At IHAN, we are feeling the grief and outrage over the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery among so many Black lives lost because of racial violence. Additionally, we have witnessed first-hand that communities of color are disproportionately impacted during disasters, from climate disasters to Covid-19, and we deeply recognize the health disparities that exist for people of color as well.
This time of uprising deepens our commitment to supporting our mission of transforming trauma into resilience in communities impacted by climate disasters through our values of compassion, equity, collaboration, and empowerment.
Last year, our leadership team at IHAN started to have more and more in depth conversations about how to embody our values and how systemic racism is impacting our organization at a volunteer, administrative, and leadership level. This year, we vow to listen more and take direct action as a result.
Our top priority for 2020 is diversifying our organization to be represented at all levels by those that we are serving. This includes but is not limited to undocumented people, people of color, homeless populations, and LGBTQIA+ folks. We set this goal in February, realizing that as a new and growing organization, diverse voices are the key to becoming the inclusive organization for resiliency we have always envisioned. This goal is now more urgent than ever. As an organization, we can and will do better to uplift and learn from BIPOC voices so we can strengthen our values and empower our staff and volunteers to bring culturally competent, trauma-informed integrative care to all members of the communities we serve.
Below are a few resources that have been helpful for our team to support the journey of unlearning, releasing, and healing systemic racism that is stored in our bodies so we can lead from a more informed and regulated space. There is a lot of work to do - more difficult conversations, more learning from a variety of voices, more internal reflection and healing, and more direct action supporting Black people now and moving forward.
We support and stand in solidarity with the Black community. The pledge to use our platform to uplift Black voices. We are committed to seeking out more BIPOC to join our leadership and volunteer teams so we can better represent the communities we serve. We see you. We are listening. Black lives matter.
With Gratitude and In Solidarity,
Jenny Harrow, MA and Dr. Jen Riegle, ND - Co-Founders
Cultural Competency Advisory Board – CALL TO ACTION
A top 2020 goal for IHAN is to focus our volunteer training programs on cultural competency and how that relates to trauma-informed integrative disaster care. In the next several months, we will be building a Cultural Competency Advisory Board to help guide and inform us on ways we can bring cultural competency and anti-racism to all aspects of our organization. This Board will consist of individuals who represent members of our community that are most usually underrepresented, including, but not limited to: