Why We Must Lead With Race:
1. Until the Civil Rights Movement, housing and employment policies in the US were explicitly racist. We have made progress in addressing individual discrimination, but the effects of institutional racism still shape public policies and create race-based inequity across our community (source).
2. In order to create a just and equitable society, we must challenge institutional and structural racism. These levels of racism create inequities in education, health, housing and income faced by people of color. Boston has a rich history of organizations and community leaders working to promote racial justice and equity, yet inequities continue to persist in most areas. Leading with race at the city level will lift up and unify the good work that has been done in the city.
3. There have been many years of community organizing that demand the City to address racial inequity. The years of community organizing show the necessity of having a conversation to address racial inequities in our city. However, there has never been city-based infrastructure to address racism in Boston. We wish to support all communities in challenging racism.
4. We recognize that efforts to eliminate racism are essential to achieving an equitable society, but at the same time, we know that eliminating racism alone is insufficient at addressing inequity. By “leading with race,” we are also able to talk about how systemic racism overlaps with institutionalized sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, and other types of oppression. It is important to start the dialogue with a race analysis because data and personal narratives show that the historical and current impact that racism has on all areas independent of class, gender and other lenses often used to explain the current state of inequity