The fight for racial justice is at the very core of Metro Justice. We began in the aftermath of Rochester’s 1964 urban uprising as Friends of Fight, a result of white liberals waking up to local racist practices blocking the black community from decent jobs and housing. Rochester’s underbelly of racism had been exposed as needing change.
In 2006 Metro Justice affiliated with Citizen Action of NY and recommitted itself to this core work. A racial justice lens was adopted to evaluate the significance of prospective campaigns to communities of color. The Racial Justice Initiative was formed and charged with both educational and watchdog functions.
The Racial Justice Initiative conducts many educational programs. We conduct a well-regarded Racial Justice Workshop for the Metro Justice Council, staff and members as well as the community at large. This day-long session consists of sections on the history and remnants of structural racism, small group discussions on biases and difficult dialog, interactive activities designed to share and enlighten participants to each others life experiences, and breakout sessions examining culturally internalized superiority inferiority. Our workshops are diverse and limited to 20 participants each. We also conduct talks and smaller educational sessions for other groups such as organizations and churches.
The Racial Justice Initiative has held film series and community speak outs on racist practices such as “Zero Tolerance.” We look to support community allies and collaborating with other groups working to end racism in our community.
The Metro Justice mission to fight for economic, social, and racial justice calls us to address the ongoing white supremacy at the core of the structural and institutional racism in our society. We invite you to sign up below to join us in this urgent work.
Here a few books that we recommend you read:
- Privilege, Power and Difference by Allan G. Johnson
- When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson
- Uprooting Racism by Paul Kivel
- Dog Whistle Politics by Ian Haney Lopez
- The Half Has Never Been Told by Edward Baptist