The Roots Causes of Injustice

We believe that the root cause of injustice is the consolidation of wealth, power, and social control among a small group of people who protect their power by using systems of oppression and privilege to control other people and the natural environment.

In the United States today, we see three dominant strategies being used to do this: the expansion of corporate power; the growing use of military tactics in foreign and domestic policy; and the manipulation of core human values to exert social and political control.

The consolidation of wealth, power, control in the hands of a few people depends on the rest of us feeling powerless and isolated.

Racism, ageism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and other systems of oppression are used to separate us from one another and to convince us that we don’t share the same hopes and values. They are used to drive wedges between groups that would otherwise be powerful allies because consolidating wealth, power, and social control among a small group of people depends on the rest of us feeling powerless and isolated.

At MRG, we recognize that that human beings, cultures, and natural environments have an inherent value. We believe that the best chance we have of facing the challenges of oppression effectively is by taking collective action to name the ways that oppression is operating in our communities, to dismantle the systems that maintain that oppression and, to create sustainable alternatives. Together, we can build systems that empower us to work and live together in ways that allow individual people, cultural groups, and ecosystems to flourish

MRG’s Racial Justice Lens

In 2003 MRG institutionalized our long-standing commitment to dismantling racism by putting racial justice front and center within our multi-oppression analysis. We recognize that oppressions such as racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, and ageism don’t just intersect — they meld, morph, and reinforce each other in powerful and damaging ways, which is why MRG is committed to dismantling oppression in all of its forms.

In the 21st century – particularly in the Pacific Northwest – myths of a post-racial and colorblind society are rampant, encouraging people to overlook the very real and ongoing impacts of systemic racism. We all too often see race getting lost in wider progressive, political, and philanthropic conversations. To address this, MRG applies a racial justice lens to all of our work in tandem with our multi-oppression analysis.

For MRG, racial justice is a proactive and comprehensive approach that seeks to produce equitable power, access, opportunities, and outcomes for all people. This means we look at and work to address the ways race, racism and white privilege play out in MRG, in our communities, and in the issue areas we fund. We examine how our work is impacting communities of color and we identify and act on ways to further racial justice in Oregon.