A local group of RJC supporters has generously pledged to match up to $5,000 of contributions made by December 1st so that the full Grassroots Outreach team can get started as soon as possible. Chip in today so your donation is doubled!
This is the moment to begin envisioning new solutions around public safety and reparations based on the wisdom and insight of the Black community.
Our campaign’s goal is to raise $25,000 to employ a new Grassroots Outreach Team and equip them with the funds necessary to implement an effective community engagement effort. Your contribution is a “vote” for change, a movement toward balance rather than inequity, and a commitment to right relationships among the members of our community.
As the City of Asheville begins to recognize and seek to repair the pervasive effects of centuries of racism, we must come up with an entirely new approach to public safety as well as craft and implement a reparations plan. These efforts are only just the beginning of the long overdue process for changing the inequitable systems that have harmed Asheville’s Black community for so long.
These inequities are not easy to rectify and we aren’t saying that we at the RJC know the solutions. The only way we’re going to reimagine our city as an anti-racist Asheville – with a new, explicitly anti-racist Department of Public Safety and a reparations plan that is targeted to meet the needs of the people who have been harmed – is to engage Black people in envisioning what that looks like.
The Grassroots Outreach Team will be made up of Black residents from various neighborhoods who are devoted to listening deeply and being accountable for taking next steps based on what is heard. This team will walk through neighborhoods, talk to family members, and show up where Black folks live, work, and play to gather valuable input and perspective. The outreach team will document this information and provide residents with fair compensation for their valuable time. Once we gather this essential input, RJC, Black Asheville Demands and Just Us will use it to form the policy proposals our City needs, policies that will address the problems experienced in these communities.
Contribute now so this Grassroots Outreach Team can get started.
More information about this campaign
Community engagement efforts up to this point by the City of Asheville have not adequately given voice to those most impacted. That’s why the RJC, Black Asheville Demands, and Just Us are launching the Walk the Walk Campaign, to raise funds for an expansion of the Racial Justice Coalition staff with a special focus on grassroots engagement.
The RJC is well poised to pick up the slack and demonstrate an intentional and strategic approach to community engagement. Join us to raise the money needed to employ this Grassroots Outreach Team for this critical civic work.
Why is this something that urgently needs to get done?
- The City hasn’t effectively engaged the Black community in reimagining policing. The City’s recent Reimagining Public Safety campaign convened six different “Listening Sessions” and connected with a total of 85 Black people out of a total Black population of roughly 17,000.
- The City also doesn’t have a strong track record for doing much of significance with information it does receive. If and when the City starts addressing reparations, we can expect more of the same. If this process is going to reflect the needs and dreams of Asheville’s Black community, we need to model how it’s done.
- We can’t expect visionary leadership from politicians and bureaucrats when it comes to reimagining public safety and achieving reparations for Black Asheville. They’re going to propose traditional answers. To truly reimagine a new Asheville, committed to anti-racism in word and deed, we need to dig deep into the grassroots.
Join us in being part of re-imagining an anti-racist Asheville by investing in the Walk the Walk Campaign.