Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Justice
The mission of Global Ties U.S. is to power individuals, communities, and nations to build trust and to advance peace and prosperity through international exchange. As international exchange professionals who work to reflect the United States to the world, we must look inward to ensure that we are aiming to be diverse, equitable, and inclusive – and actively be part of the solution for racial justice that is long overdue within the United States.
This is at the heart of our work:
- Building and celebrating a more diverse workforce that recognizes all races, ethnicities, ages, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, religions, disabilities, economic statuses and other diverse backgrounds helps to inspire equitable solutions, which inspires trust, which builds feelings of inclusion and community.
- Listening to one another — not just to the foreign visitors we bring to the United States, but to members within our communities — is essential for international exchange work to be meaningful and effective.
- Building a community of practice to tangibly center equality and justice in our work is critical if we are to root out the legacies of white supremacy, racism, and hatred in all its forms within international exchange programming and reflect our country’s rich diversity to the world.
Our commitment to more intentionally approach issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in the international exchange field extends to two parallel efforts, which are informed by a 2020 DEIA assessment conducted at Global Ties U.S. by Nonprofit HR, and our work to support the Global Ties Network, funded by the U.S. Department of State.
- Within Global Ties U.S.: We can do better at attracting more diverse talent and we commit to continuously building a team that brings together a range of backgrounds and experiences to our programs, members services, and communications. While 94 percent of our team feels they belong at Global Ties U.S., we want that to be 100 percent. To ensure better team inclusion, our internal DEIA Committee focuses on various concerns that surface within the organization and builds trainings on topics such as microaggression so that we’re all aware of our words and actions and how they can negatively affect fellow team and Network members. We are also hiring human resources support to ensure we have a more equitable workplace and are honoring our values. We revisit our 2020 DEIA assessment regularly with the Global Ties U.S. Board, which keeps the President & CEO accountable for progress, and share our progress – and lessons learned – with our Network.
- Within the Global Ties Network: Global Ties U.S. supports and funds, with the backing of the U.S. Department of State, a Network DEIA Working Group which convenes representatives from member organizations across the country to rethink how to better actualize the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice through the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Simultaneously, we work to support our members to center these principles within their organizations nationwide. This includes providing trainings and funding resources through our Community Partnership Grant to ensure that they are expanding outreach to minority and historically underrepresented communities within their cities, and highlighting their work through Global Ties U.S. communications, including the Network Innovation Spotlight. You can read more about the Working Group’s mission statement here. Members of Global Ties U.S. can access the DEIA resource center on our portal here (login required).
Together with our Network partners, we have begun to better educate ourselves and break down barriers for a truly open and inclusive society. We have a lot of listening and work to do. The work will be iterative. This is not a one-time project; we are committed to changing norms.
Moving values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice to the center of international exchange programming is essential to building the trust with individuals, communities, and nations that our mission demands.