If someone asked me today what a mission and vision of an organization that centers and uplifts racial justice looks like, I would say:  Read the new vision and mission statements of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. Here’s what we say:

But more importantly, look at our work in revenue & budget, inclusive economy, early child & pre-k to 12 education, health equity, affordable housing and ending homelessness, and income & poverty. We’re walking the talk.

Our vision takes us beyond the text (words) to borrow an analogy from literary criticism. 

To continue the analogy, we’ve gone beyond exploring “the context” of what was driving racial, economic, educational, and social disparities. We know that at all “intersectionalities,” “race” amplifies adverse effects. 

To complete the analogy, we’re “centering” the “sub-text,” in this case, racism. We’re “naming what names us.” We’re “unveiling it” to address it directly. Why? It’s not enough to recognize racism and its effects, we must go a step further and repair the harm it’s created.

The sub-title of Heather McGhee’s book, “The Sum of Us,” is “What Racism Cost Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together.” She highlights the collective burdens of an unjust and racist society and the collective benefits of a just and liberating one.  

I’m a founding and current board member of DCFPI, and with our new vision and mission statements, we’ve moved beyond value statements and platitudes.

(Photo: Jerome Paige with Medea Benjamin co-founder of Code Pink. Benjamin is a former DCFPI Board Member)

Beyond debates on concepts like privilege, power, fragility, and whiteness. We’ve crafted language that reflects how we view ourselves and want those outside our organization to perceive us.

With our new vision and mission, we’re validating our past work and setting the foundation for its future.

We were “all in.”

DCFPI is joining like-minded organizations, allies, and individuals in leading the way to a more just and equitable society in the District of Columbia and across the nation.

With your financial and other support, we can make this happen.

Here’s to “shared abundance and collective liberation.” Let’s bring them into being.