Global nonprofit Points of Light is partnering with Morehouse College, the nation’s only historically black college focused on educating men, to launch “Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism,” a new initiative designed to empower businesses, nonprofits and individuals to use their influence to fight against systemic racism.
In cooperation with leading experts, Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism will host a series of virtual and in-person community forums that will feature leaders in the racial equity movement, partnering organizations, grassroots organizers and everyday people who have experienced racism and are fighting against injustice. Each community conversation will provide strategies for taking action and resources for deeper learning so that participants can have the tools necessary to launch effective social issue campaigns in their communities.
The first conversation titled, “Moving Forward: Taking Action on Race and Equity,” will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. ET. This discussion will be moderated by Points of Light president and CEO Natalye Paquin with special guests, Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center; Michael Smith, executive director of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Frederick J. Riley, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project. This event will serve as the official kick off for the monthly forums.
“Points of Light values inclusivity, diversity and equality, and we stand with people who are taking action for a more just and equitable world. Systemic racism is a threat to democracy and impacts all of us,” said Natalye Paquin, president & CEO, Points of Light. “Inequities in systems are built and dismantled one decision at a time. Now more than ever, people from all walks of life are showing their readiness to create a more just society and dismantle systems that perpetuate racism, but often don’t know where to start. It is our belief that every action matters, that civic engagement takes many forms, and engagement is essential to advancing causes that improve society for everyone.”
Morehouse College is partnering with Points of Light in the initiative because it aligns with the institution’s mission to develop leaders who can change the world. As the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which have created disparities in income, employment, health, housing and educational opportunities for people of African descent.
“Morehouse College is deeply involved in the global fight for social justice,” said David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College. “Our students have led peaceful anti-racism marches on city streets across the nation, and our alumni are continuing to use their influence in their industries and within the U.S. Congress to fight against a system of laws and behavior that have kept Black and brown people marginalized, underpaid and unemployed.”
“The movement needs more allies as the nation faces two pandemics—COVID-19 and the persistence of systemic racism, both of which disproportionately threaten the lives and livelihoods of Black people. This initiative will help us build strength in diverse numbers so that the nation can eventually achieve Martin Luther King Jr.’s multicultural dream of a Beloved Community.”
The goal of the Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism initiative is to help provide a forum in which people can begin difficult conversations about racism in a framework that will allow them to gain understanding and learn how to take action that is accessible and impactful in their local communities. As an ally, Points of Light will support in solidarity people of color by providing resources approved by leading experts that can advance their networks, capacity and professional development.
For more information about Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism and to learn about upcoming events, resources and ways to get engaged, please visit www.pointsoflight.org/listen-learn-act-to-end-racism/.
About Points of Light
Points of Light is a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through affiliates in 200 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
About Morehouse College
Morehouse College is the only historically Black college focused on educating men. Founded in 1867, the College is the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates. Morehouse is also the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs, with five Morehouse Men receiving the honor. The College was recently named on the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most 2019-20 Fulbright Scholars, the nation’s flagship international educational exchange program. Prominent alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. Morehouse currently has more than 17,000 alumni in 14 countries. For more information, visit: https://morehouse.edu.
About The King Center
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) is a 501(c) (3) organization established in 1968 by Mrs. Coretta Scott King. The King Center is the official living memorial and programmatic nonprofit organization committed to educating the world on the life, legacy, and nonviolent teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The King Center is committed to preparing global citizens to utilize the principles and strategies of Nonviolence (Nonviolence365) to create a more just, humane and peaceful world.
About My Brother’s Keeper Alliance
President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential. In 2015 the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBK Alliance) was launched, inspired by My Brother’s Keeper, to scale and sustain this mission. In late 2017, MBK Alliance became an initiative of the Obama Foundation. Within the Obama Foundation, MBK Alliance focuses on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.
About Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project
Weave: The Social Fabric Project describes and amplifies the work of those strengthening the social fabric of their communities. We connect these Weavers, provide access to resources, open doors to influencers, and inspire new generations of Weavers. We envision a nation of Weavers brimming with deep, healthy connections, where mutual trust and affection is the standard, equity is implicit, and all people find joy and meaning in daily life.
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