How To Plan & Implement an Anti-Racist Service Project
Posted by Youth Service America on July 14, 2020
Honoring this moment in our nation’s history by serving in your community helps transform 9/11 into a day of unity, empathy, and service as an enduring and positive tribute to those lost and injured on 9/11, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks. This year, in addition to the lives lost on 9/11/01, we’ll honor those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, to racist violence, and to the effects of poverty and economic inequality as well as all the heroes who are leading our response to these crises.
Racism can take many forms, and young people may be more familiar with some forms than others. They might have thought about individual-level racism, which includes private beliefs and biases and how those attitudes affect interpersonal relationships. They might not have thought as much about systemic-level racism, which includes unfair policies, discriminatory practices, and racial biases within and across institutions and systems of power which result in unequal outcomes (whether intended or not).
Recent events have shown that it’s not enough anymore for our policies and practices to not be racist – we them to be anti-racist. Race Forward, a nonprofit organization that brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity, defines anti-racism as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the recent best-selling book How to Be an Anti-Racist defines an antiracist as someone who is expressing an antiracist idea or supporting or an antiracist policy – policies that yield racial equity and ideas that talk about the equality of racial groups.
Since service projects are interventions to address a community’s most pressing problems, every service project can and should be an anti-racist service project. It won’t happen automatically though – intentional thought and planning on the part of project organizers is necessary.
How to Plan & Implement an Anti-Racist Service Project: http://ysa.org/antiracist/
Serve & Remember on 9/11 Day of Service: https://leadasap.ysa.org/911day/
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