I have not sent out a dedicated email trumpeting Prospect Park’s commitment to racial equity, because, well, so many of the ones I’ve received have struck me as rather shallow marketing ploys. Yet neither is it right to not address what is gripping our country. So I’ll say:
1. Black lives matter; 2. No one needs a white woman like me to opine any further on the subject; and 3. Therefore, I’ll share some of the ways I am responding with action in my personal effort to become anti-racist:
• Doing Rachel Cargle’s 30-day Do the Work program with my daughter and a group of mother-daughter friends (after doing a similar workshop last year with the PubWest board of directors, based on the excellent book Overcoming Bias)
• Attending protests led by African-American groups in my community
Reading from and listening as deeply as possible to a variety of voices on such topics as white fragility, the roots of racism, ways to be an effective ally, and ways to de-fund, re-structure, and/or re-form police/sheriff departments
• Continuing to regularly donate to National Bail Out, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, We Need Diverse Books, Public Citizen, Homeboy, and other organizations addressing issues of racism, equality, opportunity, and reform in ways that I find meaningful
• Continuing efforts to increase the diversity in the books I publish, the books I read, the industry I’m in, and the boards on which I serve
Wishing you all health, focused action, and peace in this challenging time.
Colleen Dunn Bates, publisher

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