Our purpose is to work against racism and other forms of institutional oppression.
All forms of oppression are connected and it is not useful to create a “hierarchy” of oppression.
Structural racism routinely advantages white people in all sectors of society including: educational and cultural practices, institutional policies, historical events and interpersonal dynamics.
Structural racism is supported by individual actions. It is impossible to remove ourselves from the racist system and be “nonracist;” we either actively participate in, passively accept, or actively oppose racism.
Our focus is on achieving racial equity, addressing the dynamics of internalized oppression, and working toward a just environment in which all groups have access and opportunity.
Because white members continue to receive daily benefits from racism, they need to take the lead in achieving equity.
The world view of members of color, including perspectives, experiences and analysis, is central to our understanding of both racism and equity.
White members take responsibility for educating themselves and other whites to understand their privilege.
Because of power dynamics, we believe in allowing for separate space for people of color (BACOE – Baltimore Activists of Color Organized for Equity) and white people (WARN – White-Antiracism Network).
We believe an understanding of the Black-White dynamics that began with enslavement of Afrikans, and the history of resistance by people of color and white people is essential to an analysis of current structural racism.
Because we recognize that whites and people of color have different connections to the impact of racism and the work of dismantling it, there are distinct goals for each group. BRJA also has specific goals in working with organizations.
For white people, our goals are:
- To provide awareness of and tools for combating white privilege.
- To form relationships that allow us to trust and effectively challenge one another.
- To create a community of people to guide each other in confronting racism and to support one another in bearing the risks of action.
- To identify strategies that allow us to be effective allies to individuals of color and organizations led by people of color.
For people of color, our goals are:
- To provide an opportunity to learn how to recognize and tap into our assets and work with our allies to thrive.
- To challenge racism, internalized oppression and associated destructive behavior.
- To deepen our understanding of the Afrikan world view and how it has protected us.
- To provide tools to develop and access political and economic power.
- To identify the strategies that will put those tools to effective use.
For businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and religious and educational institutions, our goals are:
- To assess to what extent the policies and procedures are effective or not effective in promoting and establishing racial equity.
- To initiate and support the steps required for creating an organizational climate in which all participants can expect equity in their environment, opportunities and experience.
- To develop/deepen skills for individuals within the organization to start and continue conversations and actions about race.
- To ensure leadership’s commitment to institutional changes for equity.
- To build the capacity of organizations to work toward achieving racial equity.