and beautiful world, together.
Jennifer worked in international relations for over 20 years, focusing on global geopolitics, intelligence, and East Asian policy, before turning her attention and cross-cultural skills towards the most polarizing issues within the United States and beyond. She is dedicated to learning how to communicate on difficult and polarizing issues
Jennifer worked in international relations for over 20 years, focusing on global geopolitics, intelligence, and East Asian policy, before turning her attention and cross-cultural skills towards the most polarizing issues within the United States and beyond. She is dedicated to learning how to communicate on difficult and polarizing issues, in good faith, to develop citizens (and herself) in building a strong and diverse community for democracy to thrive.
Winkfield is an author and former law professor. He has written essays and articles in many magazines including the National Black Law Journal, the Pennsylvania Lawyer, and the Intellectual Conservative. His self-published works are On the Road to Oak Lawn: Truth, Reconciliation and the Twymans (December 1, 2018) and Gotterdammerung (July 3, 2019).
Unsatisfied with the relentless pace and narrow constraints of social media, two Americans, Winkfield Twyman, Jr. and Jennifer Richmond — a black man and a white woman — rediscovered the art of letter writing and maintained a years-long correspondence about race in the United States. In Letters in Black and White, they share their exchanges in full for the first time, charting their journey from wary strangers to trusted confidants.
At a time when many Americans are dazed, confused, and angered by the country’s current state of race relations, they offer a model not only for having those needed but difficult conversations but also for a better way forward. Marked by well-crafted turns of phrase, sharp wit, and sober reflection, they intentionally avoid those fashionable words and phrases that have been drained of real meaning or hopelessly saddled with excessive baggage, such as antiracism, white fragility, allyship, and wokeness. Rather, on topics ranging from the murder of George Floyd to the launch of the 1619 Project to the debate over reparations, they tell the truth as they see it in their own uncorrupted language, speaking for no one but themselves.
Particularly critical of the ideological battles that fuel media programming and entrench political rivalries and the noble-sounding social and cultural projects that fail time and again to offer any meaningful solutions, they identify productive ways to unify across our differences, to find our common humanity, and to mend America’s divided soul. Ultimately, they offer an inspirational message of hope and optimism for all — one that does not allow the past to define our present or determine our future.
In our book we reference many original documents. Click below to check them out for yourself, from William Richmond's deed bequeathing his slaves to his son, to the inventory and appraisal of Daniel Brown's estate and so much more.
Join the Institute for Liberal Values and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation for a five-part educator webinar series exposing communism then and now. In this free course, witnesses, leading academics, and researchers will deconstruct the myths and tragedies of communism while equipping educators to better discuss this totalitarian ideology in the classroom. Running from February to March, this series will cover Communism 101, Karl Marx and Marxism, Witnesses to Socialism, the Dissident Movement, and Communist Ideology and Propaganda in Today’s Educational Systems.
8 Feb: Communism 101: Understanding the History and Common Misconceptions
Ken Pope, CEO Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
15 Feb: Where it Started: Understanding Karl Marx and Marxism
Ken Pope, CEO Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
22 Feb: Witnesses to Socialism and Communism
Channy Laux, Cambodian Refugee and Marina Davidovich, Soviet Ukrainian Refugee
29 Feb: Dissidents: Standing Against Communist Oppression
Dr. F. Flagg Taylor, Associate Professor of Political Science, Skidmore College
14 Mar: Communist Propaganda and Education
Dr. Brandy Shufutinsky, Director of Education and Programming, Jewish Institute for Liberal Values
Dr. Tabia Lee, Director, Coalition for Empowered Education
The Institute for Liberal Values holds a live monthly discussion to apply liberal values to current events. Each month, different ILV members and partners come together for an open discussion.
In February, we will discuss Lessons from Harvard & the Claudine Gay Affair. Does the resignation of Claudine Gay show that the tide is turning on illiberal ideologies that have permeated academic spaces? Find out what our panelists think and to join in the conversation.
Erec Smith, Founder, Free Black Thought & Senior Researcher, Cato
Ken Pope, CEO, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Elizabeth Spievak, Professor & ILV Fellow
Winkfield Twyman, Jr., Former Law Professor & Author
Join our community on Circle. In 2024 we will start to host our discussions, courses, and labs and our new Black Institute for Liberal Values on Circle where we can not only join in the conversation, but also create communities around liberal values, sharing resources, ideas, and experiences.
Is Blackness only and always oppression? When someone spoke these words to Winkfield Twyman, Jr., he was shocked. That is not how he defines black history. Instead, black history is replete with stories of triumph, enterprise, and resilience, in the face of great challenges. However, these stories often get lost in tales of woe and despair, leading us to believe that blackness is only oppression and nothing else matters. In February’s Liberal Value Lab, Twyman reframes black history as hope in his story of the first black pastor, Lemuel Haynes.