Whatcom Family & Community Network’s (WFCN) vision, values, and key frameworks demand that we build community capacity for equity, social connection, inclusion, empowerment, and collective action. We work from a resilience and hope-building model to be trauma-informed. We understand that if our work is not anti-racist, it is not trauma informed, and we are learning how to translate this understanding into action. We know and want to emphasize that becoming an anti-racist organization is an ongoing process – continuously learning, growing, and adapting is essential to building informed and trusting relationships within the community. The Summer of Equity Action effort, an 8-week plan of action in the summer of 2021, to kickstart WFCN, and encourage our coalitions, sponsored programs, and community partners to begin and/or make progress toward anti-racist action, is just one step along WFCN’s journey to create a more equitable future for everyone.
our call to action
Dear Whatcom Prevention Coalition (WPC), Mt. Baker Community Coalition (MBCC) Members, Fiscally Sponsored Programs and Community Partners:
As an organization that is committed to improving the lives of children, youth, and families in Whatcom County, we know we cannot do so effectively without acknowledging and addressing the impacts of discrimination on the individuals and communities we serve. We believe that all people should experience safety and wellbeing in community human service agencies. More importantly, we are clear that WFCN, like other local white-centered organizations and systems, has not provided that experience by excluding, omitting, and/or tokenizing individuals and communities based on their identities and demographics. As such, we are publicly committing to taking the journey to become a fully inclusive anti-racist multicultural organization.
This is our call for you, as a partner and program of ours, to engage in this work with us. We invite you to start or journey farther in your efforts to become a welcoming, accepting, and safe home for people regardless of their identities. We aim to work together to reduce and eliminate exposure to childhood trauma, including the byproducts of racism and discrimination, so we can prevent substance use and abuse and promote mental wellbeing.
Now–this moment and forward is what we have. We have been reading, learning, listening, and participating in community-wide processes that center the need to address racism. Our board of directors, staff and community members have been working to include equity, inclusion, and other values into our strategic plan. Engaging in an organizational assessment toward anti-racist action is one more step along our journey. Since our work is based on collective action in coalitions and networks, we’re inviting our partners into the action with us. We must address social justice issues focused on racism together.
Structural racism hinders the well-being of children, youth, and families in our community. By advocating for and taking internal action toward anti-racism on an organizational level, we apply our values to increase community capacity for equity, education, empowerment, connection, inclusion, love, and healing through collective action.
WFCN and our two coalitions, Whatcom Prevention Coalition (WPC), and Mt Baker Community Coalition (MBCC) have been building cultural humility and equity understanding through programming and professional development for years. We have invested in and promoted professional development in the form of paying for members to attend REACH (Race, Equity and Cultural Humility) training and promoting other REACH trainings hosted by others. WPC convened an Equity and Cultural Thinking Circle whose participants called for actionable outcomes. This encouragement of our coalitions and partners to begin and/or progress their anti-racism efforts is one of our actionable outcome efforts. Please join us today by setting and achieving a winnable goal for your organization!
The following is a suggested framework that can be used by organizations to apply anti-racism practices and policies within their structure and communities, and thus participate in the ongoing process of becoming a fully inclusive anti-racist multicultural organization. We have provided helpful resources in different “phases”: Learn, Reflect, Set Goal, Apply, and Revise. These phases were designed so that they can be followed in a cycle, recognizing that addressing racism is a continuous process.