In Massachusetts and across the nation, we are witnessing a fast-moving awakening. This awakening is energizing and mobilizing growing numbers of people.
More Americans are seeing the deep, pervasive, and corrosive effects systemic racism exacts on our people and on our democracy.
Within education, healthcare, governance, law, and criminal justice systems, people are recognizing that we must take action to curtail systemic racism.
Systemic racism denies vast segments of our population the full enjoyment of constitutional rights, privileges, and protections in pursuit of full and productive lives.
In our work at Inversant, we’ve sought to dismantle structural barriers that impede communities of color from achieving educational equity.
We’ve done this because we’ve regarded higher education as a path to increased opportunity. We’ve seen education, at its best, as an equalizing force. In communities we serve, racism has circumscribed opportunity.
Our response has been to help families prepare to embrace new opportunities by sending their children to college. Today we recognize that our response is incomplete.
In recent months, our hearts have filled and refilled with rage and grief. We’ve railed at the injustices. We mourn George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmad Arbery.
We remember Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Philando Castile along with the countless others whose names do not appear on the news. Racism is an insidious disease.
It explains disproportionate rates of unemployment, exposure, and mortality among people of color during COVID-19. It’s why not everyone feels safe wearing a mask in public.
Within the past two weeks, we’ve taken a close look at ourselves and asked difficult questions.
Are we doing all we can, as an organization and individuals, to disrupt institutionalized racism? Can we do more? What will we do?
We’ve identified that there is more we can do. Here is how we’ll begin to create a more complete response.
CREATE EQUITABLE & SAFE SPACES
We’ll look carefully at the spaces we’ve created to ensure they’re equitable, inclusive, and safe.
We’ll scrutinize the language and tone we use to communicate internally and externally. We acknowledge respectful tone and inclusive language as integral to safe spaces.
We’ll examine our intentions and actions, approaching them through a lens of intersectionality. We’ll equip ourselves with resources and expertise to put our intentions into consistent action.
We’ll strive for impact that reflects our intention. We acknowledge they aren’t mutually inclusive.
We’ll invite internal and external reviews of our programs. We’ll include our participants, board members, donors, and partners in evaluating our work for inclusiveness, equity, and alignment with anti-racist practices.
We’ll invite internal and external guidance on improving our programs.
We’ll identify and engage with community organizations deeply entrenched in anti-racism work. We’ll learn from them. We’ll share what we know.
We’ll actively support these community organizations with individual financial contributions and work-sponsored volunteer time.
WE STAND IN SOLIDARITY
We remain an organization dedicated to eliminating systemic inequity. We’ll continue learning from our work and from the communities and stakeholders who partner with us in it.
In the days and months ahead, we’ll share our efforts. We’ll strive for transparency and inclusivity as individuals, as an organization, and as part of an ecosystem of anti-racism organizations.
We’ll do this because we know we can do better.
Because we can’t challenge others before challenging ourselves. Because anti-racism requires more than thoughts and feelings.
It requires introspection and action.
Inversant fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement and we’re stepping up our fight in the war against racism.
We will continue to increase awareness of local and national groups dedicated to supporting black communities and communities of color. Below is a list of important resources.
Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM): Group aimed at removing the barriers that Black people experience getting access to or staying connected with emotional health care and healing. They do this through education, training, advocacy, and the creative arts.
Blackboston.com: Search one thousand Massachusetts certified minority-owned enterprises controlled by Black men and women from the BlackBoston.com website.
Intersectionality Matters Podcast: The podcast that brings intersectionality to life.
The Code Switch Podcast: Race and identity, remixed.