Racial Justice Action Team

RJAT work so far:

Purpose:

The Racial Justice Action Team is a think/action tank that examines, implements and innovates RoadMap’s racial justice praxis. We enable the network to practice through a racial justice lens both internally and as well as through the work that we do to support social movements.

Origins of the RJAT:

The Racial Justice Action Team (RJAT) began with an awareness of the need for the RoadMap network to strengthen its confidence, courage, and collective ability to fully integrate issues of racial justice into our work. The team was created in August 2015 with the participation of the director and another member of the Operations Team as well as five RoadMap consultants in a multi-racial but majority people of color formation.

RM Racial Justice Priorities:

Internal:

  • Create shared analysis and commitment about racial justice throughout the RoadMap network
  • Ensure that the composition of our consultant network is majority people of color and that client assignments are racially equitable
  • Expand our distributed leadership and prioritize people of color for senior leadership positions
  • Ensure that our policies, practices, and systems are aligned with our racial justice stance
  • Build skills through shared training, peer learning and retreats

 

External:

  • Communicate our racial justice stance broadly to clients and funders
  • Center a racial justice approach in client intake and at all stages of client engagement
  • Surface racial justice and apply frameworks and tools skillfully to support movement organizations
  • Agitate progressive organizations, funders, and thought leaders to center racial justice in all that they do

 

Timeline of racial justice action in RoadMap

June 2015: Network-wide racial justice survey

July 2015: Network retreat where the need for racial justice focus was surfaced

August 2015: Formation of the Racial Justice Action Team

February +March 2016: Network racial justice peer learning session facilitated by RJAT

May 2017: Racial Justice Action Team analysis and skill building retreat

July 2017: Senior leadership position with racial justice focus created in RoadMap

 

What’s next:

In 2018 the Racial Justice Action Team will be expanding to include more network members. We’ll be supporting the implementation of peer accountability and feedback processes on the multi-racial RoadMap Operations Team and other updates to our systems, structures and practices. We’ll ensure that key RoadMap teams are undergoing Black-led racial justice training to build their skills and analysis. We’ll host a network-wide conversation on applying a racial justice lens to our practice as consultants. We’ll ask every network member to commit to alignment with our racial justice values and principles.

 

Statement:

RoadMap’s Statement of Commitment to Racial Justice 

April 2016

Background

Racism[1] permeates every aspect of our social existence. It undergirds social identity and influences how wealth, citizenship access, power and privilege get distributed in our society. Racism is inherently intersectional – often intertwined with other systems of oppression, such as classism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, xenophobia and discrimination based on immigrant status, ageism and ableism. Conversely, racial justice[2] is critical to social justice and benefits everyone.

RoadMap’s network of capacity builders brings our own personal and professional stories of white supremacy and how it shows up in our lives. Regrettably, there is also a long history of progressive movements that have upheld white supremacy. As consultants of color and white consultants we can only be an effective movement resource when we name racism as we see it and work through our practice to help shift how these forces operate interpersonally and organizationally.

Racial Justice Vision

RoadMap is multi-racial at all levels, sharing power to realize justice in leadership and in our work. We are stronger because of our differences. Every consultant in our network is committed to RoadMap’s values and principles. We are continuously learning and growing individually and as a network.

Statement of Principles

Given our role as a movement resource, each of RoadMap’s consultants commit to deepening and fortifying our analysis and practice as individuals and in our work with clients and movements. Similarly, RoadMap as an institution commits to embedding racial justice in our practice because it is fundamental to our effectiveness as an agent of change.

As RoadMap consultants, we commit to:

  • Engage in continuous learning to fortify our skills, competency and courage to effectively address racist behaviors, habits, and structures with our clients and with each other;
  • Examine our tools, analysis, and resources to ensure that they support racial justice;
  • Seek appropriate support from RoadMap colleagues when faced with a challenging situation where it is necessary or greatly benefits our work;
  • Develop our awareness of the implications and impact of our own racial/ethnic background for client work;
  • Support policies, practices, attitudes and actions that produce more equitable power, opportunities, treatment, and outcomes for all people of color inside our organization, within ourselves, and in our work with clients;
  • Support anti-racist organizational partners and peers;
  • Assess RoadMap’s structures, practices, and principles to ensure that we are aligned with our racial justice principles and are moving towards our vision. (I.e. that we are “walking the talk”).

[1] Racism is a complex system of beliefs and behaviors, grounded in a presumed superiority of the white race. These beliefs and behaviors are conscious and unconscious and result in the oppression of people of color and benefit the dominant group, whites.

[2] Racial Justice is the proactive reinforcement of policies, practices, attitudes, and actions that produce equitable power, access, opportunities, treatment, impacts and outcomes for all people of color.