Atlanta, Oct. 30, 2020— Global nonprofit Points of Light is partnering with Morehouse College, the nation’s only historically black college focused on educating men, to launch “Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism,” a new initiative designed to empower businesses, nonprofits and individuals to use their influence to fight against systemic racism.
In cooperation with leading experts, Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism will host a series of virtual and in-person community forums that will feature leaders in the racial equity movement, partnering organizations, grassroots organizers and everyday people who have experienced racism and are fighting against injustice. Each community conversation will provide strategies for taking action and resources for deeper learning so that participants can have the tools necessary to launch effective social issue campaigns in their communities.
The first conversation titled, “Moving Forward: Taking Action on Race and Equity,” will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. ET. This discussion will be moderated by Points of Light president and CEO Natalye Paquin with special guests, Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center; Michael Smith, executive director of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Frederick J. Riley, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project. This event will serve as the official kick off for the monthly forums.
“Points of Light values inclusivity, diversity and equality, and we stand with people who are taking action for a more just and equitable world. Systemic racism is a threat to democracy and impacts all of us,” said Natalye Paquin, president & CEO, Points of Light. “Inequities in systems are built and dismantled one decision at a time. Now more than ever, people from all walks of life are showing their readiness to create a more just society and dismantle systems that perpetuate racism, but often don’t know where to start. It is our belief that every action matters, that civic engagement takes many forms, and engagement is essential to advancing causes that improve society for everyone.”
Morehouse College is partnering with Points of Light in the initiative because it aligns with the institution’s mission to develop leaders who can change the world. As the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which have created disparities in income, employment, health, housing and educational opportunities for people of African descent.
“Morehouse College is deeply involved in the global fight for social justice,” said David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College. “Our students have led peaceful anti-racism marches on city streets across the nation, and our alumni are continuing to use their influence in their industries and within the U.S. Congress to fight against a system of laws and behavior that have kept Black and brown people marginalized, underpaid and unemployed.”
“The movement needs more allies as the nation faces two pandemics—COVID-19 and the persistence of systemic racism, both of which disproportionately threaten the lives and livelihoods of Black people. This initiative will help us build strength in diverse numbers so that the nation can eventually achieve Martin Luther King Jr.’s multicultural dream of a Beloved Community.”
The goal of the Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism initiative is to help provide a forum in which people can begin difficult conversations about racism in a framework that will allow them to gain understanding and learn how to take action that is accessible and impactful in their local communities. As an ally, Points of Light will support in solidarity people of color by providing resources approved by leading experts that can advance their networks, capacity and professional development.
Points of Light is a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. We envision a world in which every individual discovers the power to make a difference, creating healthy communities in vibrant, participatory societies. Through affiliates in 200 cities across 37 countries, and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 14 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it's needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
For more information about Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism and to learn about upcoming events, resources and ways to get engaged, please visit www.pointsoflight.org/listen-learn-act-to-end-racism/.
Points of Light values inclusivity, diversity and equality, and we stand with people who are taking action for a more just and equitable world. Systemic racism is a threat to democracy and impacts all of us.Natalye Paquin, president and CEO, Points of Light