Building Pro-Black Institutions and Movements

I want to live in a world where black people are . . . celebrated, allowed to be their authentic self, trusted and loved. This was the opening activity for the Building Pro-Black Institutions & Movements training. 

This training was amazing and exactly what I needed. I am new to my Executive Director role with Partners in Action for Healthy Living. We grow fruits and vegetables in over 20 community gardens to give to local food banks in the area. 
Through Community Build Ventures, I have had the opportunity to grow as a leader to understand the root cause of racism and how to make a difference as a leader in my organization. 

One of the benefits of being a part of the Community Build Ventures family is the opportunity to attend the Build Pro-Black Institutions & Movements hosted by Equity in the Center. 

This group training allowed us to identify challenges with white dominant culture norms within the workplace. There were a few great takeaways for me during the training. Using terms like “Black Girl Magic” when describing a black woman makes her appear superhuman. 

Black women are not able to just be themselves. We are determined, driven, and empowered, but we aren’t magical. Using this term doesn’t allow us to have emotions and feelings. 

I have decided to no longer use this term in describing black women. Another takeaway was from one of the white attendees stating that he was taught that racism was a historical event. 

He was taught from a young age that racism ended with the civil rights movement. Hearing this makes me understand that many non-black leaders use their privilege not to take the time to identify anti-blackness in the workplace. 
This training made me reflect on leadership in my current workplace. It allowed me to take a step back and revisit our community training to respect and empower the black people we currently serve. 

It also empowered me to use my voice when I am in spaces where white-dominant cultures are the norm. 

By Vanessa Parker, Member of the CommunityBuild Ventures Cooperative

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