Addressing racial equity through large-scale dialogue and collaborative action.
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We need to face racism head-on in order to have healthy communities and a strong country. Racism and gaps among racial and ethnic groups affect education, housing, health care, the justice system and job opportunities. If we're going to make progress in our communities and in our country, people from all backgrounds and views must work together to address racism and inequities.
Dialogue-to-change programs can help people from a variety of racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds examine the gaps among racial and ethnic groups where they live, explore approaches to creating greater equity, and create lasting change in their community.
Why addressing racism is important to building a strong democracy:
- Racism is rooted in our history and embedded in our culture
- Racism is one of the greatest barriers to solving all kinds of public problems
- Because of this, we help communities pay special attention to how structural racism and other structural inequities affect the problems they want to address
Transforming a community with sustained dialogue
When the Aurora Community Study Circles program started in 1996, there were 26 murders in Aurora and multiple complaints of human rights violations. Last year, there were none. The tremendous impact of the program was driven by its longevity and reach, creating a "snowball effect" in the community.
Dr. King's unfulfilled dream of school integration
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in the transformative power of school integration. He would be dismayed by America's present day paradox: the rapidly expanding racial diversity of our society accompanied by the increasing segregation of our urban schools.
Community-driven solutions to divisive racial issues
Leaders in Lynchburg, Va., looked for a new way to help residents grapple with issues of racism and racial equity in their increasingly diverse city. More than 2,000 people have taken part in dialogues, action forums, and other efforts to make change in their community.