The-Courage-to-Change

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The Courage to Change

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In 1998 Haymarket People’s Fund, an anti-racist, multi-cultural foundation embarked on a deliberate process to advance the mission, and undo the racism ingrained in every aspect of the organization. This open-ended process has been transformative throughout the structure, staffing, grantmaking, and fundraising activities of Haymarket. During the past decade, Haymarket has:rewritten its mission; updated and/or developed organizational policies and practices; changed its leadership structure; and has taken steps to shift its organizational culture. As a result Haymarket is very much a relevant organization, one in which the leadership of People of Color is not only undeniable, but is in fact the institutional norm. Whites and People of Color now work together to continually refine – through relationship building, trust, and accountability – an organizational culture that reflects anti-racist values. Through this process, unity and strength is being built.

In this spirit, Haymarket offers this chronicle of experiences to people who work in non-profit organizations – within human services, foundations, community organizing, advocacy, education, and those working with constituencies of any age and identity. Because Haymarket is a New England organization, this experience is grounded in the particularities of the organizational culture of this location. This includes the intersection with the manifestations of institutionalized racism, historical amnesia,and continuous denial. Haymarket is providing this account of the process and principles (see Appendix I) hoping that it proves applicable to other geographic and cultural locales.