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The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have shaken not only communities in the U.S. but also communities around the world. We are witnessing global acts of solidarity for racial justice through mass protests and demonstrations, awareness-raising and organization on social media, and advocacy for systemic change at an unprecedented scale. Equity and Justice advocates demanded for decades to dismantle global racially inequitable systems and structures specifically calling out the aid sector’s colonial roots and historical perpetuation of white western supremacy. The 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement has been dubbed the largest civil rights movement in modern history, providing the opportunity and responsibility for the development and humanitarian sector to tackle systemic racial injustice both internally and externally within the communities it serves. This series is intended to start a collective dialogue and charter the path for transformational change within our industry.
Part Two: Decolonizing International Development builds on topics/trends that emerged from part one. We will look at ways in which organizations and individuals can begin answering tough questions and addressing issues raised in part one. While we cannot solve the world’s race issues in 1.5 hours, this session will focus on understanding the building blocks of how we can begin implementing change, both internally and externally to combat elements of race and colonialism in our work. Potential topics we will explore include the role of media and publishing in propagating colonial or race-based thinking in the sector, how hiring and staffing practices may reinforce colonial biases, and how organizations and employees can examine and alter funding and program implementation to ensure the voices of those most impacted by development efforts are better elevated.