Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
The Villages CDC wishes to open the New Year with publishing our new commitment to antiracism. We look forward to working with our neighborhood organizations, residents, business owners, the City and other stakeholders in advancing this important mission.
At The Villages Community Development Corporation, we believe in the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. More specifically, we believe in the variety of thoughts, ideas, beliefs, experiences, and people's inclusion regardless of their race, color, sex, language, national origin, religion, identity, or age. Our goal is to make all the Villages — East Village, Gold Coast, North Village, Islandview, Joseph Berry Subdivision, West Village, and Indian Village — a great place to live, work, and recreate. In addition to supporting the principles of diversity and inclusion, the Villages Community Development Corporation is on a journey to be an anti-racism organization.
Our anti-racism statement is as follows:
The Villages Community Development Corporation (VCDC) is an anti-racism organization. VCDC defines being an anti-racism organization, both externally and internally.
While we acknowledge that this project will require all neighbors' cooperation, we must first purposefully identify, discuss, and confront issues of race and the impact they have on the organization, its systems, and our community. We will also challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequities we may discover within VCDC and better understand ourselves during this purposeful process. Being an anti-racism organization is a journey we will take with our neighbors throughout the Villages, and it is the learning along the way that makes this work worth all of our efforts.
Second, we are working to create an environment in the Villages where all residents and visitors, regardless of race or skin color, know they are valued. We acknowledge that racism can be unconscious or unintentional. Identifying discrimination as an issue does not automatically mean those involved arein themselves are racist or intended to impact others negatively. We also acknowledge that this project will require the cooperation of all neighbors, businesses, community organizations, and other stakeholders.
Though we may not have intended to carry racist beliefs or motivations, we are aware that without fully embracing and addressing underlying racial issues, our actions could have been racist. Understanding this, our goal is to create and maintain an environment where our community feels safe to discuss race and its importance on our organization and our lives as neighbors. VCDC will continue to discuss and deepen our understanding of race and racism purposefully. As part of this journey, VCDC will also hold regular dialogue with and listen to community members to achieve an equitable standard of community transformation.
We are deeply committed to purposefully studying the impacts of race and racism throughout our organization and our community. This work can be uncomfortable and even painful to some, but we have found that the most significant challenges bear the greatest rewards.
Published: December 18, 2020