The Stanley Center for Peace and Security unequivocally upholds that Black Lives Matter and maintains a fervent commitment to combatting racism and discrimination in all its forms.
Each day, voices like those of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor are diminished or silenced forever at the hands of police brutality, mass incarceration, identity-based violence, and the many other symptoms of systemic racism.
The Stanley Center for Peace and Security believes that inclusive dialogue and diverse perspectives create better solutions for global policy—and that we cannot be effective in achieving our vision until the voices of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color are preserved with dignity, heard with empathy, and respected with equity.
We commit to immediate and ongoing action for concrete, enduring, and systemic change in the United States and elsewhere and fully recognize our need to be more cognizant of our privilege, yield space, and ever-more strongly amplify the voices of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. We will forever remain in solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities that so effectively lead the fight for freedom, justice, and dignity.
In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, the Stanley Center joined with Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS), creators of OrgsinSolidarity, in a pledge for collective action. We have maintained a dedication to that pledge and each of the 12 commitments for which we remain accountable:
We, the undersigned, stand together against the acts of racism and discrimination that are structurally and culturally built into the foundation of this country and manifest in the repeated targeting of Black people. We, therefore, echo the WCAPS Statements on the Killing of George Floyd. This moment has at last driven into the mainstream a long-overdue conversation about institutional racism. America can no longer ignore the vast inequities that exist in this country and that serve as a powerful catalyst for our communal effort to eradicate the violence that destroys the lives and peace of the citizens of our nation.
As individuals and organizations that work to promote global peace and security, we are acutely aware of how racism and discrimination obstruct our goals. These racial attitudes exist in all facets of our lives, weakening our democracy, and opposing our values of equality, justice, and freedom.
To root out institutional racism, it is vital that we re-examine our implicit and explicit biases, as well as biases within our organizations. We share a common vision of a world where all people are treated equally, fairly, and with respect.
Institutional racism purposefully disadvantages Black people and people of color through social, economic, and political systems, reinforcing white supremacy, and must be consciously confronted, addressed and removed.
We understand that racism in America will not be eliminated without a sustained effort. We must work within ourselves, our organizations, and in collaboration against any and all signs of structural racism that continue to permeate our culture, society, and ways of life.
To truly combat racism and achieve our mission of peace and security for all, we must be willing to work on this issue every day. We commit to do so and to hold ourselves accountable. As individuals and organizations, we must:
Some of us have already begun work in these areas, while others are just beginning. We recognize that each of us is in different places on this journey and we will work together to achieve these goals. We will join WCAPS in discussions on how we can ensure we are accountable for our efforts to address racism and discrimination in all its forms.
We will be part of the solution.
Over 200 organizations, network leaders, and individuals in the fields of peace and security, national security, and foreign policy signed this solidarity statement, including the Stanley Center for Peace and Security. See the full list of signatories here and the full list of solidarity statements here.
The Stanley Center for Peace and Security and Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) forged a partnership in late 2020 to explore the historic and systemic nature of racism in the peace and security field. Given the complementarity of our organizational visions and missions, our shared belief that global issues demand a variety of perspectives, and the fact that inclusive dialogue creates better solutions, we look to further a common understanding of the need for disruption and to widen the conversation through the center’s 61st Strategy for Peace Conference, taking place as a series of events in 2022.
Conference convenings focus on inclusive dialogue to identify equitable action that can address the historic injustices in the policy fields of climate change, nuclear weapons, and mass violence and atrocity prevention. In our joint planning of the conference, we recognize that people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous people have experienced global challenges on unequal terms, and in ways exacerbated by the racism inherent in the institutions and multilateral processes built to address those global challenges. We also know we cannot achieve a shared and lasting peace without an examination of the history of racism in policies and policymaking—nor without significant change to the policies and policy making approaches that are rooted in that history.
In addition to jointly planning these conversations, we published a set of discussion papers co-authored by subject matter experts from within WCAPS membership. In the papers, authors consider the history of global systemic racism in each of the policy fields, offering specific examples of how racial injustice emerged and is manifest in policies and policymaking processes as well as the ways people of color have been and are subsequently impacted.
The Stanley Center particularly acknowledges that we have contributed to the perpetuation of this systemic racism and that only with intention, continued learning, and action can we become an anti-racist part of the solution. This conference is one step on our ongoing journey of discomfort and disruption.
This page will be kept up to date with more resources and actions that reflect our long-term commitment.