Listen to past conversations from leading social justice experts on a diverse set of topics to inspire and educate and see upcoming events.
Listen to past conversations with leading social justice experts and community leaders on a diverse set of topics. Each discussion also includes strategies for taking action and resources for deeper learning.
The first conversation of our Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism initiative, in partnership with Morehouse College, featured a dialogue about current manifestations and the impact of systemic racism, and actions that individuals and organizations can take to dismantle it.
On Dec. 1-2, 2020, the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, Council on Foundations and Points of Light hosted a private virtual event for their membership of corporate social responsibility leaders. This important event provided a platform for engaging with a diversity of perspectives and insights from thought leaders and experts representing business, nonprofits and philanthropy to help companies continue to advance their thinking and their actions around racial equity both internally and externally.
Education is a key step in the fight to end racism. On Jan. 12, 2021, Anneliese A. Singh, Ph.D., LPC, author, professor and Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development at Tulane University, helped raise our race-consciousness by challenging stereotypes, reframing the history of racism and its impact on our lives, and share why healing from racism is an integral part of dismantling it, along with speaker Doug Osborne, M.A. Health Educator, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and President of the Sitka Cycling Club and moderator Jennifer Nash, Vice President, Corporate Solutions and Capacity Building, Points of Light. Attendees learned strategies for self-reflection, how oppression happens and the steps to becoming a racial ally.
Successes achieved by civil and human rights leaders in the twentieth century were monumental, and we continue to see alternative models of social justice–oriented leadership emerge in the twenty-first century. On Feb. 25, 2021, Points of Light and Morehouse College hosted a conversation that covered the dynamics and importance of academic institutions, in collaboration with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other civic and corporate organizations, in preparing the next generation of social justice-oriented leaders. Attendees explored the role institutions and organizations, academic or otherwise, are playing to prepare the next generation to show up and stand up. In the words of Morehouse alumnus, Martin Luther King, Jr., to become “drum majors for justice”.
Women have long played a central role in shaping movements. On March 18, 2021, during this special conversation on civic engagement during Women’s History Month, we heard from leading women activists from the Atlanta Student Movement of the 1960s and today’s leaders who are at the forefront of the national social justice movement in an exploration of history’s influence on the present. Attendees gained insights from civic leaders and activists on the frontline of change in two of the most pivotal social justice movements of our time. Watch now for an engaging conversation about the role and influence of women in contemporary national social justice movements and the power of civic activism.
Volunteers support and represent work in every aspect of our social fabric, providing essential support, enriching our communities and cultural life, and taking action where change is needed. However, volunteerism can also reinforce patterns of power and privilege that uphold systemic racism. In our conversation on April 21, 2021, we learned how to recognize volunteer activities and patterns that perpetuate inequities, how to thoughtfully engage community, and ultimately, how volunteer engagement, when designed well, can be a part of supporting an end to racial inequity and social injustice.
On Thursday, May 20, Points of Light and Morehouse College led a conversation that explored the origins of laws and policies and their connection to race and systemic racism. Amidst public demands for systems reform, alternative approaches and racial justice, experts and community leaders shared successful models and effective solutions for public safety reform currently at work in communities. Attendees learned specific actions to support constructive conversations and positive changes in the paradigm of public safety and policing.
On Saturday, June 19, Points of Light and Civics Unplugged led a conversation that celebrated Black history and culture called “Juneteenth: A Youth-led Intergenerational Dialogue.” Attendees learned how they could empower youth to address various facets of systemic oppression and how to take action to create a more just society.
There is a growing movement about ethics and responsibility in storytelling within the entertainment industry. This conversation, grounded in research conducted by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, explores authorship and accountability, and the ways in which the industry writ large is calling for action.
On August 25th, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Advancement led a conversation exploring identity, privilege, bias and microaggressions. As we navigate working with colleagues in new settings from hybrid to work from home models, it is important to build awareness of the common biases and microaggressions that may occur in the physical or virtual workplace, especially towards BIPOC employees.
As the call for racial justice continues to echo throughout the nation, multifaceted topics of critical race theory and anti-racist education are trending, making it difficult for educators to bring culturally responsive and equity-minded approaches to teaching to the classroom. On Sept. 23, 2021, Morehouse College led a conversation that defines these topics, identifies policies and dives into how educators, mentors and community organizations can authentically engage in conversation and take action that dismantles inequities in education.
