ActionAid UK supports GADN’s anti-racism statement

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ActionAid UK is endorsing the Gender and Development Network’s (GADN) statement of solidarity on anti-racism. ActionAid UK is a member of the network which works to promote gender equality and women’s rights in international development, and we strongly believe in aligning with and amplifying the voices of allies like GADN in the struggle against inequality, injustice and poverty. 

Statement of solidarity from the Gender and Development Network

The Trustees and staff of the Gender and Development Network (GADN) acknowledge and mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and many others, and the gross injustices against Black people that have sparked renewed anti-racism mass actions in the USA and globally.

Our work is not, and can never be, in isolation from these recent events which form part of a longer history of state sanctioned violence against Black people, fuelled and sustained by deeply ingrained anti-Blackness. GADN recognises that Black and indigenous people and people of colour experience profound harm due to centuries of structural racism and are currently bearing the disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. GADN stands in solidarity with all anti-racism activists and movements fighting to dismantle systemic white supremacy.

The international development sector is based in the history of European colonialism. Power inequalities, the white saviour complex, and racism are at play in the very foundations of the sector we work in. This is unacceptable and we call on the sector at large, and our member organisations in particular, to take an honest, challenging and fundamental review of the ways in which they enable and perpetuate racism – both in the treatment of their employees and in the work they do across the Global South.

GADN’s commitments to anti-racism

As GADN, and in particular white members of the Board, Secretariat and the wider membership, we have to start with ourselves and examine our own privileges and biases which, collectively, help to reinforce structural racism. As part of this work, we must read widely the work of writers of colour, challenge the effectiveness of our own anti-racism efforts and learn how to be proper allies. We re- commit to listening, supporting, funding and acting upon the priorities and demands of our Black, indigenous and people of colour colleagues.

GADN commits to fully support and resource its Women of Colour Forum as a way to help create a safe, healing space for women of colour network members, and as a space for its members to organise and strategise about the ways in which UK INGOs must work to explicitly recognise and address racial injustices within the workplace and across the sector.

GADN commits to continue putting the voices of women from the Global South at the centre of policy debates on the international stage, recognising that this must also translate into a redistribution of resources and opportunities to women and women’s rights organisations in the Global South.

Finally, we re-commit to recognising and exposing the impacts of slavery and colonialism on global economic systems, and to proposing alternatives in the post Covid-19 process of rebuilding transformative economies and societies based on equality and respect, free of discrimination.

Signed by the GADN Co-Chairs Antonella Mancini, Disha Sughand and Lee Webster on behalf of the Board and by Sophie Efange, GADN Secretariat Samantha Streibl, GADN Secretariat Jessica Woodroffe, GADN Secretariat