As the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign has a responsibility to advocate for all LGBTQ people. Living up to our mission -- to realize a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community -- requires that HRC fully represent the diversity and breadth of the LGBTQ community through our people, programs, values and priorities. But, LGBTQ people of color have long felt marginalized within our community and by our organization -- their critical contributions to our collective history diminished or forgotten, and their current needs and priorities sidelined. It’s our responsibility to make it right.
We cannot achieve LGBTQ equality while LGBTQ people of color continue to be oppressed on the basis of race. We must lean into our responsibility to advocate for those within our community who are multiply marginalized and shut out by systems and institutions because they are people of color AND LGBTQ. We must also address the ways racism shows up in our own community and confront it with intentional engagement and the real, hard work of self-reflection.
To that end, we must treat racial equity and inclusion as a cornerstone of our work. That requires intentionality, action, and accountability. Our staff and volunteer leadership must reflect the great diversity of the LGBTQ community. We must lean into the conversations that deepen our understanding about race, racism, and implicit bias and how it impacts our community and our organization. Our programmatic work must also actively challenge systems, laws and policies that disproportionately disadvantage LGBTQ people of color. We must deepen our support of, and partnerships with, organizations leading the fight against racial oppression. And we must challenge leaders and individuals who target communities of color through hateful policies and rhetoric that threaten to undermine our fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We know that our work is not complete until the most marginalized within our LGBTQ community have achieved equality.