Being an Ally for Racial Justice

Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior’s Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.

This week, we saw some deeply disturbing reminders that racism, and the treatment of people of color as lesser beings, is still very much on display in American society. But sadly, can any of us, anywhere say we live in a village, a community, a region, a country where this is not also the case?

Brothers and Sisters, we still have much work to do in this regard. For IAVE, this will mean renewing our commitment to racial and social equity in our operations and in the programs and advocacy work we do. It means being a trusted ally to our Global Network of Volunteer Leaders standing back so that the people on the ground, who know best how to deliver the services that meet the needs of their own communities can take the lead. To our Global Corporate Volunteering Council, that we will reach deeper to ask the tough questions about inequity in the private sector globally, helping them navigate and lift their voices in a space where many of us have all too readily chosen to remain silent.

Please let us know what you need during this time. Is there a topic or a conversation about racial equity and volunteering that we can help facilitate? Our COVID-19 Webinar series brought a great deal of insight on how to respond as volunteers to the pandemic, and if we can do something similar with this issue, we certainly will.

Meantime, may we all work towards a Beloved Community. Each in our own way, to bring the power we have as creative humans to bear on an issue that need not remain intractable any longer.

In Peace,

Nichole Cirillo