Austin IN Connection is a largely white-socialized organization and as such we have been complicit in perpetuating white supremacy and its varied threads of oppression. Until now, AINC failed to acknowledge this reality. Part of our work as helping professionals is to unravel this harmful pattern.
From an Interpersonal Neurobiology perspective, integration is cultivated from the linkage of differentiated parts. In our 13 years of existence, AINC has not differentiated from our silent, complicit engagement with the systematic nature of white supremacy.
For this differentiation process to begin, we must name our previous reluctance to recognize this issue and the harm caused by our inaction. We neglected to listen to the wisdom from Queer and BIPOC voices within our own organization and have failed to boost the voices of a variety of marginalized identities from our greater community.
We now commit to an ongoing effort toward reinventing AINC as a more actively inclusive, just, and equitable organization.
We pledge to:
- Continue self-examination of personal perpetuations of white supremacy within our organization.
- Receive and actively respond to feedback about our failures.
- Reexamine our organization’s:
- Bring AINC into alignment with the needs of the Austin mental health community through actions including, but not limited to:
- Prioritizing representation of non-white individuals on the board of directors and on volunteer committees.
- Prioritizing the promotion of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ voices of expertise on a variety of topics via our programming and social media.
These commitments are imperfect and will need to be continually updated as we become more aware of our blindspots and failures. Moving forward, we will remain transparent in this process and offer anonymous avenues for accepting accountability. We will no longer engage in white exceptionalism as an excuse to refrain from beginning our work to dismantle white supremacy.
Our goal as an organization is to eventually integrate all that we learn along the way so that we can truly reflect our larger community in representation, thought, and action. Please email president@austinINconnection.org with your questions and comments.
Yours in connection,
The AINC Board of Directors