Updated: Jun 23, 2020
A question we got a lot was around why we (i.e. the world) need another race-oriented non-profit. The simple answer to that question is that ATF is not another race-oreineted non-profit -- it's actually a non-race-oriented organization.
The premise behind Ascend Together is unity. Hence the word 'together'. The idea of racial unity is looking beyond the superficial difference of skin pigmentation. Uniting as a people, a single race of human, and understanding that no single human experience is the same. No one can do that for us, it is up to us to be the change otherwise nothing will change.
To be truly united, we cannot continually pin ourselves against one another or group ourselves into our own community and shout 'we' this and 'you' that, then expect race, color or ethnicity to not make a difference. Because it will. On the same token, we can't assume that because we are not personally affected by racial injustince that it doesn't exist. That's naive.
We believe that most people are good, fair and just. Which is the only way ATF can exist - with most people being good, and uniting for a cause that maybe doesn't directly affect them but believing in our cause - that we are all the same. Your struggle is my struggle and my struggle is your struggle. That is unity.
We will sing it from the mountaintops (literally, but no pun was intended) the only way to end racism is to realize that we are all the same. We. Are. All. The. Same.
All of this being said, we cannot control others, we can only control our thoughts and actions. Therefore, not everyone will act for unity. But again, we must be the change we want to see, many times that means acting first.
Race equality is a basic human right.
Almost 60 years ago Dr. King gave his inspiring speech on the mall, and though much has changed and much has improved we are not done yet. Race equality should be a basic human right and should not need to be lobbied for, but in some cases it still does. ATF is 100% supportive of race equality, but that is not our mission. Other wonderful organizations and other nonprofits have that as a calling.
Our focus is on racial unity; it is not a right, but a goal. Racial unity requires cooperation from everyone from all walks of life, which is why we're a non-race nonprofit -- it concerns everyone! So while race equality and racial unity sound similar, they are both important but distinct issues. We do, however, believe that improvements in one will lead to the betterment of the other.