Call to Safety approaches domestic and sexual violence intervention and prevention work through a social justice and anti-oppressive lens. We communicate this value through community outreach, continuous training and education for our staff, and by applying anti-oppression theory into our Basic Advocacy Training for incoming volunteers. In the interest of joining the movement for racial justice, Call to Safety recently took on the effort to become an anti-racist organization. We recognize that as we live in a culture that is supported by white supremacy, our work towards racial justice will be on-going and in a constant state of becoming. We welcome feedback from the community at large about how we might better work towards this goal.
The term “anti-racism” is of particular significance in racial justice work, especially in regards to the use of the prefix ‘anti’. Racial justice activists have criticized the concept of non-racism for its passivity, as it isn’t enough to simply state that one doesn’t identify as racist in challenging white supremacy in our culture and institutions. Anti-racism is about action. It challenges all of us (particularly white people) to not only actively resist white supremacy within our communities, but to have the courage to challenge white supremacy in ourselves.
Since its implementation at Call to Safety, the move toward becoming an anti-racist organization has led to a stronger emphasis on the topic within our Basic Advocacy Training, and the creation of the Equity and Inclusion Committee. Currently, the Equity & Inclusion Committee is focused on:
- Revising our Basic Advocacy Trainings to show more diverse experiences and perspectives;
- Creating hiring and staff policies that reflect our anti-racist value;
- Utilizing our new information and referral database to provide culturally specific resource referrals to crisis line callers; and
- Creating a decision-making rubric that can be used to inform organization-wide decisions with a racial justice lens.
These concrete efforts reflect the success of Call to Safety’s intention to become anti-racist, and we are excited to see how our organization can continue to strengthen anti-racist efforts internally.