Race Forward Founder Dr. Gary Delgado to Help Advance Health Equity in the Treatment, Prevention and Discussion of Aphasia Rejoining the Organization as Senior Fellow

Race Forward Founder Dr. Gary Delgado to Help Advance Health Equity in the Treatment, Prevention and Discussion of Aphasia; Rejoining the Organization as Senior Fellow 

January 8, 2024

 

WASHINGTON, DC — Race Forward today announced that its founder, Dr. Gary Delgado, a nationally recognized author, organizer, researcher, and activist on issues of race and social justice, will return to the organization as a senior fellow. In this role, Delgado will advance health equity in the treatment, prevention, and discussion of aphasia. Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. It can occur suddenly after a stroke or head injury, or develop overtime as a side effect to a brain tumor or other health condition. 

In the United States, two and a half million residents live with aphasia, and this number increases by 200,000 annually. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Black and Latino communities are more likely to have strokes than their white counterparts. Additionally, middle-aged Black people (between 45 and 64) are three times more likely than their white peers to have strokes. 

"The goal of this project is to center people with aphasia, with an emphasis on people of color. We aim to drive innovation and diverse approaches in treating aphasia,” Delgado said. "We also want to shine a light on the need to train and recruit more diverse speech pathologists, healthcare and social services professionals."

Dr. Delgado received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. Frustrated with the unwillingness of community organizing to explicitly address race at that time, he founded the Center for Third World Organizing, the country’s first organizer training institute with a racial justice focus. He subsequently founded the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward) to give "intellectual ammunition" to organizers and activists working on racial justice. 

His latest endeavor was spurred by his own experience. Delgado has lived with aphasia since 2019 when he suffered a stroke. When his speech did not improve as quickly as he wanted, he began looking into alternative therapies. After noticing very few alternative therapies, especially ones designed to address racial disproportionalities, Delgado began thinking about strategies to organize with persons of color directly impacted by aphasia. 

“Race Forward recognizes that racial inequities – including within health care – are pervasive and profound. They can impact a person’s quality of life and ability to thrive,” said Glenn Harris, president, Race Forward. "Since so much of the American experience is influenced by race, this is an area that must be consistently addressed." 

"Race Forward’s partnership with Delgado follows our longstanding commitment to racial equity in every facet of life," Harris concluded. "It also follows our work with the Rise to Health Coalition, where we work with partners to advance policies and solutions to transform the health care ecosystem so all people have the power, circumstances and resources to achieve optimal health."

 

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Candace Moore Joins Race Forward as Senior Strategic Advisor

Candace Moore Joins Race Forward as Senior Strategic Advisor

December 15, 2023

 

Race Forward today announced Candace Moore, Esq., a policy and systems strategist with demonstrated experience addressing issues of equity and racial justice, will join the organization on January 8, 2024, as Senior Strategic Advisor. Moore brings executive government, legal practice and community-based advocacy experience to this role, in which she will focus on bridging and aligning the placed-based work of Race Forward’s programs and deepening collaborations. She will also lead the expansion into new sites of our place-based strategies, training curriculum and tools for government and community.

“Race Forward is thrilled to have Candace Moore join our team  during this time when attacks on communities of color continue unabated,” said Race Forward President Glenn Harris. “From efforts to dismantle the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to attacks on reproductive rights, and attacks on public education, we know the importance of local and regional governments working to advance racial justice and democracy. The experience Candace brings with a rich background and expertise in government and community-based work will allow her to develop innovative strategies and initiatives to advance racial equity and democracy in communities across this country.” 

Race Forward’s Place-Based Strategy works locally and trans-locally to implement organizational goals in and across places. Collective power building goals include transforming the public sector to govern for racial equity, building governing power of communities of color, and building narratives that advance a just multiracial democracy. Candace’s leadership will help Race Forward to achieve scale and impact in local communities across the country.  

