Racism and Social Justice

Racial Justice Lunch and Learn Meetings
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Racial Justice Lunch and Learn Meetings

Children’s Institute began offering our staff voluntary Racial Justice Lunch and Learns in April 2020. To date, we have met over thirty times. Attendance has been consistent and strong; some staff attend regularly; others attend occasionally; we all have something to share and we are all learners. In recent months, we began inviting Children’s Institute Board Members, and our colleagues at Roc the Future and at Common Ground to join us as we work toward our personal and collective Cultural Humility goals.

We decided to offer Racial Justice Lunch and Learns because they were easily doable within the workweek and helped us move our organization forward. As Children’s Institute staff was striving to understand America’s, our organization’s, and our own personal history with racism, especially as it pertains to anti-Black racism, several of the Racial Justice offerings were selected to provide knowledge “building blocks.” Videos were chosen to highlight key issues, writers and leaders, or current events such as COVID-19, the killings of George Floyd and Daniel Prude, the Black Lives Matter protests, violence against Asians and Pacific Islanders, or the national response to Critical Race Theory.

Almost all links for the Racial Justice Lunch and learns are free, available content on YouTube (usually Ted Talks) and do not in any way belong to Children’s Institute. “Additional resources”–articles and podcasts–are shared as relevant to the day’s topic and are mostly accessible links to all. However, at times a link may be behind a paywall (e.g., New York Times article) and is not (yet) available to anyone who is not a subscriber.

Our offerings to date are far from comprehensive in terms of addressing the history of race, power, and privilege in this country. However, as Children’s Institute continues to learn together, we will share additional content addressing racism targeting Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Muslims, and other communities of color. If your organization finds useful content, please share that as well by sending it to eleopold [at] childrensinstitute.net (Ellen Leopold). We thank the United Way 21 Day Challenge for two videos used that we chose to show as part of our Lunch and Learns.