Humanity & Inclusion staff in the U.S. have all contributed to the following statement. We share this as a team. It is the first step of many as we reflect on and act against racism.
Humanity & Inclusion positively and unequivocally states that Black Lives Matter.
Humanity & Inclusion works toward a world of equity & inclusion, enriched by diversity, and where everyone is protected and empowered to live in safety and dignity. We find common cause with all who strive against bigotry, violence and abuse by asserting the inviolable rights of all peoples’ essential humanity.
Humanity & Inclusion was founded on and remains driven by outrage at the injustice faced by people with disabilities and vulnerable populations worldwide. We are outraged by the racism and violence experienced by Black communities that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and too many others.
In 2018, we changed our name to Humanity & Inclusion (from handicap international) to align with our dedication to be allies with the disability community and the most vulnerable in their fight for equal rights. It came with a renewed and abiding commitment by all 3,200 staff, in about 60 countries of operation, to our mission. And to work in partnership with communities to promote their full inclusion throughout society. Staff are proudly at the front lines of a fight for dignity and the realization of rights of people with disabilities and vulnerable groups.
But, until now, standing against racism was an unspoken expectation among staff, who make personal commitments to uphold our values of Humanity, Inclusion, Commitment, and Integrity. But it is now a time for us to be more vocal and explicit.
Humanity & Inclusion recognizes the importance of an intersectional approach to equity and social justice. Identities such as disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, age and ethnicity, among others, cut across each other and should be equally addressed. Since 1982, our organization has prioritized working alongside vulnerable populations, focusing on disability, but we are committed to promoting and protecting the rights of people of all identities.
The word “exclusion” cannot stand alongside “inclusion.” With one group excluded, we all fail. Oppression in any form is abhorrent. Those who fight oppression against one group must also fight oppression whenever they can and show meaningful solidarity with organizations on the front lines."
We stand in solidarity, but we do not stand passively alongside those who struggle against racism, against prejudice towards the LGBTQIA+ community, against discrimination based on ethnic identity, national origin, religion, or age.
At this moment of great suffering and turmoil, we stand in solidarity with the Black community. We recommit ourselves to help foster the personal, communal and institutional changes needed to end racism. We commit to better informing ourselves about the causes and effects of systemic racism and police brutality, acting to further promote diversity at all levels throughout our organization in the U.S. to be inclusive of people of color, especially the Black community, as well as other groups, standing with organizations fighting for an end to racism in all of its forms, and encouraging ourselves to take part in the Black Lives Matter movement to the greatest extent possible.