Let's Be Clear: Racial Equity and Social Justice Are Part of Our Mission.
It's time to step up. What role do nonprofits have in the movement to dismantle root causes of injustice and inequity?
The Louisville Rapid Access Network (LRAN) is a network of decision makers, front line service providers, family advocates, and community leaders around the city working as allies to those most vulnerable in our community. They champion equity-focused, asset-based engagement to build up all Louisville neighbors. They are working especially diligently now, at this time of great change and need.
Our Education and Engagement Director, Mikal Forbush has collaborated with LRAN to start a conversation in Louisville's nonprofit sector about what we can all do to support the movement for greater racial equity and better social justice. (Click here for their helpful guide.) “Nonprofits are institutions which move as fast as mountains - especially if the change is outside our mission," Mikal says. "However, if your mission is to provide services to those in crisis, it should also include addressing the root causes that make this work unfortunately necessary."
So you are a nonprofit, a religious institution, or a business ready to mobilize more effectively for the cause...
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) Look at your physical space:
Can you provide fridge space or a staging area to those working on the ground?
2) Consider your labor power:
Can you offer a day of service? (ie. prison support or grocery delivery)
3) What about your intellectual resources:
Do you have access to research or data that can be transformed into advocacy?
ASK THESE QUESTIONS OF YOUR ORGANIZATION:
1) What do we do well?
Can we offer case management or volunteer mobilization?
2) What is our mission?
Are there root causes for people needing these services?
3) Who is on our staff?
What are they good at and how can they be plugged in?
If your organization is still uncertain, or wavering, look at the situation another way. Martin Luther King, Jr. describes frustration in the face of inaction:
“The white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”
This is it. Now is the time. Be a part of the energy, be a part of the change, be a part of the impact. Join the conversation here, and be a part of the movement.