We want to address a recent blog post by November Project Brooklyn co-leader Maggie Huang. Maggie shares a detailed personal story, but the fact that her experience could have been experienced by any BIPOC Co-leader, or member, is not lost on us. Maggie, we thank you for your courage to share and we’re deeply sorry for all the harm we have done to you and all the people that have found their story reflected in your words.
We realize that by upholding many white supremacy culture characteristics in NP, we failed to provide a safe space for Maggie, and with our actions we caused her immense pain. As two cisgender heterosexual white men, we cannot begin to imagine how must it felt to be in Maggie’s shoes, but we can pledge to learn from her experiences and take immediate action. More specifically:
1. Commit to making organizational changes to foster a safe space for our Co-leaders and members by creating a formal HR department and include Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous members onto the NP HQ team.
2. Commit to including more Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous members as Co-leaders.
3. Hold Town halls for NP leaders and members to facilitate discussions about anti-racism.
4. Identify areas where NPHQ may hold white supremacy culture characteristics and work on antidotes.
5. Provide resources to our Co-leaders and members that promote inclusivity.
6. Commit to building a culture of accountability and learning from our mistakes by encouraging Co-leaders and members to openly or anonymously share their thoughts, questions, and comments.
We have referred to our organizational work to dismantle white supremacy in the past. However, we acknowledge that we need to move faster and need to dedicate more resources and energy to address this now and moving forward. We will hold ourselves accountable and invite our members and Co-leaders to continue to hold us accountable.
For the organization whose motto is “Just Show Up,” we need to listen to our own words and show up for our Co-leaders, members, and the NP community as a whole.
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