At The Arc Community Advocates, we believe that every person deserves the right to a good and equitable life and to live in a community where everyone belongs. Equity, Inclusion and Diversity are at the core of the work that Community Advocates practices every day.
As advocates for those who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities, we stand together with our fellow marginalized communities that face bias and discrimination, including the LGBTQ+ community as well as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and those for whom these experiences intersect. Although the basis for the bias and discrimination against each of our communities is different, we share in its outcomes – seemingly inescapable cycles of poverty, a lack of access to adequate education and health care, the increased risk of police violence, and a lack of inclusion and equity in society.
While the values of equity, inclusion, and diversity have always been shared among our board and staff, we recognize that there are additional, proactive steps we can take to better stand with other marginalized communities. We will more actively recruit vendors, volunteers, staff, and board members from these communities, with the goal of amplifying the voices of those who experience the intersectionality of disability and other marginalization and supporting one another. We will also take steps to better engage and listen to the experiences of these community members in a genuine way so that we can serve their needs as they express them.
Our work toward improving our diversity and inclusion of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other
communities at The Arc Community Advocates will not be accomplished rapidly. We will not be perfect and will likely make missteps along the way, but these are steps that we must take if we are to stand together for a just and equitable world for all.