It is my responsibility as the director of this organization and as a white person to do all I can to stand with the People of Color who are central to this work and to compensate them as equitably as possible. Without them, our work is bogus and perpetuates exactly what we are trying to undo — racism and white supremacy. My co-workers deserve better than what we can currently offer them.
For #GivingTuesday this year we fundraised to better compensate People of Color we work with. We were able to raise $3,000 from 34 donors – many of whom were first time contributors to PJC.
One of our members was inspired by our #GivingTuesday campaign and offered a matching donation up to $1,000 to double any amount people give toward this cause this month.
We have lost staff members, board members, and facilitators because doing this work is toxic and we don’t offer (or pay enough for) the level of self-care and healing that it requires. If we are to be a truly anti-racist organization, we need to be doing the internal work more rigorously than we do the external work. If we do not increase pay and add benefits, it is unlikely that those who are most impacted by oppression will work at PJC long term.
I don’t think it’s possible to fully compensate BIPOC for dealing with racism, but we could do a LOT better than we do. We must increase their compensation.
We are currently fundraising to do the following thing:
- Offer wellness packages for our staff members of color including Zumba, yoga, sauna, bodywork, and fitness classes
- Increase pay for all the POC we work with
- Contract external POC leaders
- Expand of our Racial Justice Advisory Committee to pay for mileage, childcare, and wage compensation for POC who otherwise could not join us
There are many things we can do to address racism. Here are just a few:
- Amplify the work and follow the lead of POC
- Pay POC for their work (many community members have PayPal accounts)
- Work toward anti-racism policies
- Educate yourself – but not by asking POC for information. Please use the internet! Here’s a list of media made by POC.
- Talk to your racist family members. If you’re scared to, do it anyway. It’s not as scary as driving while black or brown. There are many opportunities to practice these conversations.
- Get in touch with how racism is also toxic to white people so we can get clear that this is about collective liberation – not charity.
I hope you will contribute to the PJC’s POC compensation packages.