“We are in a moment in our fight for racial justice that demands we build new ways of collaborating and demonstrate to our communities that a system rooted in racial inclusion is worthy and can deliver a more fair and just democracy,” Moore said. “This is why I am excited to step into my next chapter at Race Forward. Throughout my career, the work of Race Forward has been an anchor grounding me in ideas, strategies, and tools to drive equity and racial justice in the communities I've served. Whether serving in Chicago as a civil rights attorney or the city's first Chief Equity Officer, my goal has always been to demonstrate that we can make real change toward racial justice. Joining the team as Senior Strategic Advisor is a dynamic opportunity to connect and partner with fellow racial justice colleagues to support their impact in communities across the country. My intention is to learn, connect resources and people, and spotlight the power of our movement. 

Prior to joining Race Forward, Moore served as the first chief equity officer for the City of Chicago; a senior staff attorney for education equity at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights; and a campaign coordinator for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence.

EVENT: Racial Justice Advocates Gather and Recharge at Bi-Annual Facing Race Convening in Phoenix; More than 4,000 People Participated

For Immediate Release
Contact: [email protected]

 

November 28, 2022 – Race Forward’s biennial Facing Race conference held Nov. 17-19 in Phoenix, AZ, provided a place where close to 4,000 racial justice advocates could heal, learn, and strategize about the future. “In this crucial period, we brought together racial justice practitioners from all over the country to generate, heal and share solutions for how to move the needle on racial equity in the U.S.,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines. “From our keynote speaker Dr Ibram X. Kendi to each panelist, presenter and contributor, this space was intentionally crafted with the goal of strengthening and deepening the movement for racial justice.”

In sharing the significance of Facing Race, Harris added: “While Facing Race has always been a homecoming of sorts for racial justice advocates, it has special relevance now as we think about confronting authoritarianism, white nationalism, and transforming institutions to create a future in which we all can prosper.”

The conference began Nov. 17 and went through Nov. 19. Accomplished professor, author and National Book Award winner Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, wowed the audience with a clear explanation on what it means to be anti-racist and why anti-racism should be the goal. His remarks inspired the audience to commit to a lifelong practice of being anti-racist.

In addition to the keynote, Facing Race featured breakouts and special sessions aimed at fueling the work of racial equity and refueling the hands and hearts that carry it out. It served as a touch point within the racial justice movement to expose advocates, storytellers, creatives, journalists, small business owners and concerned citizens to best practices to advance just and racially equitable policies and practices in their respective communities.

“The people who come to Facing Race come from all parts of the nation,” said Leslie Grant Spann, director, Facing Race. “Some live in areas where they feel isolated and like they are doing racial justice work in a vacuum. In this space, they will appreciate that they are part of a national movement committed to progress. Our goal is to inspire advocates to stay in the fight.”

During a Friday panel on education titled “The Freedom to Learn: The Fight for Honest, Equitable, and Fully Funded Public Schools,” Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, told the audience “You are here to learn and grow your racial justice muscle. We must reclaim public education as a common good, but we cannot stop there. We must transform it to a racially just system that prepares all students to succeed in a diverse world.”

The conference featured two and a half days of collaboration, sound therapy, drumming, music, art, artistic expression, and joy. Members of the Phoenix Indigenous community also participated. Organizers stimulated the senses and offered content beyond presentations and back-to-back workshops. For more information on panelists and breakout sessions, see https://facingrace.raceforward.org/program.

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Founded in 1981, Race Forward, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary last year, catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

Race Forward Announces Appointment of Long-time Civil Rights Organizer Eric Ward as Executive Vice President

Race Forward Announces Appointment of Long-time Civil Rights Organizer Eric Ward  as Executive Vice President

 

Facing Race to Be Largest, Post-Election Meet-Up of Racial Justice Advocates; National Book Award Winner Ibram X. Kendi to Keynote

Conference will be Held Nov. 17-19 in Phoenix, Arizona

September 27, 2022  – The national racial justice organization Race Forward today announced Ibram X. Kendi as the keynote speaker for their bi-annual Facing Race conference, Nov. 17-19 in Phoenix, AZ. Accomplished professor, author and National Book Award winner Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is a historian and five-time #1 New York Times-bestselling author, including for his widely-acclaimed book, “How to Be an Antiracist.” A powerful voice on the topic of racism in America, Dr. Kendi won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America—making him the youngest winner ever of that award.

