Todd Dorcas works for a community foundation helping to develop the capacity of the region’s nonprofits. He and his wife are active volunteers and enjoy traveling together.
“No matter what I do or who I am or who I aspire to be, I am me and I have to be okay with that.
I spent my formative years growing up in Detroit, Michigan and New Jersey just outside Philadelphia. It was not until around the age of 11 or 12 after moving to West Virginia I was called the N-word for the first time. While I had heard the word before, I was being called that as if it was my name.
Years later, after college graduation, I completed a phone interview for employment. I was offered employment and instructed to come to the office to sign some documents. After introducing myself to a man behind the desk, I was told there was no job opening and a mistake had been made. I explained the job offer. Again, I was told there was no job opening and that a mistake had been made. After hearing that the second time I realized there was no job—at least not for me.
My Mother was an English teacher and she assisted me in completing a flawless resume that was grammatically correct. My diction and enunciation over the phone was ‘as it should be.’ The only thing that made sense was that he didn’t know I was black until I walked in the door.
I had to learn the hard way that sometimes things are not what they should be.
I’ve traveled and met people from all over the world. Some of the best people I’ve ever met are here in West Virginia, and we’re all in this together. We have an opportunity to address racism and the work that needs to be done.”
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