During this time of pandemic and the emergence of an awakening and recognition of the racial and economic inequities across America, IMPACCT Brooklyn’s staff and board agreed upon the creation of our Racial Equity Statement.
On the eve of Juneteenth, the oldest national celebration of the end of slavery in the USA, we are making our Racial Equity Statement public. We commit to operationalizing our statement.
IMPACCT Brooklyn Racial Equity Statement
IMPACCT Brooklyn was founded on the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, which are embedded in our programs, services, vendor management and community engagement. Throughout our more than 50 year history, however, we have witnessed first-hand the impact of structural and systematic racism on the communities that we serve. Because we believe that these communities deserve better, IMPACCT Brooklyn is committed to being intentional and factual as we continue to lead dialogue and actions to address racial inequities and economic mobility for underserved and underrepresented communities. We also know that we have an obligation to bring the voice of the community to the forefront and contribute information, resources, and diverse perspectives to our networks, elected officials, funders, donors, and other stakeholders in the field of housing, community and economic development, and take pride in that obligation. As we further our vision and mission, we will continue to incorporate a racial equity lens in our operations, programs and services, and collaborate with community stakeholders to dismantle or mitigate the structural and systemic barriers that have impeded progress in the communities we serve.
We work toward the day when:
- Underserved and underrepresented population have equal opportunity and access to quality education, livable wages, financial security, healthcare and safe and affordable housing;
- The communities we serve are economically, racially, and culturally diverse;
- People of diverse backgrounds learn from and trade with each other, and strive together in identifying and pursuing common interests and goals;
- All people embrace the pursuit of equality, fairness and justice through an ideal of personal responsibility and collective action;
- Market forces are tempered by purposeful and coordinated efforts of grassroots activists, community development organizations, socially responsible businesses, and progressive public officials, toward balancing the virtues of continuity and change;
- All people have equal opportunity to influence public policy through voting and other political activities, toward establishing the framework within which people can flourish, pursuing both individual fulfillment and the greater good.
UTILIZING A RACIAL EQUITY LENS
IMPACCT Brooklyn will:
- Engage local residents, particularly Black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC), for employment, membership, volunteer and board opportunities, including leadership, within our organization;
- Proactively seek to retain vendors from BIPOC communities and utilize local, diverse businesses when engaging for services, and will seek to partner with donors, funders, and other stakeholders who have demonstrated action and value that advance racial equity;
- Design its housing developments, programs and services, and marketing materials to assure members of the community are represented, empowered and micro-inequities are eliminated;
- Be respectful of, acknowledge and celebrate the value and rich history of other community- based organizations, coalitions, and networks serving BIPOC communities;
- Collaborate with transparency, integrity, and a willingness to listen and desire to contribute our key strengths to the design of systems that most effectively address racial inequities;
IMPACCT Brooklyn is committed to building internal capacity for further understanding the impact of racism on BIPOC communities, interrogating our own structures & systems and improving how we address racial equity within the organization through inclusivity, empowerment and continuous staff and board training.
IMPACCT Brooklyn will use the following framework to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound) Goals to ensure racial equity continues to be integrated in all of our work.
RACIAL EQUITY FRAMEWORK AND QUESTIONS TO ASK
- State the inequality.
- What is the reason this issue exists? (History)
- Who is impacted or harmed?
- Who benefits?
- Who is included/excluded in determining the solutions to the problem?
- How would you solve the problem preventing the perpetuation of racial inequities?
IMPACCT Brooklyn will comply with all federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws in its operations, services, programs and vendor management and community engagement.
-Bernell Grier, Executive Director of IMPACCT Brooklyn