Now is the time to build an anti-racist economy grounded in an agenda that rejects anti-Blackness. The Greenlining Institute has long been a multi-racial organization at the intersection of racial equity and economic justice. We believe that the emancipation of people of color will be realized across racial lines and that solidarity guides us in achieving our collective vision of a country where race is never a barrier to economic opportunity.
This country erupted following the successive deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd at the hands of racist vigilantes and local police. Those were the most publicized deaths, but there are many more including the murders of two Black trans women, Dominique Fells and Riah Milton and Tony McDade, a Black trans man killed by police and too many others to list here (for more see NPR’s Code Switch).
The epidemic of police brutality is a reminder to us all of how precious the freedoms won by our predecessors are and how frequently they are denied to Black and Brown people. All of us are morally mandated to continue this struggle because when a Black person’s freedom can be trampled by racist neighbors, negligent police officers and racist policies rooted in an immoral compromise made by our country’s founders; then we are all left with no choice but to continue the struggle for liberation. This fight for freedom is multi-generational -- a fight that must and will go on year after year after year.
We remain committed to dismantling racially unjust policies, practices and structures and to promoting anti-racist policies because Black Lives Matter and we stand in unequivocal solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. Our work will not quit until we end racism in every corner of society and our communities are freed from the weight of white supremacy and nationalism.
An anti-racist future for the country
We adamantly refuse to return to business as usual. It can no longer be solely people of color who put forth a vision of a country that strongly rejects oppression and racism. It must be all of us.
It is time for the community to become expert in transforming its governance. We need to turn everything upside down to build a country that is right side up. We need to embrace a local, decentralized concept of power. Power must be horizontal not vertical; problem solving from the bottom up, not the top down; building our communities as network-driven not wealth-driven. Systems must be interdisciplinary, not compartmentalized and bureaucratic. We need an ecosystem, not an ego-system.
And we know what that looks like:
Predominantly Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other communities of color have historically been denied services through redlining and other disinvestment. We support the reallocation of funding resources away from policing and remain committed to working with banks, corporations, and our social justice partners to steer investments into historically redlined communities.
Equity-driven reinvestment strategies are key to funding housing, jobs, small businesses, health care, and broadband infrastructure in Black and Brown communities. We advocate for transforming behaviors, institutions, and systems that disproportionately harm communities of color. The practice of equity means empowering communities to thrive and reach their full potential by increasing their access to power, redistributing and providing additional resources, and eliminating barriers to opportunity. .
Race-Conscious Research and Accountability
Race-neutral data undermines our ability to shed light on the systemic injustices plaguing Black and Brown people. By disaggregating data-driven insights in our fight to rectify the disproportionate impact of unjust policies and laws, we can advance anti-racist policy solutions that meet the needs of our communities.
Prioritize Intersectional Solutions
The correlation between economic disinvestment, environmental racism, and COVID-19 outbreaks must be addressed without delay. We cannot lose sight of climate change and its impact on Black communities. As California strives toward a set of ambitious climate goals, channeled investments in clean energy and climate resilience projects must be targeted to BIPOC neighborhoods impacted first and worst by pollution. Only by examining the ways that different structures and systems impact BIPOC communities can we address the underlying conditions that contribute to inequity.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Representation matters. We will never waver in our efforts to open doors. Corporations, health care systems, and yes, even philanthropy must take concrete, measurable steps to diversify their boards and increase partnerships with minority-owned businesses. We will only we be able to bring forward meaningful and responsive solutions by giving proper representation and decision-making power to individuals most impacted by structural racism.
We must invest in the talent pipeline and organizational infrastructure to position more Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other leaders of color most impacted by racist systems, to lead policy changes that move our nation toward equity and racial justice at all levels.
To create a future where race is never a barrier to opportunity, it can no longer solely be people of color who put forth a vision of a stronger country that outright rejects oppression and racism. It must be all of us who build one country, one destiny.