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Racial Equity Statement

Committed to dismantling racism and centering equity

Our Acknowledgement

Community Works acknowledges that we are living and working on sacred, unceded, occupied Ohlone territory. We recognize that this land is still of deep importance to the Ohlone people who are here today. Restorative Justice, a framework derived from ancient indigenous practices, shapes our approach to confronting and healing the impacts of interpersonal and systemic harm. We engage in restorative practices as part of a broader social justice movement for safety and liberation, but we also acknowledge the painful reality that we are learning and benefiting from the ancestral practices of the indigenous people whose presence has nearly been erased from this land.

We acknowledge that BIPOC communities are disproportionately policed and incarcerated in this country, and that we are a part of the system of support that exists to try to undo this systemic harm in our communities. As Audre Lorde stated, “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” And yet to reach our people, we need to work inside of and alongside the system, without helping the system “widen its net.”

Systems built on inequity and racism must be reimagined and rebuilt. Community Works is committed to dismantling racism and centering equity to reimagine and rebuild our work, and push for change in the systems and communities in which we exist. We commit to continuously examining our organization’s programs, policies, practices, culture, and staffing to identify areas where we may challenge our assumptions and live into our acknowledgements above.

Our Commitments

1. Pay the Shuumi Land Tax to support the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, and answer calls to action from Ohlone people.

2. Honor, as expertise, the lived experiences of survivors, incarcerated people, and children with incarcerated parents in the design, implementation, and evaluation of our programs and initiatives, and ensuring their representation at every level of our organization including in leadership and on the Board.

3. Cultivate an anti-racist learning culture in our workplace through a staff-led initiative to identify, report, resolve, and restore incidents of racism and/or white privilege in the agency’s learning culture and programs.

4. Review and redesign our program approaches and curriculums to ensure that they are trauma-informed and culturally relevant programs designed to prevent re-traumatization and address racial inequity.

5. Identify key strategic areas where decision-making power is shared between staff and organizational leadership.

6. Pursue systems change and policy work, new partnerships, and funding opportunities that allow us to breathe life into this statement.

These are our first set of commitments, developed by our staff-led Racial Equity Collaborative. We will continually update this page with our progress and with new commitments. For more information, please contact Dee Morizono Myers, dmyers@communityworkswest.org and/or Kristina Bedrossian, kbedrossian@communityworkswest.org.