Acts of racial terrorism like these against Black people have been created and sustained by white culture. Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice team have bravely offered us at the Embrey Family Foundation, an invitation to reckon with our country’s sins, to face the shadow side of our historical and current demons of mass incarceration of brown and Black men and women, and to heal.

If we continue to be “blinded by our white” and don’t own what is happening now in the U.S., it will continue to fester. We have the power to do right.

We can examine what has worked and fallen short, and find new ways to offer transparency in our learning.

Here are some recommendations from our journey at the Embrey Family Foundation:

  • Don’t overplan. As stated in the NCRP Power Moves guide, this is adaptive leadership and movement building.
    Find ways to sit in your discomfort. Don’t expect to be thanked by communities of color. In some instances you might be discounted, outed or ignored for your efforts. Do it anyway.
  • You will have dark nights of the soul – talk them out with other white colleagues and those that are on the same path. 
  • Art can lead the way. Funding art as social justice has been our foundation’s way into difficult work over and over again.
  • Get help. Many resources are listed on the Power Moves site, and the recent publication As the South Grows: So Grows the Nation outlines a sensible roadmap for entering into or enlarging our collective consciousness on engaging in equity work.

Read the full article about family foundations reckoning with racial terrorism by Diane Hosey at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.