Untying Knots

Building an Accountable and Effective Base of White Communities Working for Racial Justice

Episode Summary

How do we build an accountable and effective base of white communities working for racial justice?

Episode Notes

White Americans are directly implicated in the perpetuation of structural racism, and also have much to gain in actively working to dismantle it. Untying Knots sat down with Erin Heaney, Executive Director of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), to discuss the core principles of SURJ’s organizing approach and to learn about how the national organization is working in predominantly white communities to advance racial and economic justice. Erin dives into key issue areas which serve as catalysts for building their organizing base, including healthcare and reproductive rights, rental and housing rights, and access to high-quality public education. Across the United States SURJ is working to direct white people away from far-right ideology, and work in service to Black-led movements for justice. At the grassroots level, they are laying the foundation for a larger and more accountable base of white Americans advocating for social change.

Untying Knots, co-hosted by Nikhil Raghuveera and Erica Licht, explores how people and organizations are untying knots of systemic oppression and working towards a more equitable future. Each episode features special guests and a focus on thematic areas across society. 

This podcast is published by the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project in collaboration with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center.

Beauty Flow by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5025-beauty-flow
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

About the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project

The Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project believes in working at the intersection of community, academia, and policy to address intellectual and practical questions as they relate to antiracism policy, practice, and institutional change. In order to create and sustain change, the goal of this project is to promote antiracism as a core value for organizations by critically evaluating structures and policies within institutions. The project aims to analytically examine the current field of antiracism with a lens on research and innovation, policy, dialogue, and community involvement.

Our vision is to be a leader in institutional antiracism research, policy, and advocacy, and propose structural change in institutions and media centered on antiracism work in the public, private, non-profit sectors and digital space. This work will focus on researching existing organizations that conduct antiracism training and development while analyzing their effectiveness and promoting best practices in the field. Additionally, we will study the implementation of antiracism work among institutions that self-identify as antiracist and promote accountability structures in order for them to achieve their goals.

About the Ash Center 

The Ash Center is a research center and think tank at Harvard Kennedy School focused on democracy, government innovation, and Asia public policy. AshCast, the Center's podcast series, is a collection of conversations, including events and Q&As with experts, from around the Center on pressing issues, forward-looking solutions, and more. 

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