Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
Perspectives are informed by the social arrangements we live within. Just like the term disability is used because we are socialized to see able-bodied as normative and superior, all marginalized groups are oppressed by the language of the dominant culture. We are socialized to rank race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, age, religion, and language through the lens of our societal norms (ADRESSING model created by Pamela Hays and adapted by Dr. Leticia Nieto). We have systems that uphold these rankings so that some benefit through access and opportunity while others do not. Present-day American society is infused with oppressive racism, white supremacy, patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, heteronormativity, xenophobia, colonialism, and Christocentric ideologies. These systemic forces embedded in our society blind us to the unfair systems at play.
The Justice and Faith Collective prioritizes telling the stories that are often ignored, the stories of those marginalized. We listen for the truths that help us understand how dominant group understandings serve the interest of continued domination. We create brave spaces for recognizing the humanity in all people through reflection. Where we find inequity, we confront it, along with the deficit views that feed disparity.
We, the leaders of The Justice and Faith Collective, have privilege and power. We endeavor to use it for good while also working to dismantle the power that privileges us. The Justice and Faith Collective will not abandon our pursuit of justice, even when justice does not serve our interests. Restitution for economic inequity is prioritized through equitable compensation for people of color. No longer ignoring injustice, but knowing we will make mistakes, we commit to listening, learning, and working to do better.
While there are many means of oppression, as listed above, our primary focus is on racism as a means to identity-conscious inquiry. The solution to racism and oppression is not education alone, but dismantling systems of privilege and liberating people from the internalized lie of identity-based inferiority. We mobilize all ages to re-humanize selves and others and to take action against the system that historically serves the interest of domination. We believe liberation must come through the oppressed. As community organizers, we commit to participation in grassroots bottom-up community organizing campaigns in support of liberation. Lastly, Community Allies educates children, youth, and adults in the work of justice, as we believe all are needed in the work of transforming hearts, souls, and minds.