Racial Equity Unwrapped: Local Experts Help Triangle Residents Explore The History and Trajectory of Racial Equity In The Triangle
Across the country and in the Triangle, America is engaged in conversations around racial equity and social justice. As a nation, the time is now to commit ourselves to achieving a deeper understanding of the role that race and systemic racism play in society, as well as the devastating and far-reaching implications that have resulted. Nearly 700 Triangle residents took that commitment seriously when they signed up for and completed United Way’s Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge throughout the month of February.
The Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge, sponsored by Duke Energy, took individuals on a self-guided journey to develop more effective social justice habits around issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. Through access to hand-selected articles, podcasts, and videos, participants were able to gain a better understanding of the innate issues that create systemic challenges in our communities.
United Way of the Greater Triangle gave participants the opportunity to use their new understanding and knowledge on the final day of the challenge during a live virtual conversation with local racial equity experts including Dr. Bahby Banks (Pillar Consulting and NotAHost.com), Danya Perry (A Better Wake and Raleigh Chamber), Nichole Morgan (TheGifted Arts), and Nick Allen (United Way of the Greater Triangle). Catch a recording of the full conversation below:
- Is there legislation coming up in NC or the US that we can support that brings more equity for all in NC?
We’re keeping an eye on voter protection rights initiatives, including anti-voter suppression efforts, currently on the table. The ACLU is a great resource to reference.
There are also many education justice initiatives worth knowing about. Check out Advancement Project’s helpful resource here. The National Education Associate is also a great resource.
Finally, it may also be worth bookmarking the White House’s Executive Order on Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities in order to stay current with the outcomes of these committees and recommendations as they evolve
- How do we continue making progress at the local, regional, state, federal, and international levels simultaneously? Especially with different political majorities locally vs. NC vs. DC, recognizing not all ideas are inherently good or bad based on who initiates it…
The answer to “vote” is a common reply but it’s a necessary one. We must take the time to get to know our local, state, and federal officials. If you are just getting started in advocacy work or politics and find it overwhelming, as do I sometimes, consider starting with investing your time in local government research. These officials are the ones that have an immediate impact and influence on our daily lives and rights. Do your research and do not take things at face value. I believe in the power of starting small, or in this case, local, and then expanding from there. Partner with others who are doing this work well that you can learn from. The ACLU is a great place to start and has state affiliates, including here in North Carolina.
- How do we address the disparity of arrests or number of police in Black and Brown communities? I see more policing in Black and Brown neighborhoods which brings about more stops (ex: for outdated car tags, and insurance) for people who are already struggling to pay bills and buy food. It’s not rocket science, more police bring about more arrests. It feels like “Bait Car”… leaving a car with keys in a neighborhood with very little access to transportation.
In order for us to come together across races and make change, we must first acknowledge and unify around the truth about our country’s history. The same would be true here. If we have not done so already, we must first understand how and why policing came about before we can begin to change the system. Here is a well summarized historical account of the origin of policing in our country, as well as a highlight of how it has continually evolved to this day. The Advancement Project is another great resource
It’s important that we become the voice for change. Voting in local government and participating in local town/city council meetings/affairs is a critical step and an action we can take on as our civic duty. More voices consistently sounding the alarm on this matter can effect greater change and can be sure to bring others along with you, as there is power in numbers. This is not a Black and Brown issue, this is an US issue.