Meet Our Racial Equity Managers!
June 14, 2022 by BFC in Racial Justice
CAM (they/them) is a neuroexpansive, non-binary Black radical community organizer currently based in DC. CAM is excited to join the Bread for the City staff to support the advancement of Bread’s mission and the current work of the Racial Equity Leadership Team. In their free time, CAM enjoys building community with their neighbors through community care and attempting to win baking competitions with friends.
Why do you feel it’s important for Bread for the City to hire multiple racial equity managers right now?
I view racial equity as an integral part of all our work at Bread for the City to advance our mission and commitments to the communities we serve. Bread for the City has been committed to racial equity since 2011 and has already grown in our lens and vision for a just future. As we advance our new strategic plan, a part of the racial equity work has been to hire racial equity managers to help strengthen, sharpen, and guide the implementation of this area of work. As racial equity managers, Alex, Leah, and I all embody an expansive list of skills of rigor, strategic thinking, and community relationships that will be great additions to the racial equity efforts already happening at bread for the city. With three managers, our ability to enact grounded shifts in BFC culture, enhance social services, advocate and be in intentional relationships with all the communities we serve becomes much more attainable. With a racial equity leadership investment from staff members, clients, and community members, our ability to create an equitable, inclusive, and generative center is much more possible.
Alex (she/he/they) is a Macro/Clinical Social Worker specializing in Community Action and Social Policy. Throughout their career, Alex has supported many communities, including the Department of Social Services, CASA EMPOWER, Office of Public Defender Juvenile, Public Allies, YMCA Youth and Family Services, therapeutic foster care, and international Social Work. Alex is trained and certified in motivational interviewing, crisis management and intervention, trauma-informed care, diversity and inclusion, High Fidelity Wraparound Services, Critical Race Theory, and Human Trafficking. Their favorite pastime is traveling and learning while abroad!
How do you envision racial equity changing across DC over the next few years?
I envision Bread for the City being a leader in the anti-racism space in DC, working to build community amongst organizers, nonprofits, and the private sector, including organizations in the human services, law, health, and education sectors. I believe that Bread for the City can lead by example whilst updating and creating best practices for transforming an organization from member-based to member-led.
My hope is that racial equality will not be seen as an after thought or reactive measure taken when folx have to speak out. Racial equity will be seen not only as a concept that involves people of color but as something that intersects all other ism’s.
Leah (she/her) is a white woman from the suburbs of Chicago. She is passionate about building a world where race no longer determines our opportunities to thrive and we are all liberated from the overlapping systems of oppression. In her professional life, Leah worked in volunteer management, trying to bring volunteers in as partners in social justice rather than saviors or spectators. She also served at a Restorative Justice community center in Chicago, building alternatives to the criminal legal system and supporting young people. In her personal life, Leah is involved in educating and activating white folks in racial justice work and moving white wealth to people of color-led groups and organizations. She has a big modern family (4 parents, 7 siblings), is obsessed with reading fiction, and loves to eat good food, especially dessert. She is already enjoying the amazing community at Bread and is looking forward to growing Bread’s racial equity work alongside staff.
What opportunities do you foresee for BFC in the racial equity space over the next year?
As a Racial Equity Manager, I see our role as understanding the work that Bread is already doing, teasing out staff’s energy and ideas, and helping everyone grow their capacity to lead parts of racial equity work. That said, the Racial Equity Managers have lots of ideas and issues we’d like to tackle: pay equity and transparency, staff overwork, community care, restorative and transformative justice systems for staff and clients, creating a more gender-inclusive culture, centering client power and voice in all our systems, and many more. This is more than we can accomplish in one year but I can’t wait to see what happens when we harness the energy and agency of the whole Bread for the City community to make us a more racially just and equitable space.