Rev. Dr. B. Jo Ann Mundy fights against the systemic aspects of racism.
Rev. Dr. B. Jo Ann Mundy is executive co-director of Eliminating Racism and Claiming/Celebrating Equality (ERAC/Ce) in Kalamazoo, MI, and a core organizer and trainer at Crossroads Antiracism. At ERAC/Ce we believe racism is structured into our institutions and all other aspects of life. We work in broad-scope anti-racism. We work in any place we can find institutional, structural, systemic racism. Anti-oppression heterosexism, anti-bias education, multiracial multicultural food justice, in every way we can elucidate and illuminate racism in order to organize to eliminate structural racism and oppression.
Some of the most current work I am personally engaging in, is the relationship between food justice and climate change, and human resources management. On a broader scope, my colleagues at Crossroads Antiracism and ERAC/Ce, are addressing alternative business models in order to more effectively support the greater antiracism and social justice movements, and how we might more explicitly make continuing education on antiracism more directly effective with family court and child welfare judges.
Inspirations and Influences
Mostly the young people in my life inspire me; those as young as 3 and old as 21. . .these young people are struggling in ways I don’t remember having to at their age. I am also inspired by the elders who have mentored and trusted me in our collective work. I want my life to make a difference in outcomes for future generations of children. Although I have no biological children, I have dozens of children with whom I am deeply and intimately involved. Many years ago I discovered a very real and deep maternal instinct; the “mother bear” or “tigress” instinct. At that moment, I realized I would not only give up my life and die for these children, but I would also be willing to kill another human being in order to protect these children.
As I got older, I realized this was contrary to my core values. What really mattered to me was my response to the question, “in what ways was my life making a difference in the future of these children?” After my siblings had children, my life needed to matter. Here were lives directly, generationally connected to me, and nurtured in the Mundy Family Values of loving justice and living in service of others.
I want my life to make a difference in the lives of those who will follow along the path that I have helped to clear. I am responsible. And I have a responsibility to live in a way, which honors and is accountable to the social justice workers who have come before me. My parents, grandparents, and the movement builders who are trusting me with their journeys, hopes, and histories. . .the people counting on me to hold and carry my portion of the struggle. I will do my very best in order to not disappoint them. I am accountable.
“It’s not about blame, it’s about structure” -Robette Dias
Question asked of Beverly Daniel Tatum during a Q & A event during the Summit on Racism in Kalamazoo “Don’t you think you’re preaching to the Choir?” Tatum reply “The choir needs rehearsing!”
I worked as Worship Pastor for many years leading and directing choirs and worship bands of 12 to 70. The most committed, sincere, and trained (and untrained) church musicians ALWAYS need rehearsing. No performance is ever perfect. Most will be good enough, but never without rehearsal. Our antiracism organizing “choirs” need rehearsing . . . we must practice. Our work is the practice of antiracism.
Field of Work: Antiracism
- Eliminating Racism and Claiming/Celebrating Equality – www.eracce.org
- Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training – www.crossroadsantiracism.org
- The Institute for Dismantling Racism Winston-Salem – www.idrnc.org