Asylum Access statement of solidarity with the movement to dismantle systemic racism

A mural tribute to George Floyd in Idlib, Syria, by artists Aziz Azmar and Anis Hamdoun, taken by Omar Haj Kadour for AFP

The Asylum Access team has been horrified and outraged by the murder of George Floyd.  We acknowledge that his senseless killing happened within the context of the underlying problem: The United States has created and upheld systemic racism through segregation, redlining, gerrymandering, voter suppression, racial quotas, mass incarceration, police brutality and beyond.  We see, hear and acknowledge what has happened, and what is still happening.

We also see the many Black leaders, individuals and Black-run organizations across the US who have fought, and are still fighting, for a different reality for America’s Black communities.  We stand with you: Asylum Access believes that movements led by those most affected are more likely to be transparent, legitimate, accountable, and ultimately impactful.  

Asylum Access’s premise of supporting refugees is built on a foundation of human rights.  As a member of US civil society, we will not stand by as Black individuals across the country face human rights abuses with ongoing impunity.

Asylum Access has first looked inward.  Last year, we made a specific commitment to become more representative of the communities we work and live with.  To that end, we’ve dedicated financial and human resources to increasing the number of staff and board who represent these communities.  Recent hires and board candidates reflect a first step in this ongoing commitment.  

We’ve also dedicated resources to examining our organizational culture and ways of working, including our hiring practices, onboarding and professional development approaches, partnership structures and communication styles.  We recognize these steps to be in the best interest of our shared global future, and in broad support of our mission to make refugee rights a reality around the world.  

We know we can do more.  With the support of a long-term Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant, we have committed to do more learning, and to do more listening to Black communities and other people of color, and to give our team the opportunities, space, and support to be involved.

Thank you for supporting us as we work to become a more inclusive and representative organization.

Image: A mural tribute to George Floyd in Idlib, Syria, by artists Aziz Azmar and Anis Hamdoun. Photo taken by Omar Haj Kadour for AFP (Twitter: @omar_hajkadour, Facebook: Omar Haj Kadour).