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R4D’s commitment to upholding anti-racist values and practices

R4D Statement   |   June 11, 2020   |   7 Comments

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.

Comments 7 Responses

  1. MACHARIA NDEGWA June 19, 2020 @ 3:49 am

    Black Lives Matter. I was saddened to first note that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected the lives of Black Americans at high rates. Now, came the issue of George Floyd and others, the senseless deaths were horrific and deeply disturbing. A great country like America is now run on the issue of racism. I watched a video of Dwayne Johnson, an actor, begging in pain and pleading to the president to show direction on racial justice and solve the issues.

    Reply
  2. Elkana Ong'uti June 13, 2020 @ 3:21 pm

    It is great for an organization to come out to be counted among the progressive forces fighting racism, not only in the USA but all around the world. It is a disease that has been mainstreamed in many spheres of life. This is not a war that will be won within a short time. We should however sustain the fight to the very end. I wish to associate myself with all these efforts and offer myself to play my part where I can.

    Reply
  3. Atikah Adyas June 13, 2020 @ 9:30 am

    I really appreciate your commitment to be a strong nation.

    Reply
  4. Ruth Elizabeth June 13, 2020 @ 2:32 am

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I condemn racism and join R4D in this fight. All human beings have the right to survive and thrive. I am proud to be part of this initiative.

    Reply
  5. Oluwafeyikemi Agbola June 12, 2020 @ 3:04 pm

    It is great to know that we are not afraid to stand by what we know is right and fair. We are definitely setting the pace in this development space and I am glad to be part of this organization.

    Reply
  6. Berick Mhlanga June 12, 2020 @ 2:32 pm

    I join the struggle of equality, free life, dignity and free movement. The big task is to undertake to change both the Decolonising of the minds of superiority based on color. Then changing the State laws and the implementation and monitoring of the changes.

    Reply
  7. Leonard Selim Gobah June 12, 2020 @ 1:45 pm

    I am excited about your commitment to fighting this canker; making the commitment to listen to your staff, who have and continue to live these experiences. It takes an organization with excellent values to challenge its own history and make these strong commitments to fight white supremacy and ensure fairness. I especially like the area of – who is regarded as an expert. It is time to challenge this, as this cannot be just a one-way stream. The global south has excellent human resources, who are experts in their own rights and should be accorded such recognition. Expertise is not embedded in skin color nor location.

    Reply

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