The Path I’ve Traveled: The need for belonging

I’ve struggled with identity and place my whole life. I never feel totally at home anywhere, so I’m always searching to belong. As I’ve worked to develop the core tenets of Encompass, I’ve realized that, like me, most advocates of color also need a sense of belonging to thrive in this movement.

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I Needed Encompass Nine Years Ago – And Still Need It Today

As one of a few women of color working in the big groups, and one of even fewer women of color working in the high-pressure, white-male-dominated corporate outreach space, I have struggled. In my daily dealings with companies, colleagues, and members of the broader animal rights community, I have had to cope repeatedly with microaggressions and, at times, outright racism. Just as animals should be respected, their advocates should be too.

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We All Belong In This Movement

We all want to feel like we belong, like we’re welcome, like we’re understood, and like we matter just as much as the next person. If people feel alienated, misrepresented, or unrepresented, we’re not going to see the change our movement is tirelessly striving for -- and, unfortunately, these feelings are often the reality for many people of color who come to our movement.

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Social Progress Is Not Inevitable: Now is the time to make it

Progress requires the tireless effort of people who are committed to making our world a more inclusive, equitable, and justice-minded place. Patiently waiting for the animal movement to diversify itself would be a mistake because as MLK noted, social progress is not inevitable. If we hope to see consistent progress in the animal protection movement then we must act on our internal impulse and seek to change the racial and gender demographics of our movement and our leadership.

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Trust Women–And Trust People of Color, Too

I can’t help but follow every bit of the national dialogue unfolding around Harvey Weinstein and other abusers. But one thing I keep noticing is that these stories are coming largely from white women. Why is it so much easier for our society to believe white women who say that patriarchy exists than it is to believe people of color who say racism exists?

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Why People of Color and White Folks Think About Race Differently

In general, white people come to conversations about race as good individuals. People of color come from a place of collective racial identity. It is this positioning that allows us to walk past each other. This post examines six ways to look at and deepen our understanding of race, and how to help us figure out the shape of oppression.

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