Community Change Inc. works to eliminate racism from its starting point


CCI Logo_CMYK OL “…our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.” Kerner Commission, 19681

The findings of the Kerner Commission Report on Civil Disorders and the Founding of Community Change Inc. (CCI) led to new understandings of white society’s role in the unequal distribution of wealth, success, and equality for black Americans. This report and its findings lead Horace Seldon to form CCI, which then, and now, defines what was once called the “Black Problem” in the U.S. as the “White Problem.”

Community Change Inc. works to not only shed a light on racial inequality in America but on the true factors that make this inequality possible and lasting. To that end, they work to address the systems themselves to begin to stop institutionalized racism “at its source.” Their site has a strong analogy for why they do this work.

What does working to end systemic racism look like?

Community Change Inc.’s focus begins with the idea that the starting point of systematic racism and privilege are invisible to those who benefit, white people. Their work begins by making racism visible. The goal is to involve people from all ethnicities and walks of life to have a better understanding of how systems negatively affect people of color while granting privilege to white people.Group work at CCI workshop-Strategies for Moving WhitePeople to Action May 2015

Their recent White Screen/White Noise: Racism on the Internet project is an example of their methods. The project is a tool for educators, especially those in the library profession, to show structural racism in online forums. The resulting study showed not only the proliferation of online hate speech, but began a discussion on what education and information professionals could, and should, do to begin to combat such attitudes.

The project began as a discussion among CCI staff, then moved on to a formal discussion held among student and professional groups to gather more insight, then public forums with larger panels and presentations further delved into the issues, before finally being released as a full study with digital content to be used as a resource nationwide.

This is the way Community Change Inc. approaches racism. They identify important topics that are being ignored, begin to gather information and critical input, then formulate tangible evidence of its existence so that supporters can have solid background information to organize around.

As the Q3 2015 Human Rights beneficiary, Community Change Inc. received a $10,055 grant from the Foundation Beyond Belief through the generosity of our regular giving members.