SHERWOOD FOREST’S RACE EQUITY CULTURAL PLEDGE
Sherwood Forest (SF), which at its core functions as both a Youth Development and Anti-Poverty Agency, has as its primary mission a dedication to providing multi-faceted services to underserved and underprivileged youth in the Greater St. Louis region.
Recent episodes of violence against People of Color have brought to the forefront the fact that systemic and institutional racism continue to plague our country and our community. Such racism and biases disparage our neighborhoods, fail families of color and the children we serve, and does lasting damage not only to SF families, but to our entire societal fabric. This blight on our Nation and our community highlights the urgent need to work collectively to eradicate all forms of systemic racism and racial biases. We, as an organization and as individuals, have a moral obligation to do our part in denouncing and dismantling such barriers; continuing with the status quo is not an option.
Accordingly, to create a more inclusive, understanding and equitable environment, and to help establish and maintain a culture that empowers and is respectful of all identities and voices, SF makes the following “Race Equity Cultural Pledge.” We urge all SF Board members, SF personnel, and beneficiaries of SF services to hold SF accountable in fulfilling this Pledge:
- SF commits to being openly and fervently anti-racist in all facets of its operations.
- SF commits to consciously and proactively working towards creating and maintaining a culture of equity and inclusion.
- SF commits to creating a race equity culture in its’ programs that lifts up all we serve through experiential learning to help reaffirm their dignity, worth, and value, and capture and invigorate their imaginations.
- SF commits to diversifying its hiring and Board recruitment practices so that the youth we serve see individuals that better represent them and their communities; role models that give them hope, possibility, and purpose.
- SF commits to being self-reflective and earnest in its commitment to racial justice.
- SF commits to regularly re-assessing its policies and practices to insure our commitments are always proactively anti-racist.
- SF commits to fostering a community of openness, understanding and sensitivity among all SF stakeholders.
- SF commits to giving voice to positive, influential role models and community leaders to present powerful, proud voices for our campers.
- SF commits to “leaning into” uncomfortable conversations about racial equity, inviting open discourse, and actively listening; we believe that such open dialogue, self-assessment and attentiveness are essential to achieving SF race equity goals.
- SF commits, at all levels of our organization, to serving with the utmost integrity, humbleness, and honesty.
- SF commits to using a race equity lens in informing, analyzing, and evaluating all aspects of our organization and to condemn all forms of racism and the systems that perpetuate them in our community.
- SF commits to forming a standing committee on racial equity that will provide oversight and accountability in pursuing its anti-racism goals and fulfillment of its Race Equity Cultural Pledge, to recommending programs to achieve these goals and objectives, to meeting regularly to monitor success, and to reporting regularly to the SF Board.
SF firmly believes that such comprehensive and long-lasting organizational commitments serve as an important first step in eliminating racial disparities in our society and eradicating barriers that thwart the development, growth and prosperity of youth in our community.