GRID is committed to continuing the conversation on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Several GRID employees had the opportunity to bolster our commitment to those values and explored racial justice issues through a life-changing trip to Montgomery, AL. GRID staff members from all 11 offices, 22 to be exact, visited the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) “Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration” and “The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.” The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
This trip allowed GRID staff members from different backgrounds to have transparent conversations on how these major issues affect how we do our work at GRID and how we can make changes in society. North Valley staff member Alisha, shared her experience and takeaways from the trip, “What is pretty set in my mind is that injustice is still happening all across the U.S. Even though we have taken some small leaps in our society, mass incarceration is the modern-day slavery and that’s still going on today.”
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice recognized victims of lynching. EJI documented more than 4400 lynchings of black people in the United States between 1877 and 1950, identifying 800 more lynchings than had previously been recognized. “It was heartbreaking seeing the names of women, children, and men that were lynched. I even saw my last name on the memorial and was immediately filled with sorrow. I learned about a lynching in Alabama 3 weeks prior, as well as in North Carolina 8 weeks prior.” stated Alisha. With all of the knowledge provided from this trip, staff members throughout the GRID offices are vowing to educate other staff members and our various communities to continue the conversation on social injustice and being a voice for communities that we serve through GRID’s commitment to equity. To learn more about EJI please visit EJI.org and watch "True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality," premiering on HBO Wednesday, June 26, 2019.