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Our Commitment to Anti-Racism

Over the last few weeks the legacy organizations of Aspen and BGCC have been taking time to reflect on what we should do and say with respect to anti-racism. Individually, as organizations that value diversity and safety for everyone, we have been listening, learning, speaking up and taking action. However, we did not come together to speak with one voice. We should have clearly identified our stance sooner. We should have told Black, Indigenous and People of Colour that they had our support as the wave of heartbreak and protest ignited by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and many others rocked communities around the world. We should have made it clear that we stand together with those who are experiencing the very real damages of systemic racism. We apologize to those that our silence hurt and for allowing our own insecurities and our speechlessness to get in the way of extending our support.

We understand that we must do the hard work of both personal reflection and examination of our organization as a whole to address the pervasive power of white supremacy in our work. To translate this learning into organizational change, our team is actively engaging in anti-racism work. Here are some of the immediate and ongoing actions you will see from us:

  • Our leadership team is enrolling in anti-racism training to challenge racial biases and guide organizational change.
  • Intentionally building anti-racism into our organization during the formation of our new agency identity, vision, values, strategy and governance structure.
  • Evaluating our hiring, on-boarding, supervision and training processes to ensure inclusivity and equity at all levels of the organization.
  • Conducting a thorough audit of our program frameworks, approaches and policies.
  • Amplifying diverse voices and perspectives on our social media platforms and through the resources, research, artwork, language and literary works used in our service delivery.
  • Actively engaging with the Anti-Racism Working Group established at Aspen in April of 2019 and expanding it to new members from BGCC to support an anti-racist agency culture.
  • Developing an accountability framework to ensure that we implement these actions and continue to take steps forward.

We know that as an organization embedded in a wider social service system with colonialist roots there have been times where we have allowed injustice to go unchallenged. This cannot continue and we commit to taking the steps necessary to make this change.

Our goal is to be an organization with an anti-racist culture and impact in our community. As we grow in being and acting in allyship with Black, Indigenous and People of Colour we will continue to listen, learn, speak up and take action.