Call to end anti-Black racism in Women's rights & Feminist Global Spaces

Call to end anti-Black racism in Women's rights & Feminist Global Spaces

March 2, 2021
Petition to
Donors, Foundations, International Development agencies, non-profit organizations, & private sector
Signatures: 55Next Goal: 100
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Why this petition matters

Started by at the Forefront

In alignment with the International Women's Day 2021 theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world," at the Forefront (a Black women’s think tank committed to social justice, gender equity, diversity, equity & inclusion, with a special focus on the intersectional experiences of African & Diaspora women) calls for a solution-driven commitment from the international development community to tackle widespread anti-Black racism inherent within its institutions. This call to action is in response to overwhelming feedback received following our DEI panel discussion during the Women and Girls Summit Africa (2020).

Whether based in Western HQ settings, or in country offices, evidence has shown that African professionals and people of African descent face widespread bullying, harassment, and systemic racism.

We have proposed some recommendations for organisations in the international development community to commit to in addressing the concerns raised by their diverse workforces.

  • Actively recruit and retain African & Diaspora women to serve in leadership roles, particularly within non-profit and development agencies which aim to serve Black communities. These leadership opportunities should be available at HQ, regional, and country office levels.
  • For donors, foundations, and grant makers to require implementing partners to conduct racial equity audits, monitorable results, and independent investigations with response for abuse.
  • Acknowledge the distinction between Diversity and Racial Equity within DEI Strategies — support and participate in the Racial Equity Index
  • Launch investigations where there is a trend of African & Diaspora professional having high turnover and conduct the organization cost of losing top talent.
  • Invest in program-level audits to prevent neo-colonialism within the sector, including creating cultural clashes between expats and local staff due to compensation and promotion disparities.
  • To invest in external auditors to conduct widespread DEI audits. This includes the collection of perspectives of professionals of African descent, particularly from those that have separated from the organization.
    • Recruitment, compensation, promotion equity
  • To commit to investing in independent and expedited report of bullying, harassment, and various forms of bullying and racism towards professionals of Africa descent.
  • To ensure the protection of victims of abuse within the organization without retaliation including demotion, firing, and continued abuse.
  • To invest institutional resources to develop active, and representative DEI committees to implement and monitor progress routinely, and report to all staff annually.

This list of recommendations is in by no means exhaustive and we would like to open up this discussion on how we move forward. Join us for a solution-oriented critical conversation to discuss how to dismantle anti-Black racism within the international development sector. (March 11th, 3:00PM GMT)

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Signatures: 55Next Goal: 100
Support now