“ We need to be weapons of mass construction, weapons of mass love. It’s not enough to change the system, we need to change ourselves.” - Assata Shakur
In February, we launched the #BeLove series to profile organizations committed to ending structural racism and bias. We were invited to share this series at Sanctuary, a multimedia installation at the San Damiano Mission in Brooklyn, NY. With this talk, we tell six stories of change that resulted from intentional capacity-building in a variety of settings. Our primary goal is to peak behind the curtain and demonstrate what the actual phases of structural change look like. Wherever your team is in leading anti-racist, anti-bias change, this series will validate your work, raise questions about what approach matters most for your community, and give you a sense of what lies ahead.
Structural change has predictable phases:
- questioning, listening, dismantling
- setting your stake in the ground
- building ecosystem
- continuous learning
Structural change requires shifts in resource allocation:
- dedicated budget line-item for individual support
- inclusion in strategic plan and performance metrics
- staffing development (hiring, retention, promotion) reflects community
- hire leadership for equity oversight and engagement
When putting your stake in the ground, ask these questions:
- What will make the biggest shift in power in your community?
- How do you operate internally to create that shift?
- How does your shift impact the broader community that you serve?