“We strive to witness to mercy when we reverence the dignity of each person, create a spirit of hospitality and pursue integrity of word and deed in our lives.” (Constitutions of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas)
Our DEIB commitment is deeply rooted in the desire for a kinship culture that seeks unity and oneness while celebrating our abundant and beautiful diversity.
Mercy Volunteer Corps, in alignment with our mission statement, denounces all forms of hatred and oppression. We commit to dismantling racism and acting against systems which marginalize, dehumanize, disenfranchise, and oppress. With full support of the staff, Board of Directors, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, MVC commits to be an anti-racist institution and to foster a sense of belonging that leads to a just and peaceful world community and the liberation of all beings.
Acknowledgement of History and Bias:
MVC acknowledges our impact has not always aligned with our intent when we have perpetuated bias and supported structures and policies which maintain white privilege and power. We have been complicit through our recruitment process, mentoring, staff culture, board makeup, and donor pools.
We recognize that foregoing a salary to serve in a yearlong program assumes a level of privilege and even the term “service” can imply a problematic power dynamic. In addition our program structure, both historically and presently, has most benefited those who identify as white and middle to upper class.
Furthermore, volunteerism lacking critical reflection can breed harmful saviorism ideology.
MVC understands that becoming an inclusive, intercultural, and anti-racist institution is a continuous process. Following years of awareness building and education, we moved to a concerted effort in 2020 with staff attending implicit bias and anti-racism training. We then engaged in a reflection process about our vision of equity. These reflections revealed areas of inequity in our program policies and practices which need to be addressed. This led us to scrutinize and update our identity statements and publications to more clearly reflect our values and commitment to equity work.
MVC is committed to strengthening the service experience, particularly for Black, Brown, Indigenous, AAPI, and LGBTQIA+ identities. To be an organization where all people are uplifted and find belonging, we have started implementing additional layers of support including identity mentoring and processing groups.
MVC is investing time, finances, and resources to become an inclusive, anti-racist institution. We have partnered with an equity consultant to develop a plan to address the inequality existing in our organization and to create goals for furthering efforts toward diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Our plan and goals for moving forward will be completed and shared publicly in the Fall of 2023.
Progress and changes will be shared with transparency. See the Equity Charter below.
Call to Action:
Mercy Volunteer Corps is an ever-evolving organization comprised of various groups, including volunteers, staff, board members, alumni, support teams, donors, service site staff, and the wider Mercy community.
In the journey to be a more inclusive place of belonging, we invite those in the MVC community to share their experiences and suggestions, in part to engage a variety of voices and to keep us accountable to what changes need to take place.
If you have any comments or questions please fill out the contact form below.
Thank you for joining with MVC in our commitment to cultivating a more just and merciful world.
Goal 1: Enact an ongoing process of accountability with transparent communications
Action: Ensure internal and external communications are representative of the transformation to a more inclusive and belonging culture/organization.
Goal 2: Center Policies and Practices around DEIB
Action: Review of organizational policies and practices to ensure alignment with MVC’s mission and values; while dismantling structures which uphold economic privilege.
Goal 3: Create Initiatives that Foster Belonging Across the Organization
Action: Develop guidelines that create a culture of support and acceptance so that there is an environment of authenticity, inclusion and a deep reverence for human dignity.
Goal 4: Education
Action: Develop an ongoing educational program around DEIB that is based on a growth mindset where curiosity and questioning are key components.
Goal 5: Evaluate all organizational resources to ensure they align with DEIB vision
Action: Work towards an equitable distribution of resources across department lines
DEIB Contact Form