A powerful opinion piece by Kyria Stephens, Director of Inclusion & Community Initiatives, was recently selected for publication in a new e-book compilation, Resilience Matters: Collective Action for Healthier Communities.
The essay, “People in need don’t want your pity,” explains why we need to rethink how we think about charity. As Stephens explains, people in need do not want pity; they need “solidarity, respect, and loving support.” These people are teachers, professors, CEOs, police officers, nurses, and artists. They save lives, drive the economy, and create culture. And they are successful, notes Stephens, “in spite of the obstacles placed (often intentionally) in our path.” By sharing time and resources, says Stephens, “you are not simply helping the less fortunate—you are nurturing the powerful.”
As a well-known speaker and thought leader on diversity and inclusion, Stephens is glad to see his message being shared with an even wider audience. “This is such an important time in our history,” said Stephens. “It’s going to take all of us, working together, to build a more equitable future. We must be detailed and strategic in how we move forward.”
At the BNMC, Stephens helps promote collaboration and inclusivity throughout the organization and community. His efforts have helped establish the BNMC as a regional and national model for diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Resilience Matters, published by the Island Press Urban Resilience Project, features contributions from dozens of leading authors, and is available for free online thanks to grant support from the Kresge and JPB Foundations.
Island Press is a well-known publisher of critical ideas on both the natural and built environment. In 2022, they published City Forward: How Innovation Districts Can Embrace Risk and Strengthen Community, which highlighted the BNMC’s commitment to equity.