2020 brought painful conversations to the forefront in so many ways. One of the messages we have heard echoed across the globe has been “We are all in this together,” a value that is core to the work we do at REACH. But what has sustained and motivated us this past year has been another of our values; “We believe change is possible – we work with communities and individuals to change social norms and systems of oppression in order to prevent and ultimately end domestic violence.” We know that to do our work, we must disrupt and undo the power of racism and white supremacy both in our communities, in ourselves, and within our organization.
While many of our staff have been engaging in anti-racist work on an individual level, we recognized the need for a more structural and institutional approach. In 2019, we formed an Equity and Inclusion working group made up of staff, and last spring we began a search process to hire a consultant to guide this work. In December, we began our work with Trinity Boston Connect’s Organizational Equity Practice (OEP) team to conduct a racial equity assessment with staff, board, survivors, and volunteers. From this assessment process, the OEP team will provide recommendations, provide training and ongoing learning, and work with REACH to define and implement sustainable change.
While we believe that change is possible, we know it must start with us. We are grateful for the opportunity to lean into these uncomfortable and painful conversations and to create a more equitable organization for staff, volunteers, survivors, and the communities we support.