Our Racial Justice Policy
At Community Beyond Violence (CBV), we have taken time to form a thoughtful and genuine statement in response to the current events surrounding racial injustice. Staff are having reflective and difficult conversations within the agency about racial injustice, enhancing our awareness and strengthening practices to improve services for Black, Indigenous and People of Color. We have more work to do.
Racial injustice can be seen every day in this country. Unfortunately, we see and hear racism even in our own beloved community. What many people fail to see is the connection between racism and domestic and sexual violence. As advocates in the field, CBV staff are keenly aware of this alarming intersection. Domestic and sexual violence disproportionately affect People of Color. Last year, the Census Bureau estimated that 85% of Nevada County is white (non-hispanic) yet 48% of our clients identified as something other than white. Interpersonal violence is based in power differences and oppression. Police brutality with racist motivations is a symptom of the larger systemic racism and oppression that society suffers from. Oppression is a root cause of violence, so the fight to end sexual and domestic violence has always also required a concurrent fight against other forms of power-based oppressions, including racism. Any work that dismantles oppression can then be seen, directly or indirectly, as primary anti-violence work. We can not end one form of violence without ending all forms of violence.
We are not only domestic violence and sexual assault advocates, we are human rights activists so we know that Black lives matter. During this time, CBV reaffirms our critical commitment to provide services from a strengths-based, social justice and anti-oppression framework. And so we have more work to do to look within ourselves to assert dignity for all survivors of interpersonal violence. Here is some of the work we are doing within the agency:
Staff and leadership are attending webinars and trainings that increase awareness on the issues of racial equity and inequities.
We are making anti-oppression training mandatory for all staff and volunteers.
We are seeking partnerships with local organizations and groups working for racial justice and systemic change.
We continue to look for new ways to be inclusive and culturally responsive. A culturally responsive organization is one designed to effectively meet the needs of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences. It involves understanding the societal oppressions faced by various groups of people, and also respecting the strengths and assets inherent in different communities.
We are developing a staff committee dedicated to ensuring a culturally responsive understanding is reflected in program services, personnel, philosophies and policies.
At CBV, we still have more work to do for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color in our community and that work will be guided by our core values. We embrace diversity and provide culturally responsive services delivered with compassion and respect. We are committed to actions and decisions that help attain empowerment for each and every individual we serve. Most of all, we are committed to continue advocating for the kinds of change that will unify our community in peace and justice for the safety and well-being of every individual. We must put forth effort every day to live by these values as it requires a developmental process. Transformation is a journey. CBV is committed to be better each day, to be more informed, to push to make changes in ourselves and in the agency in order to work better with and for People of Color. And we have more work to do.
In order to create solutions to the root problem of systemic racism, we must start with what we do at home and in our own spheres of influence.
We must work each day to improve our understanding, listen to the voices of People of Color, engage one another on the topics of racial justice, have respect for others, make changes in our daily lives, and help those around us do the same.
If we truly want a community beyond violence, it is up to each of us to enact change and empower others to do the same.
And we still have much more work to do together.