Play is the true work of childhood. Whether on the playground, in the classroom, at home or in the community, playing allows children and youth to explore their world, take risks, make mistakes and feel achievement. Through play, children develop critical social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally and gain confidence in themselves and their connection to community. On Oct. 27, 2021, Points of Light joined Morehouse College and KABOOM! for a conversation that defined playspace inequity, where it’s happening, and how communities are coming together to remove barriers and create access to quality spaces to play, learn and thrive.
On Nov. 17, 2021, Points of Light and Morehouse College led a conversation on the history of African American self-determination to achieve economic empowerment in the labor market and through individual and collective entrepreneurship amidst the realities of systemic racism and attacks on economically successful Black communities and individuals. Participants learned how Black people have used their collective economic power throughout history to protest inequities and exclusion, bringing about transformative change.
On Dec. 15, Points of Light and Morehouse College held part two in a series about the quest for black economic empowerment where we will built on the historical context to explore leadership today in creating businesses and environments for success in communities of color. Attendees learned today’s strategies for using entrepreneurship and business ownership as a pathway for building economic mobility, and the session shared practical actions that individuals, community and business leaders can take to impact this critical journey to equity. If you missed part one, watch our November conversation to learn about the historical context of black economic empowerment.
Storytelling is a powerful vehicle to advance social justice. It is an ancient art, it’s interactive, and offers a means to raise awareness and encourage advocacy. When used to advance social justice, stories, both fact and fiction, enable us to imagine the world in a different way. On Jan. 13, Points of Light and Morehouse College led a conversation with Wil Haygood, acclaimed biographer, Pulitzer finalist, award-winning author and reporter, and Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., New York Times bestselling author and chair of Princeton University’s department of African American studies, to learn how a storied past continues to shape our national identity and common values.
For many, the enduring image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is that of a great orator and gifted teacher speaking powerful messages of peace, justice, love and community. His legacy has left us with innumerable quotes that have been immortalized and frequently appropriated. On Feb. 23, Points of Light and Morehouse College hosted a conversation that lifted up a collection of Dr. King’s well-known quotes and examined them in the context of both history and current-day demonstration. Attendees learned from those who are advancing Dr. King’s teachings and nonviolent philosophy and taking action in communities around the world today.
Beyond athletics, participation in sports builds character, teaches strategic thinking, leadership skills and offers opportunities to take risks and build resiliency. On March 24, 2022, Points of Light and Morehouse College led a conversation that explored race equity in sports from little league to college to the Olympics. Our speakers discussed access, representation and the power of voice, and attendees learned about the actions that colleges, corporations and athletes are taking to change the game and how they can be involved in breaking barriers.
There is a civic empowerment gap that exists in America that profoundly impacts the engagement of citizens who identify as BIPOC. Research has shown repeatedly that there can be transformative experiences within a person’s life that support the development of a strong and secure civic mindset and increases the likelihood for someone to value and participate in volunteerism, service and other forms of civic action. Points of Light and Morehouse College led a conversation on April 20, 2022 that explored how family, school and places of work play a role in cultivating our civic attitudes and behaviors, influencing us either toward or away from a life of civic engagement.
Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States that continues to claim lives daily, and disproportionately in Black, Indigenous, and other Communities of Color (BIPOC). On June 10, Points of Light and Morehouse College led a special Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism session that brought together leaders who shared the realities of gun violence across America and explored the needs of communities impacted by these tragedies–especially BIPOC communities. The panelists examined the roles of systemic racism and implicit bias in sparking this epidemic and shared what we can all do to support our communities and take action to end gun violence.
The success and growth of small business owners and entrepreneurs of color can transform individual lives and be an engine for building a more racially equitable economy and society. Data shows that Black women lead the surge in entrepreneurship gains and that investing in Black women can be a catalyst for economic growth and community development. At the intersection of sex and race discrimination, the barriers on the road to economic empowerment for Black women can be significant. On June 27, 2022, Points of Light joined Morehouse College for a Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism conversation about the investments companies and organizations are making to support the economic empowerment of Black women, and how the right opportunities and ecosystems can mitigate the effects of these systemic obstacles.