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Dear AL!VE Members,
If you did not have a chance to read our statement sent last week, I have included it here. Please take a moment to read this important message:
Our country is hurting as recent events have placed a spotlight on our institutionalized racial inequity. We know we need to change as a society. We can start by taking a stand against all forms of racial injustice and demonstrating through actions that Black Lives Matter. Our roles as volunteer engagement professionals can be used as a vehicle for this change. It is not only an opportunity, but a responsibility we have to bring others together for the common good.
Many of us are asking ourselves what we can do. We challenge each other and you to ask the following questions:
Have we made our volunteer opportunities accessible? Do we have unintended barriers, including our own biases and privilege, that keep people of color from volunteering?
What can we do to eliminate these barriers (e.g., cost to participate, transportation issues, policy issues, days and times of volunteer opportunities) from our work so our volunteers better reflect the communities we serve?
Are we listening to our community? Are our volunteer departments’ objectives meeting their needs? Are we amplifying all stakeholder voices so they are being heard, understood, and involved in the process?
What happens if we do nothing? What are the consequences of not addressing the questions above? Will taking a neutral stance be doing more harm than good?
We can all do something to move towards racial justice. Please take a moment to think about these questions and work with your teams on solutions in these areas we can control that can make an impact for all.
And remember, we are here for you. Our goal is to provide you with knowledge and resources to help you succeed in being a changemaker for your community and society. Please visit our website’s Resources page as well as the file archive on the Members Only site to access past AL!VE Academies that provide information and tools around diversity and inclusion.
If we can help you in any way, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. AL!VE also wants to challenge ourselves to ensure we are listening to our members and providing you with what you need. All feedback and suggestions are welcome so we can continue to enhance our member-driven organization and be an association you can be proud to be a member of.
We look forward to working with all of you in our stand for justice, peace and equity. Our field demands it.
Yours in Service,
AL!VE Board of Directors