“Dr. Kendi’s research, teaching, writings, and books have served as guideposts during this crucial period within the racial justice movement. We are honored to have him share his insights and solutions for how to move the needle on racial equity in the U.S.,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward and publisher of Colorlines. “Coming just two weeks after the midterm elections, Facing Race will be an intentional conference designed to strengthen and deepen the racial justice movement. Attendees will leave with their cups filled, their determination sharpened, and their resolve unwavering.”

A relentless and passionate researcher, Dr. Kendi calls into question the notion of a post-racial society while opening readers’ and audiences’ eyes to the reality of racism in America today. The Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research, Dr. Kendi is also a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor.

Facing Race is the largest convening of racial justice advocates in the nation and the only such gathering post the Nov. 2022 midterm elections. Thousands of advocates, organizers, educators, funders, creatives, and journalists will attend or participate online.

The 2-½ day conference will feature breakouts and special sessions aimed at fueling the work of racial equity. It is a touch point within the racial justice movement to expose advocates, storytellers, creatives, journalists, small business owners and concerned citizens to best practices so they can advance just and racially equitable policies and practices in their respective communities.

“The people who come to Facing Race come from all parts of the nation,” said Leslie Grant Spann, director of conferences and convenings, Race Forward. “Some live in areas where they feel isolated and like they are doing racial justice work in a vacuum. In this space, they will appreciate being part of a national movement that is committed to progress. Our goal is to inspire advocates to stay in the fight.”

 

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About Race Forward: 

Founded in 1981, Race Forward, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary last year, catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

Please note that we have limited space for journalists to attend and cover the Facing Race conference. To receive information on the press credentialing process, please email [email protected] by November 5.

Race Forward Appoints Dr. Kerry Mitchell Brown SVP of Finance and Operations

Brings more than 30 years of progressive, social justice, non-profit, higher education, and Fortune 50 organizational experience to the organization


 

July 8, 2022, New York—Race Forward, a leading racial justice nonprofit organization working to eradicate systemic racism, has appointed Kerry Mitchell Brown, Ph.D., MBA, as Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations. As a member of the Executive Team, Dr. Brown will provide strategic insights on operational excellence to Race Forward and provide leadership to the finance, technology, and human resources teams.

Dr. Brown joined Race Forward a little over a year ago as a strategic advisor and to provide leadership during Senior Team members’ sabbaticals in the areas of Research and Programs. She also leads the organization’s strategic Programmatic Assessment process.

“We are pleased to have Kerry take on this critical role for our organization,” stated Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines. “Since joining Race Forward, Kerry has brought a strategic, transformative perspective to the organization, which is much needed as we manage unprecedented growth within the organization and unprecedented backlash against the racial justice movement.”

Dr. Brown has extensive experience in issues of racial equity, organizational development, and capacity building and has supported numerous organizations that center and prioritize confronting racism, specifically anti-Black racism, in analysis and action. As a scholar-practitioner, she puts management theory, organizational theory, and social movement theory into practice to construct a multidimensional framework for racial equity and organizational transformation.

“I approach my work by drawing on the complicated connections and complex architecture between local and national politics, racial inequalities, and the myriad of ways in which these realities manifest in organizations while accurately assessing organizational needs, key issues, and factors that influence organizations’ responsiveness to social issues affecting organizational and leadership performance. I look forward to the opportunity this role provides to bring this approach organization-wide to Race Forward,” states Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in Organizations and Management, an M.B.A., a BSBA in Finance, and is a Gestalt OSD Certified Practitioner. She leads an organizational development consulting firm, kmb, that partners with leaders and organizations to solve complex organizational and people challenges that interfere with strong, sustainable results and long-term organizational health. 

