- Commitment to dismantling racism in all its forms and healing the wounds it has inflicted within the human family.
- Consistent attention to the individual and collective attitudes and the inner work required to root out racism within ourselves and within societal systems.
- Willingness to learn with an open mind, a listening ear, and a heart full of love and respect, and then to act on our learning in impactful ways.
Centered on the aspirations of the human spirit, our vision as an organization includes the following universal principles:
- Steadfast belief in the essential oneness of all human beings and everyone’s human rights to physical and emotional safety, financial well-being and job equity, quality education under the law, and freedom to live one’s personal life without fear of legal or social oppression.
- The vital necessity to eliminate prejudice of all kinds and embrace our essential oneness in order to allow humanity to advance toward its true reality and destiny as one people thriving together on one planet.
- Application of universal principles in concert with material means to address economic and social inequities.
- Frank, respectful group consultation to solve problems and create common understanding.
- Individual and collective accountability for the impact of our words and actions.
How We’re Organized
The Steering Committee leads ARH by developing quarterly program meetings, providing resources for chapter organizations to carry out their work, communicating with members regarding statewide activities, and most importantly growing the organization. Currently, Tony Goggans serves as our Chairperson, Sharla Benjamin and Steve Marchbank as Co-Secretaries, Renee Depew and Delara Marchbank as Co-Treasurers, and Rich Chamberlain as Communications Officer. Our hope and vision are that as the overall organization grows and matures, our current work—divided into the areas of program development, communications, and membership support and recordkeeping—will be managed by committees rather than individuals.
The Quarterly Program Meetings offered by the Steering Committee provide a space in which individuals, small groups and Chapter Organizations can come together to participate in a healing space and be introduced to new concepts or programs along with cutting-edge practices within social justice activism. Not only will these meetings help us build capacity as an organization, as individuals, and within our communities, but they will also offer a space for consultation and problem-solving beyond the scope of our local communities or chapters.
Chapter Organizations, based on geographic regions within Colorado, decide independently what they want to focus on. Currently, there are two e and frequency for reflecting, learning together, and supporting individual activities in a more localized way. Often, Chapter meetings offer space for reflection on local or individual activities, building capacity at the local level. chapters (Northeastern and Southern) that set their own pace.
ARH Steering Committee and Founding Members
Tony is originally from New York city, but came to Colorado to go to college. When he returned to New York, he could not find a position as a recent college grad, so he decided to return to Colorado and has never left.
Tony is one of the founding members of the Alliance for Racial Healing (ARH). Prior to ARH he was involved in the Institute to Create Unity in Colorado Springs. Both organizations were created to develop positive ways to deal with the issue of race. Tony started his professional career as a caseworker for the Social Services Dept of El Paso County Colorado. Later he moved into Human Resources, where he spent most of his career.
As he got close to retiring, he began work in the Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) field. He has done Equity work for the past several years including the development of DEI plans, programs and Equity training material for the Industry.
Biological Systems Engineer
Sharla moved back to her home state of Colorado in 2017 after 27 years away. Once settled and out of survival mode in early 2019, she wanted to explore the racial history of her childhood in Boulder, Colorado and find a diverse and supportive community. She joined the Baha’i community of Longmont only to discover that it was not diverse in this local area. But the Baha’i’s in America offered online training at Wilmette Institute, and in the Fall of 2019 she took the online class “Racism in America: The Most Vital and Challenging Issue” where she met Renee. Looking to continue learning and sharing and finding actions beyond the class, she and Renee joined with other members of the steering committee to imagine and create the Alliance for Racial Healing organization. ARH has been a joy-filled community journey as we struggle together forward.
I grew up in the Chicago area and after completing high school I decided to move someplace with mountains. Colorado was a good fit so I moved here and put myself through college while working odd jobs. Eventually I earned my electrical engineering degree and have worked for various companies on the front range living in the Boulder area since 1993. I have always been interested in the difficulties of minority populations and spend much of my free time mentoring a group of Latino students in electronics and robotics, supporting the learning of young women interested or new to engineering, learning with others about the effects of racism around us, and how to combat it in our everyday lives and working as a teaching assistant for the Wilmette Anti-Black Racism class.
Delara is very uncomfortable writing a bio, because really, what is it she could express about herself that would be important for you to know without having a face-to-face conversation over a cup of tea? From a very young age, she has dedicated her time and energy to advancing justice in the world and teaching people principles for living that awaken us to our fundamental wholeness and interconnectedness with the world around us. She has worked in the fields of education, corporate training, project management, non-profit social-economic development, and personal development through the path of Yoga and meditation. “How may I be of service to you in a way that brings joy?” is her tagline. Having grown up in the Chicago area and now settled in Colorado, Delara finds particular purpose in accompanying white people in doing the daily work of unwiring the psyche and heart from white supremacy through compassionate listening, humility and healing. She is also a mother and wife, writer and visual artist, and baker of yummy treats.
Rich Chamberlain retired from Colorado State University in 2013 after working in marketing communications for the Office of Admissions for five years. His previous career path led through education, human resources and communications. In addition to community involvement, he stays busy as a working artist, writer and occasional actor.
In addition to working with others to create Alliance for Racial Healing along the Front Range, he has advocated for the arts, fair housing, and inclusion in his city of Westminster, Colorado.
He was a founding member of United for a New Economy (UNE) advocating for renters’ rights.
He has also worked successfully with several Front Range Baha’i communities and
Representative Perlmutter’s office to urge the Congressman to cosponsor resolutions condemning the Iranian regime’s persecution of its Baha’i religious minority. While Rich doesn’t engage in or support partisan political activity or any candidate, he does attend frequent town halls, observes the political circus, and votes. He has on occasion appealed to local, state and national elected office holders in support of various causes, and is involved in his local community promoting the arts, inclusivity, interfaith dialog, and fair, affordable housing. His experience has taught him that, while confrontation might feel gratifying, collaboration in the interest of human rights brings more tangible results.