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Global Communities Race Equity Statement

Published 06/10/2021 by Global Communities

Executive Summary
Global Communities respects the dignity and humanity of all people, unequivocally condemns racism and racial injustice everywhere and in all its forms and stands strongly against all racist violence and discrimination.

Our organization’s mission, vision and values center on building a more just and equitable world, which requires an active effort to confront historic barriers to dignity, equity and inclusion.

As part of our journey to becoming an antiracist organization, we will hold ourselves accountable to the following commitments:

  • Dismantle structural inequities in our work
  • Promote ongoing self-examination and continuous improvement
  • Speak out and lead while learning

Commitment to Race Equity
Global Communities respects the dignity and humanity of every individual and is committed to equity, inclusion, and justice in everything we do. Our organization unequivocally condemns racism and racial injustice everywhere and in all its forms and stands strongly against all racist violence and discrimination.

To achieve our vision of a more just, prosperous and equitable global community, we stand for social justice and will actively strive to combat all forms of structural inequity in the places where we live and work. Global Communities will work to advance equity and inclusion as a core strategic objective in the years ahead.

Support & Inclusion
Global Communities wholeheartedly supports all racial and ethnic groups, and combinations thereof, in all their diversity, including Black people, Latinx people, Hispanic people, Middle Eastern and North African people, Native American and Indigenous people, and East, Southeast and South Asian people. We value diversity: all the ways in which people differ. Therefore, we strive to create inclusive environments in which any individual or group is and feels welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.

Becoming an Antiracist Organization
Global Communities is committed to becoming an antiracist organization, defined as an organization that actively seeks to identify and combat systemic forms of oppression resulting in racial inequities in our internal work and through our work in communities around the world.

To do so, we will work to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent all people from being treated equitably within and by our organization, regardless of their racial or ethnic background. We will actively seek to identify and map the power dynamics within our policies, procedures and practices to ensure that none result in structural inequity.

As an INGO that is headquartered in the United States and receives significant funding from the U.S. government, we are committed to addressing and redressing the particular forms of systemic racism that persist in the United States. We also commit to promoting and addressing racial equity in the communities and systems in which we operate globally.

A Continuous Effort
A commitment to racial equity will take time to fully realize, as it requires long-term, continuous commitment to change on the individual, group, organizational, and societal levels. But taking time does not mean starting later. With this understanding, we believe that our path to becoming an antiracist/pro-equity organization will first start internally, thereby creating a foundation for further advocacy and external application. We are not there yet, but we are committed to the journey.

At the individual level, this journey will require honest self-reflection, a commitment to continually challenging oneself and one’s preconceptions, and a willingness to push through and address discomfort. It also requires empathy, as individuals start their journeys with different levels of knowledge or personal experiences. At its core, the individual journey is one of respect – for oneself, for others, and for our collective future.

At the organizational level, our journey will require Global Communities to examine our procedures, policies, and practices to ensure that they are not maintaining a system whereby anyone is marginalized, repressed, or tokenized. From recruitment and salary equity to resource allocation, Global Communities will assess our current state and determine how to move forward by centering equity, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace and beyond.

Operational Commitments
Global Communities will hold ourselves accountable to the following commitments:

1. Dismantle structural inequities in our work
It is impossible to reach our antiracism and equity goals without acknowledging and confronting the international development sector’s history with white supremacy, imperialism and colonialism, and understanding how the legacy of historic systems informs the sector today. Our goal is to ensure that our organization actively works to dismantle the harmful structures put in place by these ideologies.

In our work around the world, we have an obligation to prioritize, respect, and center the voices of the people who live in the countries where we work. Though donors often determine program priorities, our ultimate duty must be to the communities and individuals we work with. We understand that the communities where we work have agency, knowledge, lived experience, and unique histories. As such, our projects are to be designed, implemented, and evaluated in tandem with communities to better address their needs. As part of this commitment, we seek to understand the context, the capabilities, and the dynamics in the communities where we work, and to listen and to amplify the voices of our staff in the countries where we work.

2. Promote ongoing self-examination and continuous improvement
An antiracist/pro-equity organization cannot exist without identifying and acknowledging the power dynamics that prioritize and center the experiences and professional development of the dominant White, Euro-centric group. Global Communities recognizes the power structures that exist across the world and seeks to build a diverse, multicultural, and inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities where we live and work and expanded opportunities for global leadership. As a part of this effort, we will empower staff members, including those based outside the United States, from historically marginalized groups.

Global Communities commits to closely analyzing its internal policies, culture, and power structures that allow for the continuation of existing systems of oppression in order to change them. This includes identifying and acknowledging systemic racism and other structural inequities at every level of the organization, particularly where power is held, and decisions are made. Once identified, we are committed to changes necessary to ensure equity throughout our operations and decision-making.

3. Speak out and lead while learning
Global Communities commits to being a strong advocate for racial equity and social justice reforms within the broader international development sector. By being a vocal and visible participant in these sector-wide conversations, even as we continue to work internally to improve own race equity outcomes, we hope to serve as an example to other organizations and share our journey as we lead while learning.

As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, we do not seek to support a particular partisan agenda, but rather focus our efforts on achieving necessary structural reforms to achieve a more just humanitarian aid and international development sector.