According to Dallas Truth, Racial Healing And Transformation Communications Director Stephanie Drenka,
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ― Arundhati Roy
The mission of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing And Transformation is to create a radically inclusive city by addressing race and racism through narrative change, relationship building and equitable policies and practices. We envision a city where no North and South divisions exist in terms of race, wealth, arts, culture, health, safety, education and opportunity, and communities actively, honestly and openly acknowledge, repair and heal from its past and present racial inequities.
In the Fall of 2018, Dallas TRHT began hosting Community Visioning Sessions, inviting Dallas-area residents to share their history and imagine how our city would look and feel without racism. One of the questions we asked was, “What will it take to end racism in Dallas?” One participant answered, “People who have the will to do the right thing.”
Now, our country has reached its breaking point. The racial wealth gap is wider than it’s ever been. We are in the midst of a global pandemic disproportionately infecting and killing Black people. People across the globe are rising up to proclaim that racism and police violence are no longer acceptable. We are hurting.
In order to heal, we need actionable and immediate change. Diversity and inclusion efforts are not adequate. We need our governments, institutions, organizations, schools, churches, businesses, and communities to commit to racial equity and being anti-racist.
Dallas TRHT partners with community organizations and institutions working on issues of race, racism, racial equity, racial healing and racial justice, and that collaboration is realized through our Racial Equity NOW Cohort (RE NOW). RE NOW is designed to provide those organizations with training/information sharing, case study presentations, policy review and development, coaching and outcomes development. With additional funding, we hope to expand our RE NOW cohorts to support corporate, school district, non-profits, philanthropy and future racial equity leaders.
Dallas is on stolen land built by stolen people. It will never be an equitable city until we confront what happened to American Indian and Black people here and work to repair the breach caused by initial racist policies. To that end, Dallas TRHT seeks to create a center for the study of Race, Healing, and History. The space will serve as the central offices for our organization and provide the community with a history research center to collect, share and disseminate community archives and oral history. It will be a community convening space for racial healing practices, community meetings, and grassroots organization.
Although initially funded by the Kellogg Foundation, Dallas TRHT is committed to implementing a self-sustaining, community-first model. Funds raised through North Texas Giving Day and beyond will support our ongoing programmatic efforts and grow both the present and future capacity of the organization.
How would Dallas look and feel without racism? It’s strikingly difficult to imagine something that’s never existed before, but we believe this dream is possible. Because there are people here with the will to do the right thing.
* Graphic and photo provided by Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation ** Photo credit: Stephanie Drenka
In 11 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $290 million into the North Texas community. In 2019, more than $50 million was raised through more than 169,000 gifts benefiting over 2,988 area nonprofits.