Big Sister Boston will not stand for the perpetuation of systemic and institutional racism. We are firmly anti-racist. We are allies and co-conspirators. We believe that Black lives matter. We believe that training and education are part of the solution, but they are not the whole picture. We don’t want to simply stand with communities of color, but stand in them and be the change we not only wish to seek, but need to seek.
Big Sister Boston is part of a network of non-profits in our City working to improve the lives of children, the majority of whom are children of color. Collectively, we work every day to dismantle systemic racism by removing barriers for these children.
With every relationship that we make and support we move the needle further along for our Little Sisters. Time and again, we hear what girls need most is someone who will listen and by listening, validate girls’ feelings and experiences. Yet, it isn’t nearly enough. We must do more to eradicate the entrenched racism which keeps our Little Sisters from reaching their full potential, and, ultimately leads to the murder we witnessed last week. What can we do? We can begin by taking a look at ourselves.
Big Sister is a white-led organization with a predominately white Board of Directors. Yes, our leaders are compassionate, talented and committed to racial justice. Yet, we have to ask ourselves: what messages are we unintentionally sending to our Little Sisters? Why aren’t more women of color sitting at the conference room table deciding our organization’s policies, practices, and programs?
If we want our Little Sisters to reach their full potential, then they need to see that one of the pathways to power is through our organization. They need to believe that they can have a seat on our Board of Directors, or hold a Big Sister staff leadership position. They need to see themselves reflected in the leadership of our City: in corporate spaces, non-profits, academia, and civic positions.
As the leaders of Big Sister Boston, we are committed to redoubling our efforts to ensure that we reflect the diversity of our community. We are committed to making the hard choices and changes that are necessary so that we consistently live our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We hope that you too will look at your own choices, your own company, your network, and join us in being invested in creating a community that is racially just—for the girls, for the boys, and for the future.