The Call to Eliminate Racism began in July, 2017, when 13 people gathered to view Racial Taboo, a video depicting peoples’ views on race and racism. It was sponsored by the Institute for the Oneness of Humanity. This was followed by a discussion about showing the video to a wider audience in the Rockford area. Another meeting was held and it was decided to show “Hidden Colors: The Rules of Racism”. Reverend Kenneth Board, Marilyn Board, Ann Rundall and Dick Rundall volunteered to became the Coordinating Committee of the Eliminate Racism initiative. The viewings were held at Pilgrim Baptist Church over five evenings. Each evening a light dinner was served, 30 minutes of the video was shown, participants broke into small, assigned groups and shared their feelings about they what they learned, and the small groups reported back to the entire group. Midway through the sessions people were interested in action.
Another session was held a few weeks after the viewing sessions to identify racial issues in the Rockford area. The participants broke into small groups and brainstormed issues of racism in Rockford. The small groups then reported (eliminating duplication) their 3-5 top picks to the large groups. These were placed into categories and written on poster sheets. Seven categories were created. Participants voted for the three categories that they thought were most important to resolve. Four categories had many more votes than the other three. These were Education, Criminal Justice, Relationships, and Economic Development. They became the four Eliminate Racism Action Teams.
At the next meeting participants divided into the Action Teams with which they want to work. They were instructed to:
Meet in their chosen Action Team
Introduce themselves and share why they chose this team
Sign a sheet with their name and contact information
Create a Steering Committee of 3 to 5 people, a Coordinator, a Scribe, and 1 to 3 others
Study the suggestions in their category from the voting process at the past meeting
Set another meeting time and place
At their second meeting they were to create a mission statement for their Action Team. They were then to create goals (a goal could also be to do the research to identify a goal). They were then to create strategies (tasks to achieve their goals). Some teams took more meetings to do all of this.