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Voices’ Blog

Racial Truth & Reconciliation Virginia Coalition

Posted:  -  By: Chloe Edwards

The Racial Truth & Reconciliation VA coalition assembles advocates who are committed to racial advocacy and equity work across many sectors to implement the campaign goals. There are five committees to mobilize and advocate for change:

  • General Members: General coalition members are authentically committed to the RTR mission and goals. General coalition members must be willing to participate in ongoing professional development opportunities around cultural competency, implicit biases, racial equity, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Coalition members serve as implementers and mobilizers of the RTR initiatives throughout the year. Members constantly assess the mission, goals, strategies, and tactics of RTR through their work on committees or through coalition meeting attendance; in doing so, they serve as ambassadors and protecters in order to ensure the mission is moving in an authentic way.
  • Executive: The executive committee serves as the liaison between the external partners, the coalition, and its committees. The committee includes the chair, vice chair, secretary, the co-chairs of each committee. The committee is tasked with the responsibility to serve as a protector and ambassador of the mission and goals of the coalition to ensure all programming is authentic and just. The executive committee provides coaching, planning, and technical assistance, and support to the coalition members in order to implement the goals of committee and the broader coalition goals.
  • Education: The education committee connects coalition members to ongoing personal and professional development opportunities around cultural competency, implicit biases, trauma-informed care, equity, diversity and inclusion. The committee members engage with individuals with lived experience, organizations, and public officials to shed light on systemic and institutional best practices and challenges to achieving an equitable and just society.
  • Engagement: The engagement committee connects with rural, urban, and suburban communities and parents and youth serving organizations overtime to build authentic relationships with individuals that are impacted by the mission and goals of the coalition. The goal is to build trust with community stakeholders in an effort to ensure that advocates feel empowered and prepared to ignite the change they wish to see in their communities.
  • Partnership: The partnership committee engages with partners in solidarity committed to the coalition mission and goals. The committee encourages partners to integrate equitable policies of change within their organizations and networks. Committee members engage with organizations that serve diverse demographics in an effort to catalyze organizational and institutional change within their spear of influence.
  • Advocacy & Activism: The advocacy and activism committee leads awareness and community-building events to promote justice. The committee works to connect local-level trends to deconstruct systemic, social, and institutional barriers to achieving an equitable and just society for all. Members of the committee plan and execute advocacy trainings, resources, community assessments, workshops, and events to leave coalition members empowered and prepared to advocate and to support partner policy initiatives and Voices policy agenda.

Through the work of the coalition’s committees, Voices will play an active role in shaping a unified policy agenda that aligns with the organization’s policy goals as well as issue areas identified by the campaign. This level of advocacy includes Voices identifying opportunities to mobilize advocates to support Voices’ policy initiatives and the work of partner coalitions addressing issues ranging from food access to paid sick days.

General Coalition Members that qualify for membership include:

  • an advocate with lived experience of trauma and oppression.
  • an ally willing to work alongside marginalized communities to create an equitable and just society for all.
  • an advocate or activist for inclusion, i.e. LGBTQ+ advocate, Black Lives Matter activist, youth advocate, etc.
  • a professional working to combat systemic inequities or uplift marginalized communities.
  • an individual who contributes to a diversity of perspectives, i.e. parent, youth, professional, student, individual(s) from urban, rural, or suburban communities, individual that has been impacted by the system, i.e. foster care, healthcare, mental health, etc.
  • a community leader or elder working directly with communities impacted by the mission and goals of RTR in a variety of sectors, which can include: mental health and health, foster care, early childhood education and education, juvenile justice, higher education, data and research, housing, food justice, family economic security, and more.
  • GED, high school diploma, bachelors, or advanced degrees are not required to join the coalition.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN! Join our community for kids to receive coalition meeting invitations and RTR news.

Advocacy & Activism Committee members that qualify include:

  • an advocate and activist with lived experience of trauma and oppression
  • a professional working directly with individuals impacted by the systems within the system, i.e. human services, social services, etc.
  • a professional, advocate, or activist that works for or with an advocacy, policy, or political organization
  • a professional, advocate, or activist part of a coalition working to ignite change at the local, regional, state, and/or federal level
  • a youth, parent, or community member willing to engage in advocacy and activism opportunities throughout the year and to share their story to help support policy and advocacy initiatives
  • Experts in an array of fields with an associates, bachelors, advanced degree, personal or professional experience are encouraged to join.
  • GED, high school diploma, bachelors, or advanced degrees are not required to join the coalition.

Advocacy & Activism Committee

Education Committee members that qualify include:

  • Individuals from the following field are encouraged to join: human services, public administration, public policy, mental health, public health, healthcare, education, early childhood education, family economic security, economic development, child welfare, foster care, trauma-informed care and resilience, sociology, racial equity and equity, diversity and inclusion, community impact, community outreach and engagement, research and data, higher education, juvenile justice, criminal justice, social change, systems change, advocacy, activism, non-profit, public service, professional development, etc.
  • Experts in an array of fields with an associates, bachelors, advanced degree, or professional or personal experience are encouraged to join.
  • GED, high school diploma, bachelors, or advanced degrees are not required to join the coalition.

