Charlottesville and Hate Speech
Position Statement and Pledge by the Inclusion Allies Coalition
As Diversity and Inclusion professionals, we have become increasingly concerned about the growing atmosphere of hate speech, fear,animosity, violence and intimidation. For years we have worked to create inclusive environments in the workplace and to encourage employees to become allies for those who are marginalized. We are now engaged in dialogues across differences to encourage frank and open conversations between and among people with radically different social and political positions. This is becoming increasingly difficult as employees are fearful of reprisals in the workplace and in their communities.
While we encourage diversity of thought and opinion, recent events in Charlottesville and other communities have caused us to feel the need to re-examine and affirm our commitment to being inclusion allies, as we watch hate groups call for the exclusion of people from many groups who should be equal and valued members of our organizations and communities.
At this time, we are putting a stake in the ground and raising our collective voices as diversity and inclusion practitioners. While we recognize there are groups that will never embrace the equal inclusion of all as a fundamental right and a bedrock of our country, we stand united and stronger than ever in our commitment to ensure inclusion prevails and hate speech is stopped. We will continue to speak out and act as allies against hate speech and violence, and to connect with groups that work to bring people together for dialogue and shared learning.
To do this, many of us support the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ and have committed to the following three actions to accelerate progress. We urge other diversity and inclusion practitioners to do the same by endorsing the pledge below:
1. To encourage dialogues across differences in order to have courageous conversations around topics that may divide us and to serve as inclusion allies for marginalized groups, and advocates in our organizations and communities. We will train other diversity and inclusion practitioners to facilitate these dialogues, and provide resources to use within their organization.
2. To implement and expand Inclusive Leadership and Unconscious Bias programs by training more external and internal Diversity and inclusion practitioners to conduct these sessions, and working with organizations to create systemic change.
3. To share best practices in creating inclusive environments and becoming inclusion allies and to create mentoring matches for those practitioners less experienced in implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives.
(The Inclusion Allies Coalition is a 400+member organization composed of organizations and practitioners committed to diversity, equity and inclusion within our organizations and society. We provide resources, advocacy, conferences and webinars for dialogues across differences to promote inclusion. We serve as allies for those who feel marginalized and advocates for inclusive policies and practices.)
Inclusion Allies Coalition Speaks Out on Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy
The Inclusion Allies Coalition is a group of close to 400 organizations and individuals committed to diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations and society. We strive to advocate for and serve as allies to those who are marginalized by policies and practices that exclude, discriminate against or otherwise lead to people being treated unfairly. Founded in 2017 in response to the massive polarization on a number of socio-political issues exacerbated by the 2016 US Presidential election, the Coalition carefully considers the positions that it takes. We believe that inclusion means that we consider divergent viewpoints and attempt to bridge our differences with greater understanding and acceptance. We feel that we must speak up as a united body when there are situations that jeopardize the values of inclusion.
As diversity practitioners we are often asked if there are boundaries or limits to inclusion. The answer is yes. For us inclusion means that we care about each other’s well-being. It means that we do not intentionally do harm to others. It means that we are empathetic and show compassion. Those whose actions would suggest the opposite, are not practicing inclusion.
We were heartened to hear yesterday that by Executive Order President Trump put a stop to the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. This practice was abhorrent and totally violated the values of inclusion and equity. Moreover, it violated the values of most religions and the espoused values of our country. Even with the halt of this practice, we continue to worry about the fate of these 2000 plus children and their families. So much damage has been done. How and when will they be reunited with their parents? What are the irreversible psychological effects that many experts believe these children will face? More broadly, we remain concerned that as the Zero Tolerance policy continues to be enforced, inhumane treatment will not stop. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions has excluded fears of domestic abuse or gang violence as valid reasons for granting asylum in the United States.
How we wonder, in modern day America could this be happening? There was no immigration law mandating that children be separated from parents. Why would we exclude fears of personal violence as reasons for granting asylum? Where is the compassion that the President said led him to sign the executive order?
The Inclusion Allies Coalition members are dedicated in their respective roles to fostering practices, behaviors and mindsets that respect and value the dignity of every individual. We are about righting the wrongs of global injustices that have occurred since the beginning of time and unfortunately continue today. The practice of separating children from their parents is reminiscent of this horrible practice used during slavery and in Nazi Concentration and Japanese Internment Camps. It is incomprehensible to think that in 2018, our moral compass would allow us to repeat such abuse, and inhumane acts.
Admittedly, the immigration issue in this country is complex but lest we forget that we are a country born of immigrants and lest we forget the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
What can you do?
Speak out via your social media networks. Use your influence and platforms.
Attend a protest or vigil to show solidarity.
Donate to and support organizations, efforts that are being led by the communities that are impacted.
Call your elected officials. [Immigrant children detained-IAC position]
If you are a leader, hold your offices of D&I, CSR, Government Relations accountable for aligning themselves with equity and inclusion inside and outside the organization.
We often do not think that as one person we can make an impact. You can and we hope that you will join with The Inclusion Allies Coalition in denouncing this repulsive practice.
Protecting the Civil and Human Rights of Asian Americans
The Inclusion Allies Coalition (IAC) stands against all hate and discrimination directed against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in the U.S. over the last year and especially in recent months. False stereotypes, misrepresentation and heightened social media against Asians and Asian Americans have led to an increase in violence, culminating in last week's horrific events in Atlanta. We stand together and in solidarity with our Asian and Asian American members, colleagues and partners and uphold inclusion for all. We take seriously our vision to be the leading voice for DEI practitioners, globally and to work to end hate crimes directed against members of the community. A webinar is being planned for the month of April to delve more deeply into this critical topic and share resources for advocating change. In the interim, please find below several ways to stand together with our Asian and Asian American colleagues.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
The Inclusion Allies Coalition Responds to the Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict
After months of anxiously waiting for a verdict on the George Floyd murder that would test the impartiality of the judicial system against a legacy of racial injustice and countless incidents of police brutality against people of color, we learned that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of killing George Floyd. While the verdict held Derek Chauvin accountable, it was just one case, and one step in addressing systemic racism which devalues the lives of Black people. The journey to true justice is a long one, and this step should both give us hope and strengthen our resolve to take that journey together.
The IAC stands in full solidarity with the Floyd family and with all families whose loved ones in the U.S. or around the world have been senselessly killed. Daunte Wright, for example, was a Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer after a routine traffic stop on April 11, just a few miles from where Chauvin stood trial. And since Duante there have been more killings in the Black community by policeman, as we learned of two more this week—Andrew Brown, an unarmed father of 10 in North Carolina and 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant in Ohio. These deaths remind us of the constant discrimination people face due to the color of their skin and of the exhaustion and frustration many people are feeling as we continue to work towards social transformation.
We also recognize the impact Floyd’s murder has created on a national and global scale to build awareness about how deep racism goes in many countries. His death sparked one of the largest protest movements in American history. From Los Angeles to Paris to Tokyo, people have participated in Black Lives Matter (BLM) events to demonstrate action. Corporations have publicly vowed commitment to Black/African American and other marginalized communities.
Close to one year after George Floyd’s murder, we encourage our members, and organizations in general, to not let up on the commitments they made a year ago. This is not the time for performative activism, but for real change and for all of us to become collaborators, accomplices, and co-conspirators who fight injustice and promote equity in the workplace. Our May IAC webinar will be devoted to understanding what companies have done one year following George Floyd’s death.
Our work is far from done, but we believe that we can advance greater inclusion in the global workplace by collaborating with individuals, like you, who share our beliefs and by advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion for all.
IAC Founders and IAC Leadership Council