Open an Opportunity for Racial Justice in your Community
There are endless opportunities to address issues of racial justice, oppression, and discrimination. With our global network, it is inspiring to know that we can lead the effort in addressing racial justice and discrimination around the world. We can take action, no matter how small, to make the world a more equitable and inclusive place for all, no matter their race, gender, nationality, religion, or orientation. It is important to take the initiatives from the some of the 7 Rotary Areas of Focus your club is already passionate about, such as education, healthcare, environment, financial stability, etc., and strategize these initiatives to encompass diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are a list of actions to consider before starting your next peace project using the 4-way test.
Here are a few strategies your club can take today to support Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and other minorities in your community:
Dedicate Rotary funds to create access to opportunities for BIPOC entrepreneurs, students, businesses and non-profits to meet their needs and empower their community.
Engage in conversations with BIPOC communities and understand their issues, obstacles, and needs.
Reach out, support, and collaborate with groups that are already tirelessly addressing issues of racial justice in your community.
Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, systems, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. As Rotarians, we have a responsibility to take action that empowers society’s most vulnerable communities. Take action starting with yourself, and share these activities with your Rotary Club to create an insightful dialogue on how to create an inclusive space for all Rotarians and peacebuilders.
Learn about your implicit bias Implicit bias affects everyone. It refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments of others. Implicit bias is involuntary, meaning it happens without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.
Implicit associations we hold do not necessarily align with our declared beliefs or even reflect stances we explicitly endorse. For instance, someone may have an unconscious favorable bias for their race even when they are not racist and are advocates against racism. The importance of identifying our implicit biases helps us acknowledge our stereotypical errors and attitudes to help us retrain our malleable brains to understand one another at the human level. When we acknowledge our implicit biases, we can then begin to understand how it has played an impeding role in critical opportunities from all domains of life, including housing, education, health, and justice.
Project Implicit is a series of research studies by Harvard University that help people from all over the world understand the complexities of implicit bias. Take a few tests that cover racial, gender, religious, and many other biases to both help Harvard researchers as well as uncover your own internal attitudes.
It is exciting to know that we can test where our attitudes stand today and learn from them. Learning more about ourselves and our human nature allows us to discover our true human potential for peace.
Understand the realities of others.
Everyone is human, therefore, we all face hard obstacles and difficult journies that only we ourselves can truly understand. There are obstacles that others have faced that you could never relate to and vise-versa. Some of these obstacles are once-in-lifetime instances, and others happen every day. It is up to all of us to better understand these realities to make sure that our peers, co-workers, friends, and strangers don’t have to face the daily hardships that others may have never experienced.
In the our attempt to fulfill and acknowledge Rotary’s statement of diversity and inclusion, we are offering resources and tools to understand and advocate for racial justice. The advancement of racial justice requires an intimate understanding of the many dimensions of discrimination, and we can start by reflecting on these issues.
This essay discusses the unconscious consequences of White Privilege and includes a series of questions that highlight some of the day-to-day realities that differ from Black and White populations. We encourage you to lead a discussion on these issues and utilise this resource to learn about racial justice. It may be helpful to read an article about “White Privilege” to not only think about how race is a factor in daily obstacles, but also how gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and nationality play a role in our human experience.