CAIR Coalition’s Statement on Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization

CAIR Coalition recognizes that the United States’ wealth and power is built on stolen land, from enslaved labor, and under the racist lie that White people were superior to Black people, indigenous people, and people of color. 

This systemic racism from our country’s origins continues to perpetuate inequity throughout all facets of life in this country today. Being an anti-racist organization means actively working to dismantle inequitable institutions and systems, including the immigration detention and deportation system.

The mission of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition is to ensure equal justice for all immigrant adults and children at risk of detention and deportation in the Capital region. Part of this effort is pushing for true systemic change. As we work towards a more welcoming world, we remain dedicated to standing alongside people trapped in the fundamentally unjust system that currently exists.

Anti-racism is not just external. CAIR Coalition is equally committed to creating an internal culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization. This means:

  • Prioritizing the exploration and creation of mechanisms, such as paid internships, to enable the recruitment of people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, experiences, and economic circumstances in recognition that a diverse staff is essential to providing quality services;
  • Creating an environment where all staff feel they belong and have equitable access to resources, training, and opportunities. CAIR Coalition recognizes that hiring a diverse staff is only the first step in ensuring an internal culture that is equitable and inclusive of a diversity of people.
  • Creating opportunities for staff to learn from one another through community dialogues, affinity groups and other tools.
  • Centering the voices of impacted community members in all our communications and advocacy efforts. 

Becoming an anti-racist organization is a continually evolving process. There will always be more that we can do. Each year we will evaluate our progress and set new goals, keeping what works and changing what does not. 

No matter what: we will defend one another. 

 

CAIR Coalition Current Anti-Racism and Equity Goals  

CAIR Coalition’s Equity and Inclusion Committee (EIC) includes staff from each of CAIR Coalition’s programs who are dedicated to building and sustaining equity, diversity, and inclusion in the organization. Working in collaboration with CAIR Coalition’s management team, the organization has established the following goals for 2021:

Goal 1 – Create an organizational equity statement. 

Purpose: To have a shared definition of anti-racism so we can work towards our goals with shared language. 

Goal 2 – Create intentional space for community dialogue, including affinity groups embedded in our organizational structure.  

Purpose: To better understand the intersections of race, power, privilege, and advancing anti-racism as we move forward.

Purpose: To support and uplift the voices of those who have been historically excluded, minoritized, and/or underrepresented within the organization and society. Simultaneously, to facilitate White allies’ anti-racist growth at the organization. 

Goal 3 – Support the implementation of more equitable hiring & promotion practices in coordination with Human Resources.  

Purpose: To actively recruit and retain diverse staff, in recognition that diverse staff are essential to providing strong and culturally competent legal and social services