Prior to kmb, Dr. Brown was instrumental in leading the second largest labor union’s organizational transformation in the way they approached race and accumulated close to two decades of strategic business experience in various domestic and international Finance, Organizational Development, and Operations roles with increasing responsibility at various organizations like Prudential Financial, Walt Disney Company, and Dartmouth College.

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Race Forward Awards Major Grants To Advance Pro-Immigrant Narratives

June 8, 2022

Contact: Jeff Chang or Kana Hammon, [email protected]

 

Today, Race Forward announced the awardees of its Chrysalis Lab grants for innovative immigrant narratives at scale. The Chrysalis Lab is a project of the Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy, which builds power for pro-immigrant narratives that recognize and honor the humanity of immigrants and advance freedom and justice for all. 

The awardees are: 

  • Karim Ahmad, for narrative worldbuilding to transform monolithic perceptions of Muslim immigrants;
  • Intelligent Mischief, for a Black Migrant Futures Design Lab and immersive multi-platform experience;
  • Omar Offendum, for Little Syria, a musical theater experience; and 
  • Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, for deep canvassing to increase support for refugee resettlement in key communities.

Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines, said “We are honored to support these organizations in their narrative work at such a pivotal moment in the immigrant  justice movement” He added, “We are excited the Chrysalis Lab projects will speak to a variety of people to advance immigrant justice in transformative ways.”

Taryn Higashi, Executive Director of Unbound Philanthropy said, “The Chrysalis Lab grantees’ projects are creative, innovative, and strategic. We are excited to see these projects unfold, and to share their learnings with the broader immigrant justice movement and all movements working for an inclusive, multi-racial democracy. With nearly 100 applications for these four grant awards, we see great interest and an urgent opportunity for more support for narrative strategy and innovation.” 

Each of the grantees will receive extensive additional support from the Butterfly Lab staff in the form of narrative training, coaching, expert consultation, technical assistance, and research. They will also participate in broader discussions about long-term narrative strategy within and outside of Butterfly Lab programming.  

In its first two years, the Butterfly Lab has already made a powerful impact on the way immigrant narrative leaders think and work. On March 15, 2022, the Lab released an influential report and toolkit containing widely discussed findings and recommendations for the pro-immigrant movement. The report and toolkit has been downloaded thousands of times, and is being used by our Butterfly Lab partners, including the Center for Cultural Power, National Partnership for New Americans, 350.org, National Immigration Law Center, and Families Belong Together/National Domestic Worker’s Alliance. 

In 2022, the Butterfly Lab is also offering narrative strategy training and movement-wide research to the public. 

The Butterfly Lab and the Chrysalis Lab are funded by Unbound Philanthropy, the Luminate Group, the Open Society Foundations, and Oak Foundation.

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Multi-partner Initiative Announces First Grants to Support Anti-Racist, Culturally Responsive Schools and Defend Against Attacks on Public Education

Schott Foundation - NYU EJ ROC - Race Forward

Contact: Melissa Daar Carvajal
[email protected]
415-623-6235
For Immediate Release
4/6/2022

Today, the Schott Foundation for Public Education and its partners, Race Forward and NYU’s Metro Center, announce the first five grants of a united organizing effort to defend against anti-democratic attacks on public education and invest in a proactive, offensive strategy for racial justice reform in our public education system. 

The Invest Together Fund is the grantmaking vehicle and a sister initiative to Race Forward’s H.E.A.L. Together. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Nellie Mae Education Foundation and Schusterman Foundation are all key investors in the fund.

“A rising tide of Black, Brown and Indigenous community organizing has brought more inclusive and historically accurate education to public school students in districts and states across the country,” said Michael Wotorson, Director of Schott’s Opportunity to Learn Network. “Their impressive advances are now under attack by those seeking to stoke racial division and advance political agendas. We invite philanthropy to join us in investing in these grassroots organizations and leaders who are protecting and reimagining the public education system and an America for all of us. That is democracy and that is racial justice.”

