We have moved our great blogs to our new website at www.voicesforracialjustice.org.
Read about us there. Donate there!
As our executive Director, Vina Kay said in her blog of October 2014:
We are Voices for Racial Justice. On October 28, 2014 OAP changed our name. For several years, the staff and board of OAP have thought about a name change. But these things are challenging. Although Organizing Apprenticeship Project no longer described all of the work that we do, and did not make clear our commitment to building racial justice, it has been around for 21 years. People know us as “OAP” and love what “OAP” means.
But the best organizations grow and evolve. We know that to build a shared network and movement for racial justice in Minnesota, we need to draw more people in. More equitable communities, where all people have the chance to learn, work, and live well, without running into barriers to those opportunities, are good for all of us. We also know that we must break down institutional and structural racism in order for those opportunities and equitable outcomes to be a reality.
The board and staff agreed that we wanted to more boldly claim our vision – racial justice. We also agreed that what we are building doesn’t live inside an organization, but stretches out to the communities of color, American Indian communities, and many allies who lead this work with us. All of our multiracial, multicultural voices are part of building racial justice. After many sessions of giant sticky notes, we arrived at our new name: Voices for Racial Justice.
We are celebrating this name change, as well as the journey that got us here. And, of course, we are looking forward to the movement-building that continues through organizing and training, advocacy with (not for) engaged communities, and the research and policy tools that tell our story.Which isn’t such a new name after all. For two years, we have used the name Voices for Racial Justice as the OAP blog site. This grew out of our Voices for Voting Rights campaign to defeat the voter ID amendment in 2012. We have grown comfortable in our Voices – so an already familiar identity will be easy to slip on.
Not much else has changed. We will still lead with the importance of organizer and leadership training. We will still practice the authentic community engagement that guides our strategic convenings and all our work. We still lead campaigns for change, whether in education equity, health equity, voting rights, or criminal justice. We will continue to work with communities to develop the policy tools that help organizers tell a powerful story and hold leaders accountable to building racial equity.