RACIAL JUSTICE RISING
MASS SLAVERY APOLOGY
Accountability Policy Summary
This statement is written by white members of Racial Justice Rising as we develop structures for accountability in our work to end racism. It is not a static document and will be updated, probably repeatedly, with feedback and guidance from our accountability partners.
What Is Accountability? Our Definition
White members of Racial Justice Rising are committed to undoing both our own racism and the racism in our society. We do this work alongside of and with guidance from individuals and communities who are targets of racism because 1) those who have been targets of racism are experts on how it works and, by the right of self-determination, are most suited for devising strategies to end it, and 2) we recognize that racism is embedded in white culture and that we are steeped in and seduced by white privilege and can easily lose our bearings.
We do NOT expect that our accountability partners will provide all of our answers or tell us what to do or how to think. We are committed to doing this hard work. We look to our accountability partners to hold us accountable to the group’s dreams, visions, actions, and commitments. We recognize that different people will have different perspectives, and at times we will get contradictory advice.
In addition to seeing ourselves as accountable to those who have been targeted by racism, we also see this group as accountable to the individuals we reach through our programming and communications, to each other, and to the racial justice movement.
Building a Structure for Accountability: Working With Our Accountability Partners
The relationships between core group members and our accountability partners are based on mutual respect, trust, and collective vision.
We seek accountability partners who:
● Support RJR’s mission.
● Are engaged in movements for racial justice and movement building within their communities.
● Approach this work from an organizing perspective.
● Represent the diversity of communities that are present in our area.
● Are diverse in terms of race, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, location within our region, local/regional/national focus, social change methods, etc.
Each accountability partner chooses how they will participate. Three ways that our accountability partners might engage with us are listed here. We are open to other forms of involvement as well.
● Individual Accountability Relationships: Some accountability partners might want to provide feedback to an individual core group member. Each core group member has one or more personal accountability contacts. Core group members check in with these contacts about their work every six months, or more frequently as needed.
● Accountability Circle Gatherings: Some accountability partners may want to provide guidance and feedback to RJR via gatherings that include other accountability partners and all core group members.
● Committee Participation: Some accountability partners may want to participate on one of our working committees.
Building A Structure For Accountability: Supporting Organizations, Campaigns and Movements
RJR aims to build and support partnerships with other racial justice organizations through shared campaign work. We collaborate with or have begun building relationships with BLM413, the Nolumbeka Project, Coming Together, Undoing Racism Organizing Collective, Western Mass. SURJ, Visioning B.E.A.R Intertribal Coalition, and the Amherst NAACP, and hope to build alliances with other groups, local, regional, and national.
(adapted from SURJ accountability policy, http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/accountability )