Racial Equity & Inclusion

Definition, outcome and process

Working toward racial equity, as we define it, means understanding and acknowledging both historical and ongoing racial inequities, and challenging them consistently. We see racial equity as both a structural outcome and an intentional process within all areas of our work, including policy analysis, organizing and advocacy.

As an outcome, racial equity means building a world where one’s racial identity cannot statistically predict one’s quality of life. As a process, racial equity means taking deliberate steps to ensure that communities of color are meaningfully involved in the creation and implementation of the policies that influence their lives.

Commitment

Alabama Arise commits to:

  • Develop and maintain a lens of racial equity and inclusion and examine processes through it. For example, we will analyze processes including hiring, board and membership recruitment, issue selection, strategic planning and policy development for their contribution to addressing racial equity and inclusion.
  • Recognize and address barriers that people of color and organizations composed predominantly of people of color face in participating in our processes and joining our coalitions.
  • Create and maintain mechanisms through which people of color can lead, participate in and influence our goals and processes.
  • Actively denounce and oppose the ideologies of white supremacy and racial oppression and challenge policies that perpetuate those systems.
  • Perpetually seek knowledge and understanding of racial equity and inclusion, and actively support allies who seek the same goals.
  • Establish and maintain an ongoing internal process to improve and evaluate our racial equity tools and procedures.
  • Take each of these steps with the recognition that racial equity and inclusion is a fundamental and integral part of our work, and that there can be no economic or social justice without racial justice.

Supporting discussion

Addressing racial equity must be at the core of Alabama Arise's work.

The United States has a long history of racial injustice, and Alabama’s history of racial oppression is particularly painful. These injustices have played a large part in the disenfranchisement and economic oppression of our state’s communities of color. As we seek to end policies that trap Alabamians in poverty and to empower people to be their own advocates, we must recognize the role that racial injustice has played – and continues to play – in shaping the barriers that people of color face to their political participation and their efforts to achieve socioeconomic equality.

We must integrate racial equity and inclusion into our work if we are to build a future in which all Alabamians, regardless of race, have an equal opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilling life and to take part in the political process.

We recognize that our objectives require ongoing reflection and action. We also recognize the need for adaptation as we encounter new perspectives and additional information. As such, this statement must be a “living” statement, able to be amended as we gain new understandings.

We know we are part of a larger network of organizations and coalitions striving to fulfill the goals of racial equity while seeking to improve the lives of people with low incomes. It is our intent that our member groups and allies hold us – and each other – accountable to these goals. And it is our intent that we work together to address racial equity issues that affect people across Alabama.