Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

For more information about some words used in this statement, see the Appendix of Terms at the bottom of the page. 

Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Episcopal Relief & Development is the compassionate response of The Episcopal Church to human suffering in the world. As a global organization that works together for lasting change, it is necessary that this response centers justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) in our workplace.

What is JEDI?

JEDI is a framework for creating tangible change within Episcopal Relief & Development’s culture in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion to create a more just organization and world. To do this, we must undo any structures of oppression and remove boundaries certain groups or individuals might face within our organization.

Why are we focusing on JEDI?

We are called to right the wrongs and sins of the past even as we strive to repent of those sins and any we continue to commit.

We recognize that racism, sexism and other forms of bias may be inherently present and that employees may have experienced harm based on their identities. As an organization with a global staff, we recognize that people around the world experience different regional biases that inform the experience of all staff.

As a faith-based global development organization, we celebrate the ways that The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion have created a welcoming environment and diverse theological tradition. We also recognize the ways that tradition has caused harm and used religion as a tool for colonization and oppression.

By addressing these historical legacies, we strive toward being an organization that celebrates differences, creates equitable access to opportunities and approaches all internal and external initiatives with a JEDI lens.

How are we working to become an organization that values Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?

Episcopal Relief & Development values nurturing and sustaining relationships with our program partners and with each other. One necessary way to do this is by using a JEDI framework to decolonize development practices as well as any white supremacist legacies that may implicitly inform policies, practices and culture.

The high-level goals of our work are to:

  • Ensure an inclusive work environment free of discrimination at all stages of the employment life cycle
  • Create and maintain opportunities for engagement, education and discussion related to issues of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Strive to build, support and value a community whose members have diverse cultures, backgrounds and life experiences
  • Create measurable objectives and actively monitor progress on an annual basis
  • Continually review policies and practices for bias across the organization

We understand that our JEDI work will be ever-evolving and require deep listening, reevaluation and active changes on an ongoing basis. We are committed to this work and in doing so will remain true to our call to seek and serve all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being.

Appendix of Terms

Justice seeks to dismantle barriers to opportunities and systemic disadvantages to employees’ ability to access resources and opportunities.

Equity refers to fair and just practices and policies that are designed to meet the unique needs of employees. Being equitable means acknowledging and addressing structural inequalities—historic and current—that advantage some and disadvantage others.

Diversity celebrates the differences among us that enhance the work and mission of Episcopal Relief & Development. These differences can be based on our various skills, gifts or social locations–the position a person holds in our society based on characteristics deemed to be important such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion and so on.

Inclusion means fostering respect and a team spirit in the workplace that embraces and amplifies the multicultural perspectives, voices and essence of all employees.

Decolonization is the process of deconstructing colonial ideologies regarding the superiority and privilege of Western thought and approaches from global development work.

White Supremacy describes a culture that, both structurally and ideologically, privileges whiteness in virtually all facets of society. White supremacy is intimately present in individuals and in larger, structural powers.