The Inclusion Allies Coalition is a group of close to 400 organizations and individuals committed to diversity, equity and inclusion within organizations and society. We strive to advocate for and serve as allies to those who are marginalized by policies and practices that exclude, discriminate against or otherwise lead to people being treated unfairly. Founded in 2017 in response to the massive polarization on a number of socio-political issues exacerbated by the 2016 US Presidential election, the Coalition carefully considers the positions that it takes. We believe that inclusion means that we consider divergent viewpoints and attempt to bridge our differences with greater understanding and acceptance. We feel that we must speak up as a united body when there are situations that jeopardize the values of inclusion.
As diversity practitioners we are often asked if there are boundaries or limits to inclusion. The answer is yes. For us inclusion means that we care about each other’s well-being. It means that we do not intentionally do harm to others. It means that we are empathetic and show compassion. Those whose actions would suggest the opposite, are not practicing inclusion.
We were heartened to hear yesterday that by Executive Order President Trump put a stop to the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. This practice was abhorrent and totally violated the values of inclusion and equity. Moreover, it violated the values of most religions and the espoused values of our country. Even with the halt of this practice, we continue to worry about the fate of these 2000 plus children and their families. So much damage has been done. How and when will they be reunited with their parents? What are the irreversible psychological effects that many experts believe these children will face? More broadly, we remain concerned that as the Zero Tolerance policy continues to be enforced, inhumane treatment will not stop. And Attorney General Jeff Sessions has excluded fears of domestic abuse or gang violence as valid reasons for granting asylum in the United States.
How we wonder, in modern day America could this be happening? There was no immigration law mandating that children be separated from parents. Why would we exclude fears of personal violence as reasons for granting asylum? Where is the compassion that the President said led him to sign the executive order?
The Inclusion Allies Coalition members are dedicated in their respective roles to fostering practices, behaviors and mindsets that respect and value the dignity of every individual. We are about righting the wrongs of global injustices that have occurred since the beginning of time and unfortunately continue today. The practice of separating children from their parents is reminiscent of this horrible practice used during slavery and in Nazi Concentration and Japanese Internment Camps. It is incomprehensible to think that in 2018, our moral compass would allow us to repeat such abuse, and inhumane acts.
Admittedly, the immigration issue in this country is complex but lest we forget that we are a country born of immigrants and lest we forget the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
What can you do?
- Speak out via your social media networks. Use your influence and platforms.
- Attend a protest or vigil to show solidarity.
- Donate to and support organizations, efforts that are being led by the communities that are impacted.
- Call your elected officials.
- If you are a leader, hold your offices of D&I, CSR, Government Relations accountable for aligning themselves with equity and inclusion inside and outside the organization.
We often do not think that as one person we can make an impact. You can and we hope that you will join with The Inclusion Allies Coalition in denouncing this repulsive practice.