Springfield Group Works to Dismantle Racism

A new group in Springfield is working to dismantle racism that creeps up in business and government. Rachel Otwell has more.

Kenley Wade is the co-chair of The Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism. He says the group is honing in on institutional racism, which he describes as racism that can filter through entire organizations. In other words its racism that comes about not as a result of intent but through habit.

“It can be a school, it can be a medical facility et cetera, but again, looking at the organizations behavior and practices versus individual.”

An anti-racist non-profit called Crossroads has been meeting with community leaders in Springfield. They provide training and workshops addressing institutional racism. The group’s executive co-director is Robette Ann Dias. . She says that there are those who see Springfield as racially segregated and there is a distinct need to address racism in the city.

“What the coalition is looking for and the way the Crossroad’s model works is to get long term involvement, long term commitment with specific institutions that have as part of their mission some kind of an anti-racism or inclusivity initiative.”

The Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism will meet with alumni of the Crossroads’s training next month to talk about how Springfield can best be served by future trainings and workshops. Wade says they hope to reach out to more organizations in the future.

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