Education Committee

Engagement Committee members that qualify include:

  • Engagement committee members should have the skillset, experience, or expertise to authentically engage with organizations and communities on an ongoing basis.
  • Engagement committee members should have a speciality in relationship-building with different demographics, including: private and public sectors, children and youth, parents, urban, suburban, and rural communities, different educational backgrounds, and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Individuals from an array of fields that work directly with community stakeholders and communities are encouraged to join.
  • Individuals with an associates, bachelors, advanced degree, or professional and personal experience are encouraged to join.
  • Qualifications include individuals that come from the communities we hope to engage with.
  • GED, high school diploma, bachelors, or advanced degrees are not required to join the coalition.

Engagement Committee

Partnership Committee members that qualify include:

  • Partners are organizations and individuals connected to networks that support the RTR mission, goals, and initiatives.
  • Partners committed to integrating the mission and goals of RTR into their organizational or network practices.
  • Partners from private and public sectors are encouraged to sign-on in support of RTR and actively participate in the partnership committee to engage members of their organizations or networks in the work.
  • Partners sign-on and consent to being publicly featured or named as an RTR partner.
  • GED, high school diploma, bachelors, or advanced degrees are not required to join the coalition.

Partnership Committee

Executive Committee members that qualify include:

  • Executive committee members are considered to have one of the characteristics: lived experience of trauma and oppression, an expertise in diversity and inclusion, trauma-informed care, cultural competency, and racial equity and equity.
  • Executive committee members must vet all RTR programming and initiatives to ensure it authentically represents the mission and goals of RTR.

The positions that create the executive committee are: 

  • Coalition Chair: Chloe Edwards, Voices Advocacy & Engagement Manager
  • Coalition Vice Chair: Melissa McGinn, Greater Richmond SCAN Director of Community Programs & State Coordinator of Virginia Trauma-Informed Community Networks
  • Coalition Secretary: Courtney Reece, Voices MSW Intern
    • Assist with RTR event, coalition meeting scheduling, and diversity polls
    • Connect with committees to provide updates and reports to the coalition
    • Take notes and provide support at RTR coalition meetings
    • Help organize and orchestrate an agenda for RTR coalition meetings
    • Collaborate with the chair and vice chair on coalition strategies, goals, and planning
  • Advocacy & Activism Committee Co-Chairs: Chloe Edwards, Voices Advocacy & Engagement Manger & Allison Gilbreath, Voices Policy & Programs Director
    • Provide insight to the coalition on grassroots and legislative advocacy opportunities
    • Engage with policy partners to track initiatives, developments, and provide insight on political & policy opportunities
    • Connect with the engagement and partnership committees to gain insight on political and communal challenges to achieving the RTR mission and goals and community-level best practices to connect to political opportunities
    • Organize and orchestrate committee meetings and reports
    • Collaborate with the chair and vice chair on advocacy and activism strategies and themes
  • Education Committee Co-Chairs: Ralph Roane, Black Lives Matter 804 Ambassador & John Richardson-Lauve, ChildSavers Director of Mental Health & Lead Trauma & Resilience Educator
    • Develop a calendar of educational events to engage with the coalition in throughout the year
    • Identify professional development opportunities for coalition members around diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and racial equity and equity
    • Identify educational opportunities that are tied to advocacy and activism themes at the grassroots, i.e. increased interest around food justice, housing inequities, deconstructing racism within the child welfare sectors, etc.
    • Organize and orchestrate committee meetings and reports
    • Collaborate with the chair and vice chair on educational opportunities throughout the planning process
  • Engagement Co-Chairs: Ruth Frierson, Agents of Change Racial Equity Consultant & Sophia Booker, United Methodist Family Services Youth Development Coordinator
    • Collaborate closely with the partnership chair to engage private and public sectors in the RTR coalition mission and goals
    • Develop relationships with youth and family-serving organizations by supporting the work that they are doing and showing up to events
    • Formalize partnerships and technical assistance opportunities to organizations that serve individuals directly impacted by our mission around advocacy and social change
    • Organize and orchestrate committee meetings and reports
    • Collaborate with the chair and vice chair on perspective speaking engagements and formal partnership opportunities
  • Partnership Co-Chairs: Kyra Parker, Concerned Citizens Network of Alexandria Outreach Coordinator & Volunteer Coordinator & Bianca Myrick, CEO, Pretty Purposed & Board Member, 365
    • Collaborate closely with the engagement chair to connect partners in solidarity to opportunities to support and engage in the work of youth, families, children, and community members.
    • Create networking opportunities for partners in solidarity and ensure partners in solidarity have knowledge of professional development opportunities
    • Intentionally expand the diversity of perspectives within the RTR coalition and partnership committee to ensure both are inclusive
    • Organize and orchestrate committee meetings and reports
    • Collaborate with chair and vice chair on partnership expansion opportunities and speaking engagements

The founding RTR Trauma-Informed Community Network Leaders are also encouraged to serve on the committee.

Contact Chloe at va kids dot org with questions or for more information. 

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