National Day of Racial Healing on January 16, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

By: Megan Thomas, Vice President of Collaboration and Special Initiatives, San Diego Grantmakers

How to participate locally in the National Day of Racial Healing

San Diego Grantmakers' members strive to to achieve positive impact in the lives of others and our community. We believe that because of the trauma and racism that many experience in their lives and that contribute to the circumstances that philanthropy seeks to address, the starting point for sustainable change is often healing.  That’s why SDG is participating in the National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) on Tuesday, January 16. NDORH is an opportunity for people, organizations and communities across the United States to call for racial healing, to bring people together in their common humanity, and take collective action to create a more just and equitable world. It is part of national and community-based process organized by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

We are marking this important day in San Diego together with our partners at Philanthropy California, and have compiled a list of things you can do individually or organizationally this year to advance equity and help heal our region - both are listed below or you can download the PDF here. Please feel free to share these far and wide.

Finally, don’t forget to post about the National Day of Racial Healing and Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation using the #NDORH and #TRHT hashtags.

We are pleased to share this information as part of our own journey of continuous learning and look forward to engaging with you next Tuesday and beyond in our common efforts to champion equity and opportunity by influencing philanthropy and other social investors to intentionally address systemic bias that prevents people and communities from reaching their full potential.

10 Things You Can Do This Year to Advance Equity and Help Heal Our Region

  1. Learn about the land you stand on. We all live on land that was once home to Native Peoples.
  2. Explore how race and racism have shaped Southern California specifically. Consider reading: 
  3. Visit a local museum to explore the diversity around us. Check out exhibits at:
  4. Be a tourist in your own community: visit some powerful sites of local civil rights history including Chicano Park.
  5. Watch a film or read a book about the impacts of racism and discrimination in our country and our modern world. Consider recent movies and documentaries like: Mudbound | Breathin: The Eddy Zheng Story | Get Out | Marshall | Selma | 13th | Dreamer | Documented | Zootopia (to spark discussion with children). 
  6. Read Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, Between The World And Me by Ta Nehisi Coates, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario, Trustbuilding by Rob Corcoran, and Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (to spark discussion with young adults). You can find more recommended films and books here. For a podcast, try Code Switch: Race and Identity, Remixed or check out SDG’s America’s Finest Funders podcast episode #3 on Equity in Philanthropy.
  7. Recognize your own biases – we all have them! Try taking the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. Once you know your biases, you'll be better equipped to resist stereotyping.
  8. Start a thought provoking conversation or share inspiring resources through your social media posts with questions like “What does racial healing look like to you?” or “How can you foster racial equity?” Post a statement, image or short video addressing why racial equity and healing is important to you. Use the hashtags #TRHT (Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation), and #NDORH. 
  9. Think about the diversity within your neighborhood, workplace, local school, house of worship, etc. and initiate conversations about where and why there might be a lack of inclusion. You might find Facing History, Facing Ourselves a helpful resource as you explore these issues. At home, consider how you might talk with your kids about race and tap into resources from the RACE project.
  10. Imagine what a healed Southern California community would look like and commit personally to work for racial healing and equity; volunteer with or support organizations that focus on healing and equity. The W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Equity Resource Guide is a good place to look for resources. 

5 Things Your Organization Can Do This Year to Advance Equity and Help Heal Our Region

  1. Revisit your organizational values—and revise if necessary—to include racial equity. This can help align your organizational culture, goals and strategies to advance equity.
  2. Invest in strengthening your staff’s understanding of race equity and inclusion principles. Offer professional development and racial equity training opportunities. Check out the helpful Racial Equity Tools website for ideas and take this self-assessment
  3. Examine your organization’s internal and external policies and procedures for unintended biases that may perpetuate inequity and discrimination. Specifically, look at:
    • Internal: Change hiring and promotion practices to mitigate unintended biases and disrupt practices that have disadvantaged people of color, women and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, such as:
      1. Adopt a policy that allows for “education requirements OR equivalent experience” instead of strict education requirement
      2. Follow the new California laws that prohibit employers from asking job applicants about previous salaries & criminal records (until a conditional job offer has been extended)
    • External: Ensure that your communications and business strategies reflect an inclusive message and intentional efforts to serve everyone equitably. For example:
      1. Review your website and other communications—and revise if necessary—so the visual images and messages reflect the full range of your potential customers and stakeholder.
      2. Review practices to remedy any unintended or structural bias and ensure that you are offering equitable access to your services.
  4. Strengthen the capacity of your organization to address racism and discrimination by collaborating with other organizations that work explicitly on improving outcomes for communities of color.
  5. Regularly assess your organization’s racial equity efforts. Make sure to adopt distinct metrics for diversity, cultural competency and inclusion, each of which contribute to the larger equity outcomes. Examples of actions your organization can consider include:
    a. Racial Equity: Identify systemic and institutional barriers to race-equitable outcomes by conducting equity impact assessments and organizational self-assessments.
    b. Diversity: Increase racial/ethnic diversity on your board and among staff, especially senior staff.
    c. Cultural Competency: Provide training that assists board members and employees to work across cultural lines and make decisions that are culturally appropriate and sensitive.
    d. Inclusion: Adopt practices that actively encourage and value engagement by all groups and stakeholders.

Our region is fortunate to have many groups committed to equity, justice and reconciliation. Share other racial equity resources and opportunities for community activism and healing with us here so we can share them with others. 

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