Response to Actions Within the Organization

PRESS RELEASE (1)

Supporting our members and communities goes well beyond words of solidarity. It also calls for us to take a deep look at ourselves, and recognize where our own imperfections reside in our history, coupled with action to not repeat that history. This requires us to be vulnerable and display humility in the wake of our shortcomings. 

As such, we as an organization, would like to acknowledge that our organization is no stranger to racism within our own membershipthis is in addition to other harmful structures such as homophobia, sexism, transphobia, and colorism which target the intersections of identities. To believe that we are immune from participation in the systemic structures that harm people would be irresponsible, foolish, and untrue. 

One concrete example of this is where members of our organization made comments or shared images that were racist at another member. And while parts of our organization made the effort to handle the situation appropriately, there were missteps on our behalf, one such being that we failed to acknowledge and condemn those actions in a public manner. We erred, and as such we own any criticism that has or may come from our past inaction. Today we want to make clear that we condemn racism, we condemn racists, and we condemn those who refuse to acknowledge and actively work to dismantle the structural roots of racism, both outside and within our organization. We cannot stand confidently in solidarity with our Black members without first publicly bearing witness to our own opportunities for growth.

Our commitment for growth extends to the identities that intersect with race, such as gender, sexuality, and immigration status. We are committed to continuously dismantling structural oppression within and beyond our organization through educating our members, actively calling out toxic and harmful behavior, and supporting our communities through service, action, and solidarity.

We will be following-up with specific measures of what we have done and what we need to do going forward to address this topic. First and foremost, this starts with reaching out to our own members who have experienced the negative effects of structural oppression, compounded by inaction and bystanderism, within our organization. In the spirit of creating a sense of belonging and inclusion for everyone, it’s important we acknowledge and express our emotions and demonstrate empathy and understanding for others. Recognizing Gamma Zeta Alpha’s commitment to our principles that embrace diversity, equality, access, inclusion, and respectwe all play a role in recognizing, calling out, and mitigating bias in our organization to ensure an inclusive environment for everyone. We are obligated to help create a reality in which prejudice has no place in our organization, and the leadership of Gamma Zeta Alpha commits to doing so through meaningful changes to our policies, procedures, and organizational culture.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Judicial Board 

Board of Directors

Leonardo Faria Chusán, Jimmy B. Franco, Arnulfo Garcia, Carlos Garcia, Michael Lopez, Teodoro Lopez, Cesar Mejia, Juan Jose Oyervidez, Jaime Ramos, Kenneth Reyes, Freddy Derrell Reyes, Johnny Rodriguez, José A. Rodríguez, Gustavo Sanchez, Steve Silva, and Eddie Yanez 

Judicial Board 

Esteban Alcalá, Marco Castanos, Diego Garcia, Jorge Gonzalez, Arturo Nevarez, and Alex Patterson

 

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