The recent election in the United States has highlighted the breadth and depth of many divisions among people, both nationally and globally. Differing perspectives around the rights and status of people based on race, nation of origin, sexual orientation, gender, ability, religion, class, and other identities threaten our safety and security by falsely suggesting some of us can only prosper at the expense of others.
For many of us, the recent divisive rhetoric—whether expressed in public settings by elected officials and policy makers, or in private among family, friends, and neighbors—is feeling harder and harder to bridge.
Today, FSG stands with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and their many partners who are calling for a National Day of Racial Healing in America. As Gail Christopher, a senior advisor at the Foundation and Vice President of its Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation enterprise, noted in Philanthropy News Digest:
“Racism is rooted in the false belief in a human hierarchy, an antiquated taxonomy of the human family, which has long fueled structural racism and conscious and unconscious bias in American society driven by perceptions of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics, or place of origin…
The Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) enterprise created by the Kellogg Foundation and a broad coalition of organizations from all sectors of society is working to expose this belief for what it is and facilitate racial healing. TRHT is a community-driven vehicle for transformative change. TRHT examines how the belief in a hierarchy of human value became embedded in our society, both its culture and structures; works with communities to implement effective actions designed to permanently uproot it; and marshals individual, local, public, and private resources to dismantle systemic, structurally-based patterns of discrimination at the municipal, county, state, tribal, and federal levels.”
In the United States, data often demonstrates that for many people’s life outcomes (education, wealth, health, etc.), race is highly correlated with population-level disparities. Therefore, it’s critical that we bring an explicit focus and intention to understanding and addressing racial equity. To that end, for those interested in learning more, the Foundation has put out a comprehensive guidebook with a wealth of principles, guidelines, and resources for communities, organizations, and individuals to examine our belief systems and work together toward racial healing. In addition, the principles and suggestions in the guidebook can help us unpack and heal with regard to forms of intolerance and marginalization based on identities other than race.
Each of us can review this guidebook and consider what might be relevant and useful within our own sphere of influence as it relates to our community, us as individuals, or our organizations’ practices and culture. Within FSG, we are reviewing the guidebook more closely as we continue our efforts to bring a stronger equity lens into our work.
On this day (and all future days) of healing, we are committed to contributing to a world in which we can no longer predict life outcomes based on social group identities. We are grateful to the many partners who are guiding and joining us in re-imagining a better future for us all.
FSG’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Steering Committee