The Invest Together Fund leverages Schott Foundation’s grantmaking capacity with Metro Center’s resource and tool development, supported by Race Forward, which is also coordinating and supporting groups nationally. The fund brings together this unusual alliance of a foundation, policy shop and movement builder to support family and youth groups across the country like those listed below; these groups are fighting attacks on anti-racist education and winning reforms in their cities and states. Invest Together lives side-by-side with Race Forward’s H.E.A.L Together, its multiracial movement of students, parents and educators.

“Our social justice movements are strong and are winning. In recent years, community organizing groups have turned years of base-building, leadership development, freedom dreaming, and direct action into transformative policy change in their schools,” said Dr. Fabienne Doucet, Metro Center’s Executive Director. “Racial justice doesn’t stop at the school door. Foundations that care about democracy should ensure that these multiracial groups have the resources to fight back against these well-funded right-wing attacks.” 

Hewlett Foundation’s Education Program is a key contributor to the Invest Together Fund. “Like many education funders, Hewlett sees public education as the key to upward mobility and success for all school children,” said Kent McGuire, Education Program Director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. “If we want to get to that goal, we cannot turn our backs on public education at a time when the enterprise is under assault. Helping communities advocate for equitable and effective schools is essential.”

“When we talk about these attacks, we have to really talk about the collateral damage on young people,” said Letha Muhammad, founder of the Education Justice Alliance, one of the grant recipients. “The very people that we're supposed to care about, who we're supposed to invest in as a society, these folks on the other side are saying, 'I'm willing to throw them away.'”

“We understand this critical, unprecedented moment in history requires us to think deeply about the multiracial future of this country,” said Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines. “Race Forward launched the H.E.A.L Together Initiative to advocate for honest, accurate and fully funded education for everyone, and to fight back against those who deploy harmful and divisive narratives about the work of equity, inclusion, and justice. As we commit to uplifting the necessary work of these grassroots organizations to advance racial justice, we encourage funders to join us in helping to support their efforts to reimagine public education in a way that ensures all students thrive.”

The first round of grantees includes the following:

Education Justice Alliance

1. Education Justice Alliance – North Carolina

The Education Justice Alliance (EJA) is made up of parents, students and community-based organizations in Wake County, North Carolina. EJA works for an educational system that is effective, equitable, and inclusive. We promote racial, socio-economic, and gender equity. We seek to decrease unfair suspensions, expulsions, arrest, court referrals and to improve positive approaches to discipline that meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students.

Kenosha Education Justice Coalition

2. Kenosha Education Justice Coalition - Wisconsin

The Kenosha coalition of parents, educators, students, and community and labor organizations works to protect and improve public education for all students so they thrive in the classroom and in their communities. They unite parents, students, educators, and community members to drive the transformation of public education, shift the public debate, and build a local movement for equity and opportunity for all.

Migrant Equity Southeast

3. Migrant Equity SouthEast – Georgia

Migrant Equity SouthEast is a Latinx and immigrant-led 501(c)(3) organization based in South Georgia. We’re here to advocate for immigrant rights and work directly with the migrant and refugee communities of South Georgia to bring them equitable access to resources available to citizens: health resources, educational resources, political resources as well as financial aid and food assistance.

Rights and Democracy Institute

4. Rights and Democracy Institute - Vermont and New Hampshire

The Rights & Democracy Institute (RDI) works across Vermont and New Hampshire to advance human rights and a healthy, just, and equitable future for our communities. Through grassroots organizing, transformative policy work, and supporting the development of a new generation of leaders from rural communities, particularly those that have been most impacted by harmful policies. RDI’s leadership development programs and issue-based campaigns encompass a range of organizational and movement-building work, including economic justice, education justice, racial justice, universal health care, climate justice, and childcare access.

