This advice column offers opinions about the more difficult aspects of working in the nonprofit sector. This is an update of an article written in 2018. Discouraging that nothing seems to change, right? Same hatred, different victims. It is time for a sea change in addressing discrimination and racial or religious bias.
With all the racist violence in the U.S., what is the message to all of us in nonprofits who care about social change?
A nonprofit executive writes to MissionBox...
I feel disheartened and discouraged by the persistent flow of news about people in power harming people of color. In my personal world, people care about each other and social justice. Can we really make a difference when our society sanctions violence against Black Americans?
I have spent the last few days talking to many nonprofit colleagues, all of whom are also expressing the same sense of hopelessness related to the social turmoil, violence and injustice we are all watching and reading about on a daily basis in the news.
I’d like to hear what others think, as well as find ways to overcome our anxiety and continue to work for positive social change.
Kathryn says ...
I’d love to hear what other nonprofit professionals think — I can only answer for myself. I strongly support the protests against the terrorism directed at people of color from those in positions of power.
Like you, I have devoted my life to social good and am shaken to my very core. This has been another dreadful and violent year in the U.S. And, the hate, senseless killing and destruction in this nation is nothing new; to the contrary, it is a mirror image of incidents that are occurring all over the world, every day.
Nonetheless, it is still terrifying to once again see white supremacists and neo-Nazis crawl out from under their rocks, sometimes wearing the uniform of the police, intending to harm whomever they target.
My approach to apprehension and fear is to give a voice to my protest in any small way that I can. I financially support those who are actively working against these hate groups. I hold onto the faith that I retain in most human beings and I will believe that good can triumph over evil, that we can reform and improve—but we must act to make it so.
Those of us who want to uplift the world must be willing to stand up and fight back. Not with violence, but with stubborn and unwavering resistance and an honest willingness to call out racial and religious hatred. Most right-thinking Americans will join us because the alt-right, white supremacists and the haters represent the darkest and ugliest side of our culture and society.
History has seen this before. We already know that fanatical racists left unchecked will not hesitate to torture, maim and annihilate anyone on their “kill list.” Their ultimate goal is a gas chamber, a choke hold, a lynching or a firestorm awaiting those they consider undeserving of human kindness or dignity.
Disturbingly, we have a president that appears to be complicit and seems to be happy to point the finger anywhere else than at the evil doers of evil deeds.
Call your representatives in government and the media, and refuse to tolerate this conspiracy of hate. Support activism for social change. And VOTE IN NOVEMBER. Lives depend upon the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.