The image features a Venn diagram with five circles, each detailing a concept related to social equity and justice, such as understanding structural racism, repairing harm, promoting equity, building community power, and embedding accountability. Icons like hands shaking, a broken chain, gear, and roots illustrate these ideas. The diagram underscores the interconnectedness of these themes in fostering community equity and justice, presented in soft blue shades against a light backdrop.

Welcome to Module 1: Putting Principles to Practice: Achieving Safety by Advancing Racial Justice.

This Module provides foundational content for integrating racial justice principles into violence prevention efforts. The module describes five mutually reinforcing racial justice principles and examples of community action. It also offers descriptions of how to put racial justice principles into practice.

Why racial justice principles?

Imagine a future when we have eliminated hierarchies based on race. Institutions and systems are fair, power is shared equitably, and we have recognized, honored, and repaired the harms of generations of race-based violence and injustice in the United States. Everyone has access to the conditions that support their health and well-being across the life course, resulting in safety in our homes and communities. We can make such a future possible. It requires deliberate and sustained efforts to advance racial justice and transform the ways in which people have structured racism into our systems over generations.

The direct, cumulative, and generational impacts of structural racism are a primary driver of multiple forms of violence and the significant and pervasive inequities in rates of violence across racial groups. On the other hand, racial justice and other forms of social justice promote safety. Racial justice efforts build on the inherent strengths and assets and generational legacies of resistance and resilience within communities of color and all communities to build healthy, safe, equitable, interdependent, multicultural communities.

Addressing structural racism and advancing racial justice requires that we tell the truth about structural racism and systematically dismantle its many manifestations. It requires that we invest in the deep, painful, and necessary processes of individual and collective healing to ameliorate the harms of racism. And it demands that we accelerate and sustain structures, policies, practices, and programs that generate racial justice, in a manner that acknowledges harms of the past and ensures that the future is more racially just and safe. The opportunities for transformative growth are enormous, through putting racial justice principles into practice, and a commitment to continuous learning and improvement. The work requires commitment, patience, grace, and humility. By engaging in this work, individuals, organizations, and collaborative groups can become even more powerful agents of change to achieve racial justice as a necessary pathway to safety.