Statement of Inclusivity
Why Inclusivity in Sexual Education?
Sexuality is a central component of the human social experience. It crosses our physical, mental, and social spheres and has the capacity to create pleasure, trauma, and everything in between. Sexuality, then, can be a tool for healing, growth, and connection and also a tool for division and oppression.
Humans are, by nature, social beings. We seek connection with others and strive to find commonality and a community based on perceived identity. However, this need for social connection can also create the circumstances for exclusion and oppression.
Throughout history, humans have sought ways to create division and draw lines as a way to solidify connection with those who we perceive to be most similar to us. In many contexts, these lines are drawn to establish systems that confer power to some groups and oppress others. In the United States, one of the most prominent ways these lines have been drawn is on the basis of a social concept of “race” – a concept that was developed as a tool for division.
Health Connected’s Commitment
We recognize that we are all affected by systemic oppression, but that this oppression is most acutely felt by Black and Indigenous communities who have endured centuries of systemic and interpersonal trauma due to systems and social norms designed to explicitly and implicitly provide advantages or disadvantages based on racialized identities. We also recognize that each of us hold multiple identities, some of which hold social privileges and other identities which are oppressed.
Health Connected exists within a specific history – human history, American history, California history – and a set of systems – health, education, and corporate. Our placement within these histories and systems requires us to interrogate our individual, organizational, and systemic role in both perpetuating and healing the oppression created by these histories and systems.
We seek to engage in transformative solidarity practices – that is solidarity that catalyzes growth for each of us as individuals and as an organization that has a platform to connect with thousands of students, families (in all their forms), and educators.
Here are some key areas we are currently focused on:
Curriculum: Aligning course content with national sexuality standards that incorporate social justice approaches to sex education; integrating information and activities at all levels on identity articulation and intersectionality; and creating opportunities for critical thinking about power, privilege, and how systems impact some identities differently.
Employee support and engagement: Creating transparent processes and paths to leadership; providing resources (time and money) for all employees to engage in professional learning with an emphasis on learning opportunities that center the histories and experiences of marginalized communities; and intentionally incorporating learning resources on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in new employee onboarding.
As we learn from these efforts, and inevitably make mistakes, we will revisit these areas of work to assess our progress and push ourselves to do more.
Ultimately, we commit to continually being curious, willing to learn and grow, and striving to do better. We recognize that there is no finish line – we will constantly have to work towards our collective liberation.
Posted March 2022