Houston Coalition Against Hate challenges diversity and inclusion policies that tokenize people with marginalized identities without addressing systemic barriers and institutional oppression. The Coalition eschews traditional “diversity and inclusion” statements in favor of this Justice Statement in our stance and call for justice over equity, and agrees to support institutions and organizations committed to this higher cause and ethos.
The purpose of this statement is to flip the narrative and reclaim power. We refuse to adopt any language of a system that has been systemically and generationally oppressive. The root causes of hate and bias can be disrupted when we choose to (1) actively learn about and value our differences and (2) intentionally embrace BELONGING –the belief we all have value and are intrinsically included by virtue of our existence.
In order to repair generations of harm, we recognize the need to consciously adopt a new paradigm that transcends inclusion and strives to create balance by first acknowledging the disparities of the past, then encouraging action leading toward solid institutional, organizational, and societal cultural shifts. While current diversity, equity, and inclusion policies may have made strides in ensuring the hiring and retention of those previously excluded, many of these policies upheld the status quo by keeping deserving candidates from positions of power, equitable compensation, and the ability to cultivate, create and herald their own opportunities. Therefore, we call forth and commit to leadership pipelines and mentorship programs for Black, Indigenous and all People of Color, along with people from all ethnicities, genders/gender identities, sexual identities, religions, ages, and abilities in order to have people in strategic positions who represent society and the communities served. We call forth and commit to a new paradigm that includes but is not limited to: pay equity, living wages, childcare, equitable family leave, workplace accommodations, and robust benefits packages.
We commit to having the diversity of the world and the City of Houston represented in our Coalition’s membership, board of directors, leadership, and staff. We assent to ensure equitable treatment, provide equal opportunities, access to information, and resources for all. In turn, we ask our member institutions, organizations, and leaders to review their procedures, educate their communities, and implement these principles into tangible practices and policies in order to manifest true shifts in paradigm and culture.
Society thrives when we celebrate everyone for who they are and welcome them to be active, participating, powerful members of the communities in which they live. We encourage and invite you to take and use this framework, citing the Coalition as the inspiration for the development of your own justice statements and/or policies of belonging.
One Kind – Humankind
The Houston Coalition Against Hate (HCAH) is a network of community-based organizations, institutions and leaders in Houston, TX that have come together to collectively address incidents of bias, hate, discrimination and violence against Houstonians because of their religion, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and immigration status.
Generations of American Indians have been Native and connected to the stolen land now known as the Texas Gulf Coast. Among them are the Atakapa-Ishak, Karankawa, Mariame, and Akokisa tribes. We honor their elders, past and present, as well as the Indigenous people from many nations who live and work in this region today. May this acknowledgement be a humble first step in the undoing of Indigenous erasure, providing accurate historical context while serving as a reminder to current non-native inhabitants, as we strive toward peace, reconciliation, and justice.