#BlackLivesMatter: Statement of support by CARE International UK

By: 
CARE

Equality. Inclusion. Social Justice. These are the values we work toward every day.

They are at the very core of CARE’s mission because we know that we cannot end poverty without them.

Like people across the world, we at CARE International UK have been appalled and angered by the death of George Floyd, on Monday 25 May 2020. The protests in the USA, UK and around the world show that people know this is the latest brutal example of the deep, longstanding and widespread racism that still affects every society.

At CARE, the starting point for all our work is our belief that poverty is caused by unequal power relations that result in the inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities between women and men, between power-holders and marginalised communities, and between countries. We believe that poverty cannot be overcome without addressing those underlying power imbalances. It is CARE’s mission to work alongside people and communities around the world to remove those power imbalances, in order to achieve social justice and thereby end poverty.

Our particular focus is on women and girls and on tackling and ending gender injustice. But we have also long recognised that many women face additional prejudice and discrimination in many forms – including ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability and religion – and that all of these must be overcome to achieve equality for all.

As a global society, we need to recognise that global poverty and inequality is in large part a result of colonialism built on the slavery and exploitation of black people, indigenous people, and people of colour. The recent #BlackLivesMatter protests show that there is also a widespread and deeply felt desire for change, and that many people believe that this moment must be seized as a turning point.

At CARE, we are committed to doing all we can to achieve a world of hope, inclusion and social justice, where poverty has been overcome and all people live with dignity and security. Racism is utterly abhorrent to CARE’s values. But we recognise that CARE is not a specialised anti-racism organisation. We therefore want to be thoughtful about how we can be a true ally of others who are leading the anti-racism movement. We know that we need to work both to be a non-racist organisation and an anti-racist organisation.

At CARE International UK, for the past two years, our diversity team – made up of staff from all levels of the organisation, including our CEO – has been challenging and pushing us to become a more diverse and inclusive organisation, based on an audit in 2018. We now have a more diverse Board of Trustees, and this year we have started providing unconscious bias training to all our staff. We know that these are only initial steps, and that there is much more to be done.

Globally, we design and implement our programmes based on an assessment of need and informed by analysis of power structures and the structural barriers which people are facing in each context in which we work. We recognise that equitable participation in decision-making and allocation of resources is central to overcoming discrimination. We work with local individuals, organisations and communities to support them to bring about these changes and to ensure that our own work is delivered accountably and fairly.

We will continue to challenge ourselves to recognise and address the systemic racism of the international development sector of which we are part and the active, anti-racist role we must play. In doing so we are committed across CARE International to relinquishing power in the global north and strengthening the role of the global south in our confederation.

Again, we know that there is much more that we can do. We know that we need to do better. And we know that we need to do it now. All of us at CARE – whether we are White, Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, or from other minority communities – challenge ourselves as individuals, and as an organisation, to listen more, to feel uncomfortable, to learn more about what needs to change, to amplify voices that need to be heard, and to be more active allies in the fight against racism and white supremacy in all its forms.

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