DOI: 10.35844/001c.90598 ISSN: 2688-0261

Advancing Strategies to Address Racism and White Dominant Culture in U.S. Anti-Gender-Based Violence Non-Profit Organizations

Lucane LaFortune, Jane Palmer, Vanessa Negron, Stephanie Abreu
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science

In this article, we detail a participatory action research project conducted by and for advocates of color working in anti-violence organizations in a state in the eastern part of the United States. When mainstream, white-led, anti-gender-based violence (anti-GBV) organizations were founded in the 1970s, they lacked intersectional and critical perspectives, a legacy that persists today. The toxic culture within white dominant culture (WDC)-oriented non-profits results in high burnout and turnover for employees of color and affects employees’ ability to serve the community. Without addressing WDC in these organizations, we harm ourselves and our ability to make the social change our organizations were created to affect. Our project aims to challenge these practices by engaging with advocates of color in listening sessions to discuss their experiences of racism, workplace challenges, and visions for creating truly feminist, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist organizations. Employing participatory action research, critical race feminist theory and an intersectional framework, we ensure that the people directly affected by implicit and explicit racism in the anti-GBV sector are the people who develop the solutions that will disrupt the manifestations of WDC in anti-GBV organizations and other social-change-oriented organizations within the non-profit sector.

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