Our vision is to achieve a more just, prosperous, and equitable global community. To Global Communities, that means standing for social justice and working to combat all forms of structural inequity in the places where we live and work.
The events of summer 2020 returned our collective attention to a vital conversation with fresh urgency, addressing the continued impact of systemic racism, discrimination, and colonialism on the daily lives of Black and Brown colleagues, partners, and peers. As part of the international community, we knew that it was our responsibility to listen, join in the conversation, and act with purpose when it comes to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
A few highlights of actions taken to help realize our DE&I objectives include:
Integrating DE&I into our Strategic Planning Process
DE&I is a critical area for strategic thinking and visioning at Global Communities. Our discussions have included crucial questions such as:
- How do we ground our work in dignity, diversity, equity and inclusion?
- How do we lead our sector in modeling what it means to be an anti-racist organization?
- How do we become an organization that matches the diversity of our nation and world in our leadership profile, practices and culture?
Advancing Equity & Inclusion
The outcome of these discussions through the strategic planning process led to the creation of one of our four strategic priorities: advance equity and inclusion. We will focus efforts between 2021 and 2024 on building and expanding a foundation and driving towards key shifts:
- From U.S.-dominant leadership to an expanded global leadership
- From individual responsibility to organizational accountability
- From discreet intervention strategies to mainstreaming equity and inclusion in our organizational policies, procedures and practices
- From culture fit to culture add: attracting and retaining talent that aligns with our DE&I values
- From silent operator to visible advocate
Hiring Our First Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer
To advance our work, Global Communities onboarded our first Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer (CEIO) in 2021. The CEIO provides strategic and innovative leadership to develop and implement integrated DE&I roadmap and supports our priority to advance DE&I over the next three years.
Supporting New Employee Resource Groups
In the summer of 2020, Black employees came together to start what has now become the Black Employee Resource Group. The purpose of this group is to provide a unified voice, comprised of Black employees at Global Communities, as well as non-Black allies to:
- Advise and shape the executive team’s thinking on activities, resources and investments
- Contribute to the thinking required to define what it means for Global Communities to be an anti-racist organization
- Contribute to the DE&I strategic planning processes
Implementing a Safeguarding Framework
Together, we have worked toward building a Safeguarding Framework, which we see as a vital part of our work advancing gender equity and inclusion. The prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment is core to our values and code of conduct. We are constantly striving to increase our focus on protection in communities where we work and continuing to ensure we meet our obligation to the principle of Do No Harm in the implementation of our programs.
One element of this broader effort is our focus on safeguarding. A diverse group of global colleagues developed a new Safeguarding Framework, which defines Global Communities’ approach to safeguarding that works in practical, on-the-ground settings.
Expanding Our DE&I Working Group
Our internal DE&I Council was a natural group to engage, and a working group was formed to:
- Offer input on DE&I goals for the strategic planning period 2021-2024 and for what it means to become an anti-racist organization
- Provide recommendations on how to institutionalize DE&I principles and practices within the organization
The commitment to become an anti-racist organization is a long-term process, one that will require continued engagement, effort, focus and commitment. As Global Communities moves into the future, DE&I sits at the very heart of our organization’s values, mission and vision for building a more just, prosperous and equitable global community.
Creating a Race Equity Statement
As part of our journey and commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization, we are holding ourselves accountable to the following statements:
- Dismantle structural inequities in our work
- Promote ongoing self-examination and continuous improvement
- Speak out and lead while learning
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