About the Vision 2020 Project
We struggled with our language in drafting this call. We recognize that these terms, “black”, “brown” and “hero”, are problematic and far from perfect. The language of race- how people name themselves and been named by others- has a long and complicated history. Racial labels are rooted themselves in racist beliefs, white privilege, colorism and other systems of oppression. They have been used to limit and demean people and call their humanity into question. But these labels have also been consistently reclaimed and redefined. They are a core part of resistance, self-determination and pride.
We also recognize that the word hero is troublesome. In most traditional definitions, it refers to men. We could find no other words that are gender neutral and we didn’t want to use hero and heroine, which would only reinforce the idea that gender is binary.
These name and labels are far from resolved. They continue to evolve and be loaded with emotion. We recognize that each one could spark months of conversations, and hundreds of pages of debate. We ask you to take them in the spirit that we offer them- in a sincere desire and commitment to recognize the contributions of people who are far too often left out of the stories we tell about history.