Angela Franklin | President & CEO, Des Moines University

It is important for us all to acknowledge the fact that racism is alive and well in our midst, whether subtle or overt. To assume it isn’t there is the main problem – sitting on the sidelines, with rosy colored glasses that it exists somewhere else (Not me! Not here!) is also the problem.

 So the first thing is to call it out, label it for what it is. For it is the awareness of it that can lead to its eradication. You can’t solve a problem that has not yet been defined.

 It is also no longer OK to just claim that you are not racist. Being ANTI-racist means we make a choice to be deliberate in acting against it, labeling it for what it is and challenging the positions others may have that are steeped in the history of devaluing and diminishing someone’s mere existence.

 It should be an institutional imperative to speak this way and facilitate the tough conversations to begin the process of validating and healing.