On December 8, over 40 members participated in The Encore Network Responds to the Movement for Racial Justice. Network members are responding to the social movement in a variety of ways, from offering new programs to diversifying their Boards of Directors. There was a call to go beyond diversity and inclusion to equity, which means sharing power and influence. During the conversation, panelist Lamont Mackley encouraged us to ask the questions, “Are you willing to let others be in charge? to express themselves? to be empowered?”  Panelist Craig Young strongly suggested those on boards or leading organizations use the WIDER acronym – Welcoming, Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable, and Representative – to guide their thinking when creating policies, programs and opportunities to create better outcomes for all.

The Encore Boston Network has taken numerous actions this year to advocate for and act on the need for racial justice. Panelists Mary Gunn and Brenda Atchison shared a list of anti-racism resources, organized by category (including books, articles, film and TV-series, podcasts and ideas) that the Encore Boston Network has found helpful in this work.

Participants in the webinar mentioned a number of other resources and tools they have found useful in the movement for racial justice, including:

  • Robin DiAngelo’s New York Times best-selling book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
  • Deconstructing White Privilege, a twenty-minute video with Dr. DiAngelo, part of the Vital Conversations 1 video series.
  • Frances Causey’s The Long Shadow tracing her family’s legacy of white privilege within the context of anti-black racism in the United States that continues to impact our society today.
  • Kimberle Crenshaw’s keynote video on Intersectionality, the term she coined to describe the unique challenges faced by women and girls of color.
  • Personal story-telling including tools such as I Am From, a poetry narrative exercise based on a work by George Ella Lyon that helps people of varying backgrounds explore identity and build relationships.

Many thanks to Program Lead Kathy Hallissey, Facilitator Lenora Inez Brown, and Panelists: Brenda Atchison MEd, Mary Gunn MSM, Lamont Mackley, and Craig Young.  Please see below for contact information and bios.

Lenora Inez Brown, Senior Fellow, Cleveland Leadership Center and partner in the Encore Cleveland initiative. She is instrumental in launching Legacy Leaders, a program that is engaging experienced leaders, in or approaching retirement, in relevant civic issues and initiatives that improve and grow Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. LBrown@cleveleads.orgBrenda Atchison, MEd After a varied career in government, business and education, Bren shifted her focus to community engagement and advocacy, with an emphasis on healthy aging, health disparities among people of color, building intergenerational connection, and strengthening communities to bring about social change. bren.atchison@gmail.comMary Gunn, MSM leads program development and community engagement activities for the Encore Boston Network. She was previously a consultant for Encore.org, coaching Gen2Gen partners, and Executive Director of Generations Incorporated. mgunn49@gmail.com

Lamont Mackley is Chief Inclusion and Outreach Officer at JumpStart. He is responsible for providing internal and external diversity and inclusion leadership and guidance, to help JumpStart reach its mission. JumpStart’s Encore Mentoring Program matches individuals (age 50+), who want to give back to their community, with entrepreneurs in search of advice to grow their businesses. lamont.mackley@jumpstartinc.org

Craig Young, is the founder of Inspiring Service. With his systems background he created the Cincinnati-based nonprofit, whose mission is to inspire and empower people and organizations to engage in volunteering that improves and strengthens their community and themselves. craig@inspringservice.org