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    Sally Hicks, ACP Board Member 2018

    “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.” Rabbi Tarfon, Pirke Avot 2:21

    Sally Hicks, ACP Board Member 2018
    Sally Hicks

    Several years ago I took part in a racial equity training program and like many progressive white people was consumed with guilt and anxiety. What could I do to contribute to racial equity – and to what the Jewish tradition calls tikkun olam (repairing the world)?

    I was struck by one of the lessons of the training – that white people often serve as gatekeepers. And I realized that indeed I was a gatekeeper – as an editor, I made decisions every day about whose voice got heard, whose image was shown, who got paid for editorial work.

    I began to examine my role as a gatekeeper, and to make efforts to open that gate wider and to intentionally recruit BIPOC to come through it. Being aware of the power that I wield has helped me be a better editor, and improved my publication as well.

    I would not claim to have a perfect record, and I know that have failed on many occasions to live up to my goal. And of course it is just a beginning.

    So I share this not because I believe that I have finished the work, but because I believe it is something that I and my fellow white editors, writers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, publishers – content providers of various kinds — can do right now to begin it.

    Sally Hicks, board member
    Associated Church Press