Black History Month is here, and we are creating brave spaces to raise our awareness for unconscious bias and societal privileges. As a multi-cultural organization where the vast majority of our staff and the participants we serve are black, we are moving along on our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey by talking openly about race.
Several members of our staff and Board are reading the book Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. It’s a no-apology examination of the many forms of white supremacy including the truth about unearned privilege, stereotypes, and how it marginalizes the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community.
Our aim is to raise our collective consciousness and stop the inequities that are largely invisible to those who hold it.
The journey applies to any person who holds white privilege, regardless of skin color. In a recent conversation facilitated by Thought Partner Solutions, Khadija Lovejoy, who works at our Hartford Residential program shared her personal story as an African American woman who holds white privilege, by virtue of being raised by a Caucasian teacher.
“If you are a person who believes in love, justice, integrity, and equality for all people, with a focus on CPA’s mission-critical work, then you know our DEI journey is non-negotiable,” said Beth Hines.
And it’s not solely about race, it is a peeling back of our multiple identities – including gender, sexual orientation, ages and other identities—to understand self and feel a sense of belonging.
“You cannot dismantle what you cannot see. You cannot challenge what you do not understand.” ― Layla F. Saad, Me and White Supremacy