Encinitas4Equality (E4E) was established in late May 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd. Five Encinitas women came together to create an art installation presenting the names of hundreds of Black persons whose lives were ended at the hands of police. They did this as a testament to the realities of persistent racism in America, and as a memorial for George Floyd. That act spurred a week-long community protest and vigil demanding justice for George Floyd, while moving those involved to reflect on how America as a society might begin to redress hundreds of years of injustices faced by its Black citizens.
We view the birth of Encinitas4Equality as a largely organic phenomenon, driven by the energy for change loosed nationally and globally, and primed by the desire among dozens of Encinitas residents and others in the region to engage seriously with abiding racism, and to drive significant and meaningful change. As E4E coalesced as an organization, its participants worked to define its nature and focus. A consensus evolved that, whatever else E4E was going to be, it would prioritize listening to and learning from Black voices, and would dedicate itself to learning and teaching, and to making Encinitas an actively anti-racist community with greater diversity and enhanced equity for Black, Indigenous and other Persons of Color (BIPOC), LGTBQ+ folk, and others who face particular hardship and/or discrimination.
To achieve these outcomes, E4E has organized its participants into seven working groups capable of identifying and addressing systemic inequities.
Encinitas4Equality is both more than a non-profit or a community space: it represents the living development a community within a community, a place that is creating brave, safe, racially integrated spaces for humans to connect and build loving relationships. We understand that E4E was created for BIPOC and LGBTQI communities: E4E exists as a community, both geographically and metaphorically, dedicated to healing, connection, and creation. While the majority of our efforts are focused on systemic change within businesses and education systems, the public safety and housing spheres, what we understand now is that some of the most meaningful – even profound – work we can do in the context of equity and anti-racism is the work we do within ourselves, driven largely by the trust we place in one another.