Highlights from “Barrier Breakers” Field Trip for TLC Staff

December 4, 2023

By Cara Lewis, Senior Communications Manager

Many organizations claim a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion via having a statement on the website and forming a DEI committee. TLC has both. However, we also require new employees to participate in a rigorous racial equity workshop designed to examine individual bigotry and bias while learning the historical, cultural, structural, and institutional practices that produce unjust and inequitable outcomes. Sound intense? It is. Many of us who took this two-day training (myself included) acknowledge that we had a lot to learn and that what we learned in the workshop had a profound impact on our personal and professional experiences.

Tom Droege introducing TLC staff to the “Barrier Breakers” exhibit. Photo: C. Lewis

With history lessons in mind, our staff recently took a field trip to the American Tobacco Campus in Durham to see the “Barrier Breakers” exhibit brought to the Triangle by Resilient Ventures. Curated by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the exhibit debuted at Dodger Stadium and traveled to Boston before coming to the Triangle. The exhibit highlights baseball’s integration pioneers along with the obstacles players of color faced and what they did to overcome the challenges of prejudice and social injustice in the United States.

Founders Tom Droege and Keith Daniel created Resilient Ventures to close the wealth gap by expanding access to capital, networks, and opportunity to Black founders.

“We were proud to present this amazing exhibition,” said Tom Droege. “And, we are grateful to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), from whom this exhibit originates and our sponsors, whose support has made their stories of resilience and excellence directly accessible to us in our beloved Black Wall Street legacy city of Durham, NC.”

“Barrier Breakers” exhibit panel at American Tobacco Museum. Photo: C. Lewis

View “Barrier Breakers” Virtual Exhibition

You can view the virtual companion to the traveling exhibition developed by the NLBM which tells the story of the Negro Leagues and the strong-willed, dedicated athletes, who simply refused to accept the notion that they were unfit to share in the joys of our national pastime.

Organizing Against Racism Workshops

Visit Organizing Against Racism (OAR) to learn more about this network of anti-racism groups based in or around the Triangle. OAR hosts trainings and events to advance racial equity by bringing participants together to support each other while deepening their understanding of how to be effective anti-racists.

TLC is dedicated to becoming a more productive and authentic land trust by not just celebrating diversity. By attending training, visiting historic sites, and taking time to learn together, we are actively working to become an anti-racist organization. We also believe we must use our unique position and resources that we have as a land trust to ensure the benefits of land conservation are shared with everyone in our community by continuing to partner with and support organizations led by Black people and people of color, to work with businesses owned by people of color, and to connect with communities of color.

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