Recent events around the world and the resultant momentum of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have highlighted the painful fact that racism still deeply permeates our society and institutions. No organization can assume that racial discrimination and prejudice do not exist. We are not exempt here in the Netherlands, or in FMO.
As an organization that focuses on reducing inequality and that has diversity as one of its values, we owe it to society at large, to our partners and each of our colleagues to strive for full equality and inclusion. There is an important difference between simply ensuring that diverse backgrounds and viewpoints are represented and making sure everyone can bring their full self to work. That holds for racial differences as well as other forms of diversity.
… particularly in our own organization. We want FMO to be a source of strength and pride for everyone working here.
This is the start of a conversation. We may have a long way to go but we take action today with tangible steps towards an inclusive and equal future. We will create an Inclusion Working Group to support FMO in becoming a truly inclusive workplace that provides a space for all who feel left behind and for all who are passionate about the pursuit of full equality.
The Inclusion Working Group has a formal place in FMO and, with the full support and commitment of senior leadership, helps to ensure that the topic of inclusion, including racism, remains on the table and considers all facets of our organization.
We ask all FMO-ers to be proactive and inquisitive when it comes to fighting racial injustice. To have the courage to discuss or speak up about (racial) injustice and to be respectful of the differing perspectives and experiences that come with this very multifaceted topic. To do this invitingly to those who may be insecure or uncomfortable in the first instance. To be willing to listen with new ears, to (self-)reflect and to learn with new eyes, and to find empathy for others when they share experiences that may challenge their assumptions. And above all, to engage with others out of genuine care and the desire to jointly create a better, equal, future.