Racial equity - a call to action

A message from the Atlantic Fellows Community in partnership with the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity

"The beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist.  Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism where-ever you find it, including in yourself.  And that’s the only way forward"

Ijeoma Oluo

We’ve all watched how the brutal and senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery – as well as the less-widely known deaths of Collins Khoza and Tony McDade – have reignited global anguish, anger and action, driving millions of people around the world onto the streets to protest the systemic failure to see, value and protect Black lives. These recent deaths – along with the global health and economic disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic – are painful reminders that anti-Black racism renders Black lives disposable. This system must be dismantled in order to achieve fair and just societies.

As an international community of social justice leaders from more than 90 countries, we are united in challenging anti-Black racism in all its forms. We stand in solidarity with our Fellows, staff and families who experience anti-Black racism at the personal, community and national levels. And we urge our non-Black Fellows, staff and families to continue speaking out against racism. In this moment and beyond, networking and co-powering (the responsibility of individual leaders to mindfully work towards supporting the personal power of others through modeling, validating and giving feedback) are vital and important components of our global community’s ecosystem.

The 2019 Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity have written a powerful statement, reminding us all that the work to achieve racial equity requires a daily commitment. We are at a critical juncture and we each have the opportunity to be part of creating something better in solidarity with each other and in the work that we do around the world.

In solidarity,

Kavitha Mediratta, Executive Director, Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity

Evie O'Brien, Interim Executive Director, Atlantic Institute

Victor Valcour, Executive Director, Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health

Le Nhan Phuong, Executive Director, Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity in Southeast Asia

Lebogang Ramafoko, Executive Director, Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity in South Africa

Elizabeth McKinley, Interim Executive Director, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity

Armine Ishkanian, Executive Director, Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity

Guenevere Burke, Executive Director for Health Equity US + Global

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