Pathways Towards A Racially Equitable United States: A Modern Day Blueprint
As a leader who has been deeply invested in changing the framework of the United States regarding racial equity and leadership opportunities for Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color, the United States is at a time where this can happen when the right conversations are taking place and when the right political leaders, organizations, and allies are all dedicated to racial equity.
We are seeing glimpses of this path towards racial equity in the business world and in the global sports world but there is certainly still a long way to go. Recent examples — especially for sports fans and the like — are NBA and WNBA teams who are committing dollars to underserved communities and supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, and leadership opportunities for players who are invested in the NBA and who are building relationships with team owners to become part owners themselves.
As a faith leader who served the anti-racism/anti-oppression work of the Unitarian Universalist Association for almost twenty years, I witnessed Black and Brown leaders who were recruited to serve on racial equity committees or lead racial justice efforts that helped create a new direction in the faith movement. My connection to the Baha'i faith afforded me the opportunity to witness how they break through usual systems by creating balance to provide professional development opportunities to Black and People of Color leaders so their faith walks the walk and talks the talk.
If we are truly going to end white supremacy in the United States, if we are truly going to address the inequities in who gets loans from banks to buy homes or start businesses, we are going to have to create opportunities where Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color are given the same consideration as our white counterparts to balance the scales and rip away the old way of doing business in this country. It is proven that, when for instance a company is more diverse, that company does better.
On a small scale, Black students have been provided with mentorship or educational opportunities in my city Rockford, Illinois. You see news reports or stories about these developments. But those opportunities do not always lead to other opportunities or change the look of leadership on city council, the school board, or private organizations and the like. Done are the days of picking out the one Black person that makes it obvious they were the token Black person. We are advancing in our understanding of what racial equity looks like. We have to find ways to make it practical and ongoing to the point that we are not even thinking about it — racial equity is happening.
Here are national examples where models were created to achieve racial equity in cities in the United States:
Home - The California Endowment
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Communities of Opportunity
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The SPARCC Initiative: Fostering Racial Equity, Health, and Climate Resilience in the Built…
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These are usable and favorable models that have us moving towards the beloved community many of us would like to see in our communities and neighborhoods across the country — even when there are forces out there that would not like to see a more just, a more equitable United States of America. We must continue to hit the streets though to fight back, especially when there is violence done upon Black people, the Asian community, and on transgender people to get to a point where these particular models are seen all across the country.
The time is now. The opportunities are there. We can get to a point when even the words racial equity do not need to be used. We can be a society, an example of what structures and systems look like when leadership is balanced, when economic opportunities are provided to all, when more Black, Brown, Indigenous, and People of Color can be who we are without white supremacy having anything to say about it.