The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America by Dr. Lawrence Brown
At the March 17, 2021 Full Circle meeting, the Education and REDI (Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committees were thrilled to introduce Dr. Lawrence Brown, a professor at Morgan State University, who discussed his recently released book, The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America. The book is an informative analysis of the history of racial segregation and urban apartheid in both Baltimore and the United States. Dr. Brown spoke about the history and policies that led Baltimore to become hyper-segregated. The REDI Committee recognizes that, while the Circle has addressed the consequences of structural racism in our grant-making and educational programs, it has not done a deep dive into the causes of this racism and the systems that created and maintain it. As individuals and as an organization, the Circle and its members need to understand the issue in order to address current problems effectively. The REDI Committee convened a consultant-led Communications Language workgroup that will use racial equity as a lens through which to examine the Circle’s existing Mission and Values statements and will consider the need for new Vision and REDI statements. The committee is actively considering additional opportunities for interested members to engage in listening, learning, and discussing this important topic in a safe space. Future plans call for a more intense examination of grant-making, data collection, membership models, leadership, communications, and marketing.