Educate, organize and mobilize – Recently I was made aware of an initiative that strikes at the very heart of the current and historical challenge to Black equality in America. After a meeting of progressive leaders from around North Carolina I was inquiring about activities that others were involved in in-addition to the voting rights activities that had been the subject of our meeting. I was surprised and delighted when one of the participants indicated that she was a member of Raleigh Organizing Against Racism (ROAR).
When I got to my computer I did a search of the organization and was led to the website, http://www.oarnc.org/about-us/. It primarily represents OAR initiatives in the Research Triangle, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area. I was pleased with what I found and ended up reading most of the information on their site. I was also encouraged with the numerous other references on the topic that were revealed by my search. My outreach to one of the members of ROAR led me to the organization that is providing training and leadership to the various OAR organizations. My outreach also confirmed my original thought that their mission and that of the Third Reconstruction are virtually the same.
Going forward, I’m going to highlight as many initiatives as possible that appear to be Third Reconstruction initiatives. At their core these initiatives are working for a non-racial, multi-ethnic, equal opportunity America. The various initiatives seek to complete the unfinished business of the Civil Rights Movements. I’ll introduce some initiatives as I do the two herein, by providing part or all of the “About Us” statements on their websites and explaining how I believe their missions compliment that of the Third Reconstruction.
Over the past weeks I’ve written about the video disclosure of the racist chant by students at the University of Oklahoma (OU) and the video disclosure of the murder of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina. The basic questions that I posed in my commentaries was where the wrongdoers learned their behavior and whether there was a better way of addressing the historical inequities of race than through racial dialogues. I believe that racial dialogues is the way to start and accordingly agree with the initiatives of Starbucks and USA Today, in which they supported conversations on race as a good starting point in America’s effort to address racial discrimination.
Virtually everyone involved in initiatives to create a non-racial, multi-ethnic, equal opportunity America are fully aware of the need to move beyond talk and address historic public policy if we’re to ever achieve our mission. The missions of the Racial Equity Institute and Organizing Against Racism are entirely consistent with what I believe to be our path forward and I hope our readers will promote such efforts in their communities and use these orginizations as resources.
Accordingly, OAR describes its mission/focus as follows: Racism continues to shape the outcomes of all institutions. It pits entrenched patterns of power against faint images of equity. To create real racial equity, we must learn how to deconstruct historical, cultural and institutional racism and build something new and revolutionary in its place. Join us as we train ourselves and others to live as anti-racists, transforming lives, organizations and institutional outcomes. To learn more about OAR please visit their above reference website.
The Racial Equity Institute, located in Greensboro, http://rei.racialequityinstitute.org/ describes its mission/focus as follows: The Racial Equity Institute is an alliance of trainers and community/institutional organizers who have devoted themselves to the work of understanding disparities and dis-proportionality in order to create racially equitable organizations and systems. In our contemporary society, the impact of race shapes the outcomes of all institutions. The trainers and organizers of the Institute help individuals and organizations develop tools to challenge patterns of power and grow equity.
Going forward, on our blog, www.TheThirdReconstruction.com, we plan to conduct ongoing, in-depth discussions on the meaning of racial justice to our Black communities. It is important that comments be made on our Facebook pages and our blog. Most Facebook posts get lost after a few post or a few weeks but we can thread blog messages to last forever. Our blog will be used as a teaching tool by voters interested in understanding the political context of economic, political, and social justice. Hopefully, with the support of OAR and REI it will also be used as a teaching and outreach tool for racial dialogues.
Lastly, many readers know that I was co-founder and co-leader of a racial reconciliation group here in Wilmington, Partners for Economic Inclusion. We worked for 10-12 years addressing racial barriers to economic inclusion and sunset our organization after many success stories.
As we’ve reported, www.thethirdreconstruction.com is a blog. Our mission is to help build a non-racial, multi-ethnic network of organizations and individuals committed to political, economic, and social justice. Please register on our site and contribute to the development and teaching of the knowledge that is essential to empowering our communities.
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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News and www.thethirdreconstruction.com with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice. To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/ThirdReconstruction. Please “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites www.GreaterDiversity.com and www.thethirdreconstruction.com. Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our pages. •