Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 14: Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training

In my search for an organization that works towards putting an end to racism, I came across Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training (CAOT). CAOT does not only focus on issues in and around their location, they also pay attention to racism around the nation. They work to organize equality in the working world, in neighborhoods, in schools, and in public places.
Based in Matteson, Illinois this organization fights not only for racism that is based on the color of ones skin but also based on sexism, homophobia, classism, and militarism. CAOT's mission is to "implement long-range strategic planning to dismantle racism" ( by training institutions how to go about handling potential racist situations.  By not only focusing on issues of racism in the black community the CAOT has ventured out into the "real world" by addressing an understanding of all races and ethnicities. With the idea of breaking down the walls that racism puts up CAOT pushes and yearns for equality for all persons no matter the color of their skin, where they are from, what gender they are, or who they love.

CAOT was co-founded in 1986 by Rev. Joseph Barndt and Rev. Susan Birkelo. Rev. Barndt worked on creating a direction in truly breaking down the idea of racism from the core and working out. Not only a religious man and minister, Rev. Barndt is also an author of many pieces focusing on what racism is and how an organization and an individual can eradicate all types of racism starting at the root.

As many other organizations strive to work alone in the mission to put a permanent end to equality CAOT does not press the solo working mentality. CAOT works hand in hand with it's regional organizing partner CROAR, also known as the Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism. By holding seminars, training sessions, and performances these organizations work hand in had, NOT alone, in the fight for equality and the end of racism. Martin Luther King Jr. did not become such an icon for the Civil Rights Movement by his self. No, it was his wife, fellow pastors, supporters, sympathizers, and the cause that kept the movement going and strong. They were all fighting for a cause, marching hand in hand until the violence and the hatred what stopped. But the fight is not over, racism still clouds out streets every day, it invades our work space, it clusters our jails, and breaks down our faith and hope.

Jade S. a.k.a. "Out Spoken"

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