Updated: May 31
"We are considering if we want to bring racial equity into our strategic plan."
"We have created a committee to explore if equity should be a part our work."
"We are doing our strategic plan first; then we will take on racial equity — afterwards."
"We just don't think this is the right time to talk about DEI."
I've heard these statements (and similar) from so many organizations doing social justice and community-centered work in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors.
These statements illustrate the exercise of privilege. It is a privilege to wait, to push off the racial equity work, to even think there is ever a "right time." It also highlights a fundamental misunderstanding of how our current systems are affecting people of many beautiful colors (POMBCs).
Inequity and injustice live now. Waiting to start the work, waiting until you have completed all the readings, trainings, sorted out the “right time” and waiting to deploy new practices continues to perpetuate the very problems we are all trying to heal.
Waiting is the privilege of comforted whiteness. It is complicitness.