June 15, 2020

It's Time - Addressing Racism and Inequality


Like you, we have been in a state of mourning for every single black life that has been lost to police brutality. The earth-shattering devastation George Floyd's death has wreaked across the world has finally opened the eyes of many who were unaware of the painful depths of systemic racism that have paved the way for this tragedy to occur. Racism is like a weed. The roots are deep and pervasive, and they lurk below long after attempts have been made to tackle what is on the surface. At last, the conversation about how to address longstanding inequality has been brought to the forefront. We must unearth the roots of systemic racism and xenophobia to end this senselessness.

CIP was founded by a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, who found refuge from genocide in the United States. His mission in founding this organization was to promote understanding between Germany and U.S. and bring the citizens of these embattled countries together to surmount the cultural divide that came in the wake of World War II. We strive to meet the challenge of changing minds through every exchange we host, and the in-person, face-to-face opportunities for cross-cultural learning do more to open eyes and hearts than anything else.  We have heard many inspiring stories over the years from our participants who learned that the stereotypes they had always heard about Americans as they grew up were nothing but fiction once they finally got to know some on their own. Similar comments have come from our host families and training sites who may have had preconceived notions about people from outside of the U.S. Black Americans are finding that they must change minds and hearts in a similar way by befriending and getting to know people who have never known anything but racist tropes from the shelter of their white communities.  We are energized by people like Daryl Davis, who has persuaded more than 200 white supremacists to abandon the Ku Klux Klan, simply by sitting down and talking to them one-on-one.  

To further our mission internally, CIP staff will be participating in Racial Equity and Inclusion training with industry experts. We want to ensure we are not only believing in our hearts that inequalities must be addressed, but that we learn how to take action as an organization in more and different ways. 

We also look forward to hosting more dialogues on meaningful topics relevant to today's dire realities, using our intercultural work to not only develop our participants as professionals, but to build bridges of understanding across people, communities, and borders.

Janis Faehnrich            Lisa Purdy                                       
CIP Board Chair           CIP President

Posted by Lindsey Walsh on June 15, 2020 at 9:04 AM in CIPUSA Permalink
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