Regional organizing empowers institutions in a specific geographic area to pool resources and work together toward antiracist transformation in their greater community. This is vital because isolated institutions cannot be fully transformed until their community — and ultimately society — are also transformed. Sharing Crossroads’ philosophy, values and training methodology, our Regional Partners organize to advance the deeply interconnected racial justice movement.
Crossroads began its antiracism organizing with with Metro Chicago institutions in 1986. The 2009 closing of its physical office in Chicago made it difficult to provide the on-the-ground organizing necessary to bring these groups together. To address this, Crossroads began developing a Chicago-area regional organizing partner. In 2011 a leadership team comprised of Crossroads Organizer/Trainers and volunteers from existing Chicago-area transformation teams and other institutional organizing committees formed Chicago Regional Organizing for AntiRacism (C-ROAR), which does business under Crossroads’ 501(c)(3) nonprofit umbrella.
The antiracism organizing work of Coming Together Racine (Racine, WI) began in the late 1990’s, gaining focus in 2005 at a Town Hall meeting entitled ‘Race toRace/Face to Face’. That event made it clear that although many organizations and institutions are working on diversity and/or antiracism as a part of their mission, there was not one organization whose sole mission is to work to eliminate racism. As a direct result of the Town Hall meeting on Race and in response to seeing a need to focus on the destructive powers of racism, a community-wide committee was formed. Dedicated community members came together to create The Committee to Eliminate Racism now known as Coming Together Racine.
The Institute for Dismantling Racism (IDR) grew out of Rev. Willard Bass’ dream for an intentional community to address oppression. IDR pulls together collaborative partners in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth county community – institutions and coalitions dedicated to a common vision of fostering the development of antiracist, diverse communities. The vision is to establish antiracism teams in each institution and organization for the purpose of building intentional antiracist multicultural diverse community that provides the resources for life to all residents.
Since 1999, ERACCE has been organizing antiracism trainings, which has led to the formation of multiple institutional antiracism teams. They work collaboratively with area school systems, colleges and universities, city and county governments, and community organizations. ERACCE was instrumental in bringing Crossroads Anti-Bias/Anti-Racism Education Organizing workshops to Kalamazoo to advance the institutionalizing of anti-bias/antiracism practices in the educational systems of SW Michigan.
The purpose of MCARI is to assist institutions develop the capacity to deal with racism as a systemic issue. MCARI provides antiracism consultation and training for nonprofits, government, business, higher education and community organizations. MCARI is also a training and organizing partner of the Higher Education Anti-Racism Team (HEART), a regional collaborative developing antiracism initiatives in institutions of higher education and their community partners in Minnesota and North Dakota.
The Coalition emerged from a series of Crossroads workshops co-sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Springfield Antiracism Team. Partners include the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, healthcare institutions, education, and other major employers. The following Mission and Vision statements were developed in 2010:
Mission: The Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism works with organizations to develop policies and and practices that promote racial justice and racial equality.
Vision: The Greater Springfield community is on the path to dismantling institutional racism.
The Coalition organizes with institutions throughout the greater Springfield region to bring about antiracist transformation. Click here to listen to/read a transcript of a brief public radio interview that took place in September 2011.