The BBEARG Belonging Statement

Our beliefs about Inclusivity, Equity, Diversity, and Belonging

  1. We believe in three values that underpin all of our work, including our commitment to inclusivity, equity, diversity, and belonging. These values are:

    Be brave. This is powerful work that transforms and challenges people and systems. Creating safe and brave spaces for people to show up and be seen means both skill building around vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy, and working to dismantle the systems that devalue and dehumanize people.

    Serve the work. Protect the integrity of the research and protect the wellbeing of those we serve with the work. For all leaders, including facilitators and teachers, this means working within your scope and skill, and doing your work before you do the work with others.

    Take good care. Love, grace, accountability, courage, vulnerability, empathy, shame resilience, and the power of story can change the world. As we put these into practice, we must take care of ourselves, each other, this community, and the people we serve.

  2. We believe the most effective way to tackle issues of privilege and systemic bias is to name them, talk about them, and take personal and collective responsibility to change them.
  3. We believe that doing nothing to address inequality is supporting inequality. There are oppressive systems in place, and our words and actions either support those existing systems or dismantle them.
  4. We believe that it is not the job of the people being targeted by prejudice and discrimination to start the dialogue, carry the emotional labor of the conversations, or grant absolution to those who are feeling shame and guilt about the pain being experienced by others.
  5. We believe that the greatest casualty of trauma is the emotional, and sometimes physical, safety required to be vulnerable, and that, in addition to violence and neglect, poverty, racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, sizeism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, and other systemic forms of oppression and/or bias are trauma.
  6. We believe we must recognize that these systems are pervasive and be mindful that when we ask people to “take off their armor” we may be asking them to do something that is not emotionally or even physically safe in all environments.
  7. In reference to the above, we also believe that everyone deserves brave and safe spaces to be vulnerable; therefore, we work to both create brave, safe spaces for individuals and we work to promote social justice. It is another form of injustice to ask generations of people to forego the life-giving experiences that are born of vulnerability until our systems are equitable and just.
  8. We acknowledge that these beliefs only have value if they are also reflected in our practice, and we are committed to practicing these beliefs at every level – starting and ending with a personal commitment from Brené.
  9. We believe that shame is a tool of oppression and is not an effective social justice tool.
  10. We believe that love, grace, accountability, courage, vulnerability, empathy, shame resilience, and the power of story can change the world. That’s what we are committed to teaching, training, and practicing.