Passing the ‘Movement Notes’ Baton

By Rinku Sen Jun 05, 2014

I’ve been honored to have this space to share racial and social justice movement trends, successes and lessons with Colorlines readers. I’m excited to introduce Terry Keleher, who will take over this column from here. Terry is a longtime leader at Race Forward, a former community organizer, a big thinker and a highly effective voice for racial justice. We’ve just celebrated 20 years of his service to Race Forward, where he’s led our work with community organizations and government agencies doing some of the most innovative work across the country.

Terry came to us after 12 years as a community organizer, primarily working for Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, an organization known for building a multiracial constituency capable of changing local and state policy. In the 1990s and 00s, he headed up our education equity program, bringing a racial justice lens to many issues. After some 10 years as the director of our Leadership Action Network, he has moved into a new role as Thought Leadership and Practice Specialist, where he thinks all the time about how to turn all the ideas that flow through this organization, and the larger movement, into useful tools and innovative strategies. He brings a wealth of experience in organizing, research, campaigns and training to any team he joins.

But Colorlines readers may be most familiar with Terry’s voice from some of his previous writings that we have occasionally featured, such as "How to be a Racial Justice Hero on MLK Day and All Year Long," where he provides practical tips for making positive change, and "White Dad, Black Son and Raising Kids in a ‘Colorblind’ World" where he reflects on the realities of cross racial adoption from his perspective as the single, adoptive father of an African-American son.

With Movement Notes, Terry will be sharing experience and insight with articles about what is happening in the movement for racial justice. He has the great benefit of being in touch with people who are working in places that we don’t generally imagine as hotbeds of racial justice activity, but turn out to be just that. He’ll allow me to contribute occasionally, but he will carry this space in ways that I never could. You might wonder why I would turn over such a space to a white man. The answer is, because I trust him, because he is grounded by colleagues of color, and because we need ever more good examples of white men who contribute helpfully to the advancement of racial justice.

Terry will start writing this month.