At SMANA, we are constantly advancing behavior change for social good. As part of our continued commitment, we recognize the pervasive nature of racism beyond individual and interpersonal bias and the harm it has caused to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC). Structural racism and the long histories of racialized violence and colonialism in North America have resulted in significant disparities in health, wealth, education, resilience to emergencies, and many other areas. Current and past discrimination in housing, criminal justice, and education have afforded privileges and access to resources for white communities while denying them to others. We are working on how best to use our platform to address not just the consequences of structural racism, but how it may be present in the field of social marketing as well.
An important step is to reflect on how we operate as an association. With this in mind, we pledge to change the way SMANA operates, amplify Black, Brown, and new voices and work in ways that align with our values. We pledge to:
- Increase the BIPOC representation at all levels of SMANA: The Board, committee leadership and volunteers, and organizational membership. Our association must reflect the diversity of the communities we represent.
- Consider diversity, equity, and inclusion during governance and decision-making, from partnerships, to conferences, to finances.
- Increase the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion when developing program offerings for our members, in terms of topic areas, languages, and the selection of presenters.
- Partner with organizations that value diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Support student and early or established career social marketers who reflect the demographics of all communities we represent.
- Continue learning and reflecting on the myriad ways that racism can influence our work.
We share this pledge as a demonstration of our commitment and we invite our members to hold us accountable. The pervasive and complex nature of racism will make this work ongoing but inaction is not an option. As we move forward, we will identify new ways to leverage the power of SMANA to work at addressing racism for social good.