Youth Organizers United

5. Youth Organizers United – New Hampshire

Y.O.U., Young Organizers United, is the youth organizing wing of the Granite State Organizing Project. Y.O.U. is a group of high school youth from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds, who are dedicated to strengthening multi-issue and multi-racial coalitions designed to overcome disparate treatment and inequitable outcomes in Manchester high schools. Y.O.U. members believe in student voice, inclusivity, and equity for all learners.

Initiative Partners

The Schott Foundation for Public Education is a Black-led national public fund serving as a bridge between philanthropy and grassroots organizers to advance racial justice in public education. Schott directly funds BIPOC-led grassroots education justice coalitions across the country and strategically connects the education justice movement with other social justice efforts focused on providing an array of supports children and families need to have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn and thrive. Schott resources the largest national network of grassroots BIPOC youth and parent education equity and justice organizers - The Opportunity to Learn Network - including four national alliances, 306 local organizations, in 32 states, 54 cities actively coordinating 120,000 people and impacting over 800,000.

The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (NYU Metro Center) is dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence and educational justice for all students. We partner with local and state educational agencies and community organizing groups to strengthen access, opportunity, and educational quality, particularly for young people, and particularly those from historically vulnerable groups. The Center accomplishes its mission through the implementation of high-quality research, strategic assistance to schools, districts, community and youth groups, and direct services to students, teachers, parents, administrators, policy makers, and organizations committed to equity and educational improvement. Our Education Justice Research and Organizing Collaborative (EJ-ROC) builds on the long tradition of movement-driven, community-derived research by providing critical data, research, policy and strategic support to the education justice movement.

Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we bring systemic analysis and innovative approaches to complex race issues to build strategies and help people take effective action to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

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Faron McLurkin to Join Race Forward as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2022

Contact:
Cheryl Cato Blakemore
[email protected]

 

New York, NY — Race Forward, one of the nation’s leading racial justice organizations, is pleased to announce Faron McLurkin will join the organization as its new Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Faron brings more than 20 years of experience in philanthropy, grassroots community organizing, political strategy, organizational leadership, and racial justice advocacy to this role.

“In addition to his long-standing commitment to racial justice, Faron brings an understanding of the critical moment we are in, a deep knowledge of political landscapes, and expertise in building strategic partnerships to advance racial justice,” stated Glenn Harris, President of Race Forward and Publisher of Colorlines. ”Faron’s presence will strengthen and advance our work to build a just multiracial democracy.”

In this role, Faron will join Race Forward’s leadership team in shaping the organization’s direction in addition to his focus on developing and implementing strategies to increase Race Forward’s reach and impact. 

“I’m proud to be joining Race Forward and am excited about working closely with the staff and board to expand partnerships that advance Race Forward’s work of institutionalizing racial justice,” said Faron. “Like many in philanthropy I have been taking stock of what is needed most from me in this moment. Our country is at a crucial crossroads wherein we will

either boldly step into a more inclusive multiracial democracy or regress to an outdated exclusionary system.  Now more than ever, we need to work towards institutionalizing the values we hold dear. By merging what is happening in the streets, in the government, and in boardrooms, Race Forward is positioned to institutionalize power; taking the enthusiasm the country has for racial justice and turning it into real lasting change.”

Prior to joining Race Forward, Faron served as the Vice President of Programs for Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). During his time at NFG Faron oversaw all of NFG’s programs as well as the development and evaluation of all new NFG programs, including establishment of NFG's newest program, the Midwest Organizing Infrastructure Funders. He also played a catalytic role in the founding of the Integrated Rural Strategies group (IRSG), NFG’s rural power building program. 

Faron’s career includes serving as Program Officer at The Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, where he managed their New York State and Environmental portfolios; as Executive Director of the Center for Third World Organizing, one of the oldest and most storied racial justice organizations in the country; and as an organizing director for Change to Win and SEIU Workers United at the national and local levels.

Faron’s start date is May 16, 2022.

