We realize there is work to be done, and the time is now. Tomorrow is too late. There are significant actions that must be taken right here, right now, today.
And we recognize this is both a sprint and a marathon. We need be in it tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Deep, systemic change doesn’t happen overnight. We need to think long-term, sustain momentum, and fight for the kind of large-scale structural transformation required to create a truly equitable planet.
We acknowledge that institutional and systemic racism are intricately woven into every aspect of our lives. And have been for centuries. We see it playing out everywhere; in housing, healthcare, education, and income and wealth disparities. It is alive and well in the over-policing of Black communities, racial profiling and the hyper-criminalization of Black people, the pipeline to prison, and mass incarceration. It is part of the very air we breathe.
We acknowledge that silence is complicity, and that not to speak out is to tacitly condone the status quo.
We have identified 10+ action items we commit to start, or continue doing, and we invite you to join us in our efforts.
Read, watch, listen and learn.
Donate to a local or national, Black-led activist organization.
Donate copies of anti-racist and social justice books to community centers, after-school programs, places of worship, shelters, prisons, and other organizations that have a need (using Black-owned independent bookstores as a resource).
Sign petitions in direct support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and in support of politicians who speak out about equity and social justice.
Speak out at school, work, or your place of worship in support of making anti-racism and social justice an integral part of what you do and how you do it.
If you are in the business of supporting the health, wellness, growth, and development of other humans, consider offering pro-bono services for individuals and organizations actively engaged in Anti-Racism and Social Justice work.
Find a group. Start a group. Don’t shy away from the difficult conversations.
Help facilitate change at both the national and local levels. Put your time, energy, and money behind candidates who actively promote and anti-racist agenda.
Be there when support is needed or requested. Step back when it is not.
Seek out opportunities to speak up and speak out while being thoughtful about where you hold privilege and how you use it. Avoid staying silent (even when it gets uncomfortable), to protect your own self-interest. Strive to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Seek sustainability. We won’t undo centuries of racism and oppression with a single stroke of the pen, or a few short hours of unconscious bias training. Practice resilience. This is the work of a lifetime.
Life is precious. Hug someone. Laugh at a silly joke. Dance with abandon. Surround yourself with beauty every chance you get. Don’t lose sight of the light—even when it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness.
Ask yourself, how you will engage at this critical moment in history? What will you commit to today? Tomorrow? What will you do to maintain and sustain?
Do it for the sake of your friends, and family, and your community. Do it for the sake of your children, and your children’s children, and the generations yet to come that will inherit a world grounded in peace, justice, and the right of every human to live a full, rich, and self-actualized life.
Tamara Chambers has dedicated herself to uplifting and supporting marginalized populations through the design and development of educational programming and social support resources that are responsive to the needs of all community stakeholders.
She believes strongly in cultivating agency and giving voice to those impacted by racism and oppression, while making it part of her mission to develop leaders that will continue to advocate for themselves and their community at large.
Tamara also recognizes the importance of education as a critical component of creating meaningful shifts in the larger set of systems, structures, and social norms that work to perpetuate inequities she hopes to someday eradicate.
New to the ThirdWay Leadership team, Tamara previously contributed her passion and talents to the design and delivery of youth programming for almost a decade.
As a youth educator with YWCA WNY, Tamara designed and directed programs that taught critical life skills to children of all ages. Integral to these programs was the creation of an open and empowering environment where traditionally underrepresented youth were welcomed and encouraged to take a leadership role in their education. Throughout her tenure at the YWCA, she worked tirelessly to close the education gap by providing equitable tools and resources to her students.
Tamara was also part of a team that contributed to the conception and implementation of organizational policies and procedures designed to promote anti-racism initiatives and create continued learning opportunities for YWCA staff.
Utilizing her charisma and empathy, Tamara has been highly influential in building partnerships that bring community members together in a way that promotes inclusive development. She has continued to hone her natural talent for engaging openly and authentically with a range of individuals, from policy makers to those whose voices are rarely heard, and has found success as a leader, partner, and collaborator wherever she has been called to serve.
Tamara is currently a student at the University at Buffalo in the Urban and Public Policy program. Additionally, she is also studying for the Certified Diversity Professional Exam through the Institute for Diversity Certification.
In her free time, Tamara enjoys hiking, road trips, and anything involving cozy blankets.