ABOUT US
Mission, Vision, and Goals

The mission of the Evolve Us Foundation is to raise awareness of the personal and societal impact of prejudice and discrimination and to promote a global community that celebrates diversity through the use of media and programs designed to promote equality and empowerment.

The Evolve Us Foundation envisions a world where people of every possible racial, ethnic, and national background can come together as a global community.

The goals of the Evolve Us Foundation include the following:

   
To utilize social media to launch the 'I'm Not Racist' campaign showcasing a cross-section of humanity
   
To stimulate and encourage race- and ethnicity-related discussions in a mediated and welcoming environment
   
To provide individuals and groups with a forum where they can come together with like-minded individuals to better sustain their commitment to pursuing equality and dignity for everyone
   
To help individuals and groups learn how to better interact and advocate for a positive and diverse society to those who continue to discriminate and engage in prejudice
   

To promote a genuine dialogue between all people to educate, advocate, and promote equality and to recognize that through embracing diversity we are a stronger local, national, and global community


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History

The Evolve Us Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in New York City. Granted its tax determination status in 2015, the Foundation has actually been 10 years in the making. Of course, in the hearts and minds of those involved in establishing organization, it goes back even further.

As a young boy in Haiti, Peter Erasme lived in an area with very little diversity. When his family moved to Queens, New York, the whole world seemed to have opened up to him, including people of every possible race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and other cultural variation. He found such a wide range of humanity to be beautiful and genuinely remarkable as he found that he could have so much in common with people that he previously would have assumed were very different.

Unfortunately, Peter soon realized that not everyone shared the richness that diversity offered. As a black youth in New York City, there were those who believed he was too different; there were those who were unwilling to see his qualities and character rather than his skin and his accent. And they weren't alone - Peter's own friends and family would discourage him from developing relationships with those that didn't look like him or sound like him. Where Peter saw opportunities to learn and grow from those that were different, others saw something to fear and reject. As a young man, Peter grew to value the individual characteristics of those around him, including falling in love with someone of another race. Unfortunately, he grew estranged for some time from some family he loved dearly who were unwilling to support his interracial relationship. During this time, Peter began to more fully understand the wounds racism can cause not only on a social level but even among those who love and care for each other.

While Peter went on to become a successful professional, he never let go of the disappointment, hurt, and confusion of those experiences. As he witnessed more and more instances of prejudice and discrimination, even from people who he knew and cared for, he felt more and more strongly that his life wasn't supposed to be limited to personal success. He was able to heal many of the wounds of racism within his own family and to help friends and acquaintances step across boundaries of race, ethnicity, and national origin, and see each other as humans deserving of love and respect. By giving a voice to people with different backgrounds, Peter believed that the people hearing those voices could begin to open their minds and change their hearts. By sharing experiences, we can bridge gaps between worlds, and those who had been fearful or distrustful could see that a wide range of cultures and backgrounds brings strength and beauty, not reason to fear.

Since then, Peter has worked diligently to put together the Evolve Us Foundation with the support of a wide variety of people with a huge pool of experiences and talent. Peter's right-hand (wo)man is Victoria Kyle, a Scottish native who offers the Evolve Us Foundation a tremendous amount of administrative and financial expertise. Vicky was raised in a small rural village in Scotland with very little racial diversity but a strong interest in other cultures. This appreciation of a culturally rich society only grew as she had more exposure to people with a variety of backgrounds such as that gained by living in London and now New York.

As her exposure to more diversity grew, however, so did her awareness of racially motivated prejudice and discrimination; from the derogatory references to the single “bodega” back in Scotland to the outright violence directed by race witnessed in New York, Vicky feels passionately about these issues on an international level. Vicky's approach to these issues is two-fold: to work to end the negative aspects of racism such as racial profiling and discrimination while also celebrating and embracing the beauty of cultural diversity. Consequently, Vicky brings almost two decades of banking and financial experience along with HR expertise to the Evolve Us team.

Other members of the Board of Directors bring a variety of backgrounds, experience, and education to the Foundation. Such individuals offer their services and experience with business development, human resources, non-profit experience, event planning, direct services and more. We are working diligently to develop a Board that represents and has experience with individuals from all walks of life – various races, nationalities, socioeconomic backgrounds, ages, gender, and so on. We believe that the best organization we can build is one where the people involved are those who care the most and are committed to the mission. Along the way we have garnered support and stories from people from all walks of life and an amazing variety of backgrounds. The stories and images collected are the basis for the first campaign for the Foundation, the “I'm Not Racist” campaign, set to launch in July 2015.

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