Thankful for Changing the World

Civic Action | 11/25/2019

Aranda Stathers
Development & State Operations Coordinator

That’s racist, friends.

Now that I have your attention, I’d like to kick things off for Stand’s annual Week of Thanks. As in years past, we like to highlight and give thanks for organizations that we appreciate both personally and professionally.

This year I was given the opportunity to attend one of Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (CROAR)’s workshops. Through their trainings, CROAR works to dismantle systemic racism and build antiracist multicultural diversity within institutions and communities that will develop policies and practices promoting racial justice.

Dismantling systemic racism has been at the core of Stand’s work. Many of the ideas I’ve had in helping lead that work stem from something I gained during that CROAR training.

As we work to build a more just and equitable society – and work to make sure our education systems promote more equity – it is vital for us to hold ourselves and those who govern us accountable and work together towards dismantling systemic racism.

This experience was very impactful, both personally and professionally. I can’t think of a better way spend a Saturday than to plot with a group of diverse and community-driven thinkers on how to dismantle systemic racism. There hasn’t been a day since that training when I have not used something I learned at the workshop. I have found that both my internal and external conversations about race and bias have become richer and better articulated.

This workshop, coupled with works of writers such as Ibram X. Kendi, Nikole-Hannah Jones, Gloria Anzaldúa, Noel Ignatiev, Toni Morrison, Robin DiAngelo, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and so many others, have played a key role in developing an ever-evolving philosophy within me that directly confronts systemic racism and oppression.

It is my hope that you will learn more about CROAR’s work and even consider attending one of their trainings. They are for people open to challenging themselves to be better now, to changing themselves now, to changing the world now.

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