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Friday, May 24, 2024

Lucretia Carter Berry

FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
BROWNICITY
CHARLOTTE

Lucretia Carter Berry has a life mission to promote racial justice and understanding, including helping both children and adults learn how to discuss complex issues that can divide rather than unite.

She’s putting her skills to practice in a variety of ways.

Since 2015, her consulting company, Brownicity, has offered training programs and educational materials for schools, nonprofits, businesses and more informal groups that want to promote unity and a sense of belonging. She also teaches an elective course, “Antiracism 101,” for senior high school students at the Community School of Davidson, a public charter school in north Mecklenburg County.

“The course helps students with a fundamental, practical understanding of the history of race,” she says. “Parents want to know how to raise and educate their children to talk about race.”

Berry’s life experience has been a catalyst for her work. The Winston-Salem native earned a bachelor’s degree at South Carolina State University, a historically Black university in Orangeburg. She then earned a doctorate in educational curriculum and instruction at Iowa State University in Ames, where she met her husband, Nathan Berry, a tech industry manager who is Caucasian. The couple have three daughters.

“Even before we got married, we had conscious conversations about race and ethnicity,” she says. “No matter where we lived, people found us to be a credible, judgment-free resource.”

The Berrys moved back to North Carolina about 15 years ago for job opportunities and a better climate. They launched Brownicity amid growing racial tensions across the United States, culminating in the 2020 police-involved death of George Floyd.

“Systemic racism became a household word in 2020, and almost anybody could see themselves as an expert, which I think has caused a lot of harm to the movement in some ways,” Berry says. “But I’m optimistic, else I would quit. I continue to be asked to come into spaces to teach and share, and I know growth takes time.”

Berry has published two books in recent years, including “Teaching for Justice and Belonging,” which she co-authored with Tehia Starker Glass, an education professor at UNC Charlotte.

“If we study American history, there has always been resistance to efforts for racial justice,” she says. “I have the capacity to step back and see the strategies of that resistance. It is so important to give children the tools. We have to keep moving forward.”

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David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

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