Our Work

The Together is Better Alliance (TiBA) seeks to end racial bias and inequality by confronting our difficult past courageously, thoughtfully and honestly together. We do this by providing historical content and facilitating thoughtful and informed conversations about racial exclusion, injustice and violence.

Systemic racism in the United States continues to wound families and communities. Today’s mass incarceration has been recognized as a continuation of Jim Crow and the ongoing reflection of old myths of black criminality.  Systemic racial bias victimizes the powerless, as well as those in power, through an intentional process which imbeds false and negative perceptions about the value of human life based solely on the color of a person’s skin. These perceptions are manifest in stories of white people calling the police on their African American neighbors for mowing their lawns, driving their cars, being in the parking lot of their own apartment buildings. More horrifying still are the stories like that of a black security guard doing his job being mistaken for a criminal and shot to death.

Even with all of this, there are many who deny that racism is an issue; that laws have been passed to address such matters … so how do we address such matters?

Many agree that the United States has made progress from the past inhumane treatment of marginalized and enslaved peoples. Laws have been passed.  And yes, we even had a black President. However, laws alone have not wiped away the harm caused by involuntary servitude, decades of lynching, centuries of being denied the right to vote or receive an education. The ramifications continue to impact our education, legal and criminal justice systems. It took centuries to get here, it will take a long time to change the current course.

How can we make a difference?
We believe that by working together through education, engagement, and advocacy, change will come.  

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Sharon Hatchett, Sameena Mustafa and Brian Smith facilitate a conversation after a screening of The Long Shadow at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.

Who Benefits

The work that we do touches, and hopefully impacts, a wide range of individuals and organizations. Our outreach through film, video clips, written and other forms of communication includes educational institutions, students, families, faith-based organizations, companies, health care institutions, and other groups. Through our conversation series model, there is a strong interest in not only building understanding, trust, and open/honest discussion, but also in action.

Volunteer Opportunities

As a recently new non-profit organization, there is much work to be done. We invite those who share our vision in dismantling racism to email us at info@togetherisbetteralliance.org. Our primary current volunteer needs are:

  • Communications
  • Event Volunteer Assistance
  • Grant-writing & Fundraising Support
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Strategy/vision expertise and experience
  • Technology (website support, social media, etc.)
  • Volunteer Engagement

We work to promote reconciliation and recovery, which includes:

Facilitating screenings of documentaries

The Long Shadow and other films or relevant information related to the history of
slavery and racial inequity

Conducting continuing conversation series

In collaboration with educational, civic, faith-based, corporate and other institutions
committed to addressing the challenges of race

Continued development of strategic relationships

With a broad range of individuals and organizations committed to addressing
the issue of race relations

Premiere of The Long Shadow documentary at Cinema Village in New York City in October 2018.
Premiere of The Long Shadow documentary at Cinema Village in New York City in October 2018.

Attendance at screenings of The Long Shadow, post-screening discussions, and Continuing the Conversation Series hosted by Together is Better Alliance and our partner organizations as of 3/24/2019.

Screenings of The Long Shadow by Together is Better Alliance:

Location Date
1. Benedictine University (DuPage Regional Office of Education) 5/11/18
2. Benedictine University, Lisle 5/11/18
3. Chicago Theological Seminary, Hyde Park 5/11/18
4. Chicago Theological Seminary, Hyde Park 7/23/18
5. Pizza & Social Justice, Glen Ellyn 7/24/18
6. Arlington Heights Library, Arlington Heights 7/26/18
7. DuSable African-American History Museum, Chicago 8/28/18
8. Aurora Human Relations Commission, Aurora 8/30/18
9. DuPage AME Church, Lisle 9/14/18
10. Baha’i Welcome Center, Wilmette 9/27/18
11. Illinois Education Assoc. Board of Education, Springfield 10/17/18
12. La Grange Community Diversity, La Grange 1/11/19
13. University of Chicago Law School, Hyde Park 1/16/19
14. Episcopal Diocese of Chicago – St. Martin’s, Chicago 1/19/19
15. EDC – St. James, Chicago 1/20/19
16. EDC – St. Philips, Palatine 1/20/19
17. EDC – St. Thomas, Chicago 1/20/19
18. EDC – St. Matthew’s, Evanston 2/13/19
19. EDC – The Church of the Atonement, Chicago 2/16/19
20. University of Chicago LABS School, Chicago 2/22/19
21. EDC – Redeemer Lutheran Church, Chicago 2/23/19
22. EDC – St. Benedict, Bolingbrook 2/23/19
22. EDC – St. Mark’s, Glen Ellyn 3/20/19
23. EDC – St. Mark’s, Glen Ellyn 3/24/19

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Top Photo Credit: "Audience" by Drew McLellan is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 / Cropped from original