Our Commitment to Justice and Equity
We know that Black, Indigenous, people of color, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved groups disproportionately lack resources and opportunities due to institutions and systems of oppression. We understand equity as a state in which we recognize these disparities and address them by centering the needs, strengths, and perspectives of those that have been historically marginalized.
Incorporating a strong intersectional approach in our activism means highlighting race, age, ability, gender, class, sexuality, and other markers of privilege when engaging youth in politics and the issues that affect us so we can begin to dismantle existing power structures.
Next Up intends to live out our mission, vision, and values as accomplices instead of allies. While allies are important in the fight of dismantling white supremacy, an ally will only pursue activism by merely standing with marginalized individuals. As accomplices, we will focus on dismantling oppressive structures by actively working with marginalized individuals and/or groups.
We acknowledge that Next Up, formerly known as the Bus Project, has been complicit in upholding systemic racism and other forms of oppression. Our organization has primarily benefited white voters, emerging political leaders who are white, and public policies supported by white people, which has harmed communities of color. Additionally, our internal culture has been characterized by many patterns of white supremacy culture.
Moving forward, Next Up is working diligently to advance equity in and through our organization. Our efforts include, but are not limited to:
- Educating ourselves and changing policies to dismantle white supremacist culture within our organization, thus becoming more inclusive and representative of our community.
- Incorporating an equity analysis into the foundational elements of our organization, such as our mission, vision, and values; our strategic plan; our policies; and our by-laws.
- Aligning the design of our programs with our anti-racist approach.
- Here is our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roadmap which illustrates a more complete process of how Next Up plans to dismantle white supremacy culture and implement equitable practices.
We are committed to the challenging and imperfect process of continuous learning (and unlearning) that will be necessary to realize our vision of a more equitable Oregon.