Catholic Volunteer Network Increases Commitment to Racial Justice and Diversity Work
During the National Conference on Faith-Based Service last November, Catholic Volunteer Network shared a new statement on Racial Justice and Diversity. This statement was carefully developed by CVN’s Racial Justice and Diversity Committee over many months, and seeks to reflect our commitment to becoming a more just and equitable organization. We encourage all our members and partners to adopt this statement within their own programs and join us on this journey towards justice.
Statement on Diversity and Racial Justice
Catholic Volunteer Network respects and upholds the dignity of all persons regardless of the identities they hold. As we expand our conversations and programming with our members about present day structural injustices and their ties to oppressive histories, CVN dedicates itself to pairing those discussions with action to stop our own participation in the systems of oppression.
We believe that creating a just and diverse environment is more than an ideal. These are our core commitments that we invite our members to share:
• We strive to create space for all persons to serve within the CVN community – regardless of differences.
• We welcome persons of every race, religion, culture, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or emotional ability, immigration status, economic situation, and family composition.
• We celebrate all persons regardless of where they may be on their spiritual journey. We value persons of all faith traditions, those with no faith tradition, as well as those who are questioning and exploring.
• We are guided by the light of goodwill, humility, and hospitality as we work to extend volunteer opportunities to all persons in all places.
• Our Christian roots form the foundation of our core commitments. We work to be a community that follows Jesus’ example. We stand in agreement with Catholic Social Teaching, which upholds the life, dignity, and equality of all human beings.
While we are excited about this new commitment, we also acknowledge that we have a long way to go to truly reflect these values. Throughout the year ahead, you will hear more from us as we strengthen our commitment to racial justice and diversity – and open ourselves to new ways of envisioning faith-based service. Each month, CVN staff will commit to growing in this work by exploring new resources and engaging in conversation about how it impacts our work. We invite you to join us, and we will share the resources and discussion questions each month in How Can I Help?
We begin this month by reflecting more deeply on the Racial Justice and Diversity Statement and engaging in dialogue around these questions:
- How will becoming more diverse and equitable enhance our ministries? How will it change the impact we have on the communities our volunteers/missioners serve?
- Where does racism currently show up in our organization? Which individuals/groups are currently excluded from participating in our programs? What are the barriers to service?
- How does this commitment impact my work focus areas?
- Which of these commitments are we least prepared to carry out? Who can we look to or partner with to help us become better equipped?
For more information about CVN’s racial justice and diversity efforts, please contact Katie Mulembe at [email protected].