The founder of 4DaHood talks about the importance of creating spaces for racial healing during this conversation focused on empowering authentic leadership. Frank Velasquez, Jr.’s organization is dedicated to supporting nonprofits and individuals in addressing racial equity issues, and he shares insights into his journey, motivations, and the evolution of his work.
One of his key quotes during the discussion is, “Creating a space where people of color can heal.” Frank underscores the significance of providing safe and supportive environments where people of color can come together to heal from the wounds of racial discrimination, microaggressions, and systemic inequities. These spaces offer individuals a sense of belonging and understanding among peers who share similar experiences.
Frank also describes the concept of “learning separately to lead collectively,” emphasizing the need for separate spaces where both people of color and white allies can engage in learning and dialogue about racial issues from their unique perspectives. He points out that these separate spaces allow individuals to work through their own biases and challenges before coming together to collectively address racial equity. This approach recognizes the value of both groups working in tandem to bring about change in policies and systems.
Additionally, Frank highlights his efforts to create spaces for white allies to confront feelings of guilt and shame related to racial issues, acknowledging the significance of both people of color and white allies in the journey toward addressing systemic racism, emphasizing the importance of difficult conversations and the gradual process of chipping away at biases and misunderstandings.
As he looks ahead to 2024, Frank Velazquez Jr. predicts a growing empowerment of individuals to authentically address racial issues and discussed the positive impact of his organization’s programs, citing instances where individuals advocated for themselves and overcame challenges related to race. Watch and learn more about Frank’s work around providing safe spaces, fostering understanding, and empowering individuals to address racial equity both separately and collectively in pursuit of positive change.