Racial Equity Social Justice Circle
Addressing systemic, institutional, organizational and personal racism is integral to accomplishing our mission. Racial equity occurs when racial identity no longer predicts a person’s quality of life. Racial justice is equity in action. We seek to address both the way inequity is exhibited and its causes. When persons and structures are actively reinforcing racial inequity and when they passively failing to undo the causes of racial inequity, we work to transform policies, practice, attitudes, and cultural messages.
And we have much to do. The Racial Equity Social Justice (RESJ) Circle was started in 2015 to help Freedom Project address individual, structural and systemic racism and oppression in our organization. The RESJ Circle meets monthly and welcomes guests and volunteers who are aligned with this mission.
Our first goal is to work toward becoming an anti-racist organization. We utilize the “Continuum for Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Institution” (with permission from Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training)* to guide our strategies, organizational development, and evaluations. To do this, we design and implement a strategy, timeline with benchmarks, and evaluation process for meeting those goals. This work is our continuing and ongoing practice.
Our second goal is to interrupt racism through our programming when we:
- Go into places where systemic racism occurs and offer an equitable environment.
- Support systemic transformation by offering Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness with a racial equity lens with people who are currently incarcerated, as well as with people who work in prison and in reentry.
- Train volunteers how to facilitate in a racially-equitable way.
- Ask people to look with compassion and equity at how they view people who have been incarcerated.
* © Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training, Chicago, IL: Adapted from the original concept by Bailey Jackson and Rita Hardiman, and further developed by Andrea Avazian and Ronice Branding; further adapted by Melia LaCour, PSESD.