In 2003, a group of individuals of different races in the greater Baltimore area came together to support each other in doing racial justice work. Central to the purpose of the group was encouraging action by white people to stand up against racism and white privilege.
Originally a multi-racial group with the name of Baltimore Anti-Racism Network (BARN), over the years the organization has grown and changed (see also section on Structure) to meet new challenges and opportunities. We began as a place to share experiences and encourage action within our various spheres of influence. We offered multi-session classes based on a model developed by Agents of Change. We organized monthly programs on a wide range of topics, examining how racism and white supremacy create injustice and disparity. We responded to requests from different groups, conferences, and festivals to provide workshops and lead discussions.
After going through a time when we focused on recruitment and capacity building, since 2011 BRJA offers fee-for-service racial equity assessment and consultation to nonprofit organizations. Recruitment and capacity building continue to be important functions as we try to spread awareness of structural racism to individuals who can make a difference within their spheres of influence.