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About Race Forward:
Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we bring systemic analysis and innovative approaches to complex race issues to build strategies and help people take effective action to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.

 

Race Forward Launches New Campaign to Organize Against Attacks on an Inclusive Democracy; H.E.A.L. Together Event Discusses Anti-CRT, Book Bans, Silencing of LGBTQIA Movements

For Immediate Release
March 31, 2022
Contact: Maya Boddie, [email protected] or
[email protected]

 

NEW YORK – Before an audience of over 850 attendees, Race Forward and partners kicked off their much-anticipated H.E.A.L. (Honest Education Action & Leadership) Together initiative. The campaign promotes equitable schools, a quality education and a multiracial democracy. It will also support local and national leaders working to strengthen education and democracy.

In addition to Race Forward, a host of activists and organizations including Emmy-award-winning storyteller Sarah Eagle HeartRep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY); Kiah Morris; the National Education AssociationStudent VoiceSchott Foundation for Public Education; the Alliance for Quality EducationDignity in Schools CampaignRed, Wine and Blue; the Women’s MarchMoms RisingParents Together Action and others attended the kickoff.

“Part of the reason our communities are still suffering is because our history has been suppressed,” said Sarah Eagle Heart, a member of the Lakota Tribe. “It has been suppressed due to the taking of our resources. But there is also resistance to look at the shame of our own history, which means that we don’t move into healing. We have to do it now in order to live.”

“Efforts to curtail progress are a direct response to organizing by grassroots groups to create a more equitable nation,” said Glenn Harris, president of Race Forward. “But let’s be clear: The resistance we see today emerged, in part, following protests over the brutal killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. After Floyd’s murder, outraged Americans from a host of races and ethnicities engaged in protests across the country. The June 2020 actions were the largest civil rights protests in American history.”

For over a year, there has been a wave of policies restricting what teachers can and cannot say in the classroom, what books schools will and will not offer, and what employers can and cannot say at work.

“Those policies aren’t about creating environments conducive to learning but rather about limiting multiracial progress,” Harris said. “But we will not be deterred, nor will we be denied.”

Attendees took a pledge to do their part to support good schools and a quality education, which are key components in ensuring a multiracial democracy. Event facilitators shared that local and national partners will offer assistance with district data analysis, curriculum review, best practices for teachers, survey development, graphic creation and policy review. Participants then had the opportunity to pledge their support and advocacy for an honest, accurate and fully funded public education for all students across this country. Eagle Heart read the pledge.

“Schools should be a safe place where students can thrive and reach their full potential,” said Beatriz Beckford of Moms Rising. “What is most exciting about H.E.A.L. Together is that we’re joining young people who are stepping up and advocating for truth teaching and progress.”

“When we transform systems to be more equitable and fairer, the sum of us wins,” said Dennis Chin, vice president of narrative, arts, and culture at Race Forward. “This fight isn’t just about parents’ rights and individual freedom. Individual rights and freedom do not live in a vacuum – we are interconnected. We have shared responsibility with one another to ensure everyone has what they need, such as public services and public education.”

Following rousing remarks from education leaders and activists, Race Forward and partners declared that they would not allow attacks on the teaching of American history, the LGBTQIA community and books to go unchallenged.

“Part of what we’re trying to do is to create a bigger ‘we,’” said Zakiya Ansari of Alliance for Quality Education.

At the kickoff, Maria Dautruche served as master of ceremony, enthusiastically welcoming the crowd and introducing the myriad speakers. She noted that the H.E.A.L. Together effort is designed to ensure strong schools, more equitable communities and a more inclusive democracy. 

“Regardless of whether you have children in school, the debate around the accurate teaching of American history and contemporary issues of gender, race and sex impacts us all,” said Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association. “Imagine trying to explain the significance of the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court without being able to talk about the history of race in America.”

For more information, contact Maya Boddie ([email protected]) or Jennifer R. Farmer ([email protected]) for interviews.

 

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