GatherDC’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Updated September 2021.

Full text of the above introduction can be found at this link.

GatherDC strives to be and build a community guided by the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice so all Jewish 20s and 30s can feel safe and valued as their unique selves. GatherDC knows it is imperative we make space for all Jewish young adults across the DMV so they can meaningfully discover authentic Jewish identity and find lasting Jewish community.

 

Our Mission and Vision

GatherDC connects Jewish 20s and 30s to each other, engages them in Jewish life, and facilitates their development of meaningful adult Jewish identities – wherever they go in life. We welcome Jews of all abilities, sexual orientations, racial/ethnic identities, gender identities and expressions, financial means, and levels of religiosity. GatherDC believes that Judaism can add unique value to the life of every Jewish person. We envision a future where every Jewish 20- and 30-something finds a lasting, compelling connection to Judaism.

GatherDC loves that Jewish life has always been rich in diversity, and is increasingly so (Jewish Americans in 2020). And yet, we understand that Ashkenazi-centric conceptions of American Jewry does not represent a wide swath of Jews with valuable wisdom, history, culture, and perspective. 

 

Our Commitment 

We acknowledge that systemic racism and implicit bias have existed past and present in Jewish spaces across the country – including our organization. 

GatherDC knows we can do better and are committed to this racial equity work because it is long overdue and necessary to ensure the vibrancy of our Jewish community.

GatherDC is devoted to being more inclusive of and informed by Jews of Color. We are dedicated to educating ourselves and shifting our attitudes, amending our policies and practices, and learning, evolving, and holding ourselves accountable in order to uplift diversity across the Jewish DMV.  

We know that we will make mistakes along the way. Our team is made up of people who are dedicated, hardworking, and imperfect. But we are prepared to learn, improve, and live more deeply the Jewish values we strive to champion. As Jewish tradition teaches us, when we hurt others we need to take responsibility, and engage in a thorough process of repair called teshuvah. 

We hold ourselves accountable for making actionable change. GatherDC commits to embedding a racial equity and justice lens into our leadership and staff structure, organizational policies, communications and marketing, and community engagement. 

We are committing to enacting the following racial justice measures on a continuous, evolving basis:

  • GatherDC will work with a DEIJ consultant to undergo a thorough audit of internal and external organizational practices to identify key areas in which we need to adapt in order to best serve our community through an antiracist mindset.
  • GatherDC will meet Jews of Color where they are – geographically, culturally, and Jewishly. We will evolve our offerings to better meet the needs and interests of Jews of Color in all of their diversity.
  • GatherDC will be in relationship with leaders of color, Jewish leaders of color, and BIPOC-led organizations in our community.
  • GatherDC’s leadership and decision-making bodies will better represent the full diversity of the Jewish community. 
  • GatherDC will adopt a formal decision making process that considers who is most impacted and will make organizational decisions in relationship with those who are most impacted.
  • GatherDC will create an internal Anti-Racist Accountability Group to review and drive organizational progress towards our antiracist goals.
  • GatherDC will educate in a way that reflects diversity and encourages full participation from a broad-based community.
  • GatherDC will develop robust harm reduction processes rooted in restorative justice principles to bring to light and address community incidents and concerns.
  • GatherDC will increase accountability in our hiring procedures. We are committed to equitable hiring practices including examining how job descriptions are written, where and through which networks positions are advertised, and how we assess applicants’ candidacy.
  • GatherDC staff will receive ongoing antiracist training from professionals and teachers in this field.
  • GatherDC will provide regular, ongoing updates with the community about our progress towards reaching these DEIJ goals.

 

We Are Listening, Learning, and Growing

GatherDC knows that an important aspect of inclusion is continually learning and improving as we go. If our community sees something that does not align with our antiracist values, we want to know. We have a form at the end of this page – if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback please reach out, and someone from GatherDC’s Anti-Racist Accountability Group will be in touch.

If you want to report an incident of racial discrimination or bias involving GatherDC staff, board, or a community member, you can do so here

We look forward to more closely aligning our work with the organizational values we strive to champion to help build a more inclusive, multiracial Jewish community. This statement is only the first step of many in our commitment to antiracist work. 

GatherDC believes that the vision of a more diverse Jewish future is not only possible but an imperative, and we are dedicated to taking the steps we need to in order to make this a reality.

As it says in Pirkei Avot 4:1,

Find additional resources here.

What's GatherDC been up to in its DEIJ work?

Questions or comments? We want to hear from you.