Our Equity Statement
Community Action envisions a community where residents are strong, resilient, involved in the community, and live with dignity and security. We believe this can happen by eliminating conditions of poverty and creating opportunities for people and communities to thrive. But to eliminate poverty we must acknowledge the dominant role race plays in our community. Our own data tells us that people of color experience poverty at twice the rate of white people here in Washington County. To achieve our mission, we must understand and acknowledge how race has been used at a systemic level to limit opportunity for some while enhancing it for others. These are the inequitable systems we all live in, and these are the systems we need to address if we are to successfully create opportunity for everyone in Washington County.
An equitable community is one where every person can have their needs met regardless of their identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religion, or age. Community Action strives to be an equitable organization, a place where every person who engages with us feels like they belong and are recognized as their whole selves. Community Action is committed to being an anti-racist organization – actively working to identify systems and structures that perpetuate white supremacy and take action to disrupt them. White supremacy underlies all systems of American life – justice, culture, housing, education, economic opportunity, and political power. These systems in turn prop up and perpetuate racial and economic injustice. This is wrong! We have a moral responsibility to identify and change racist systems and proactively eliminate racist behavior when we see it, both within our community and our organization.
The work to be an equitable organization is challenging and constant, and we believe that it happens on individual, cultural, and institutional levels. It requires us to listen to the voices of those we serve and to believe them. It requires us to be brave in standing up to racism and be vulnerable in examining how our own actions perpetuate racist systems. It requires us to understand that we can both love the place where we work and believe that we can push ourselves to be more diverse, more inclusive, and more equitable.
Community Action is committed to equity. We will act to advance equity within our organization and our community. We will hold ourselves accountable to this commitment and will report to our community how this commitment impacts our mission.