Written by Lauren Maynard

Monday, October 12, 2020 marked the first time the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day! It was also the first meeting of the IGC Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) reading group, an initiative formed from ideas generated during an IGC fellows’ town hall discussion this past summer. Twelve fellows joined the conversation—to listen and to learn. Together, we discussed two articles: What is BIPOC? and The Case for Reparations. We discussed the use of the term BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color), company rebranding (e.g. Washington Redskins and Aunt Jemima), our ideas for reparations, and how to make our community more inclusive. We acknowledged that racism is a “wicked problem” in our country and that the first (and hardest) step is starting the conversation.

The group will meet monthly, with our next discussion scheduled for mid-November. Currently, the group is only open to IGC fellows, but we look forward to broadening the conversation as the group progresses.