Combating inequities, power imbalances and racism
Amid a global pandemic — which has taken many lives and left economies in free-fall and which has disproportionately affected communities of color in the U.S. — we witnessed the last moments of the lives of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. We learned about the killings of Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade. And we saw Christian Cooper’s Central Park video.
These horrific incidents are deeply disturbing.
At the same time, we recognize that they are only a handful of the most recent (and high profile) examples of more than 400 years of daily violence and systemic racism against Black people in the United States. The misuse and abuse of power by police — compounded with other institutional and structural ways we have consciously and unconsciously reinforced racism — has upheld a culture of white supremacy that pervades every single sector. We also acknowledge that institutional racism is not just a U.S. problem. Racism and xenophobia are endemic globally.
At Results for Development, we call for justice and an end to systemic racism.
As an organization with a mission to create stronger systems for health, education and nutrition, we also call for action to address the ways in which institutionalized racism manifests itself through chronic and systemic inequities for people of color in the U.S., such as lower life expectancies, food insecurities and poorer educational outcomes.
We also call for changes in our field of global development, which has roots in a colonial past and continues to perpetuate notions of white supremacy and structural inequities, including in how priorities are set, where funding flows and who is considered an expert.
It is not enough to speak out against racism and injustice. We must commit to action. At R4D, we will redouble our efforts in three areas — within our organization, within our programs and within the field of global development.
Although we have been on a journey to become a more diverse and inclusive organization, we recognize there is more we can and must do. We will start by re-examining how our internal organizational culture, systems and ways of working reflect and contribute to systemic racism, and we will make necessary changes.
We commit to increasing diversity in our organizational composition at all levels and ensuring that opportunities for advancement are fair. We commit to listening to staff and building and sustaining a culture of inclusivity, particularly by recognizing the injustices against and contributions from Black culture. And we commit to eliminating the influence of entrenched biases in how we work together. In all of these areas, we pledge to review metrics and routinely assess our progress.
We will integrate and actively uphold anti-racist practices within our mission and across our programs. We will intensify our efforts to build stronger systems and accelerate progress toward positive and equitable health, education and nutrition for those who are marginalized and oppressed.
And we will work to combat inequities, power imbalances and racism in our field of global development. We will challenge traditional power structures in our field by supporting priorities and processes driven by local change agents — and working with and through local and regional experts and organizations led by people of color around the world — to strengthen the systems that make health, education and nutrition outcomes more equitable.
Although we’re facing a dark moment in history, there are signs of hope.
People around the world have taken to the streets demanding change and the end of white silence. Conversations about structural racism have gone mainstream. At R4D, we join allies around the country and world in using our voices and actions to fight for a more just society.