Dear Members of the WiG Community,
In addition to the statement released in WiG’s December 2020 newsletter by the Presidential Team, President Helga Thorson and Vice President Maria Stehle, we, the entire Leadership Team of the Coalition of Women in German want to apologize to all of our members, and particularly to our Black members, for the harm done through the use of racist language during our conference. Such language has no place inside of WiG or within our professional spaces. As the leaders of this organization, we had the power to intervene and we regretfully did not. We should have stepped in right away to address this harm and we failed to do so, thereby normalizing white supremacy and anti-Black racism within the conference and organization.
To our Black members: We are deeply sorry for our inaction during this crucial moment and wish to reiterate how much we value your vital contributions to the organization and profession. We understand that there is nothing we can do to change the hurt caused by this event and that trust can only be earned and healing can only be achieved through continued action. We recognize that we have a lot more work to do in order to be an organization that truly lives up to its own anti-racist, feminist values and are committed to doing and being better in our present and future actions, for which the following community agreement form a point of departure.
Anti-racism, which forms a cornerstone of intersectional feminist activism, requires that all of our members, and especially our white members, join us by committing to do this necessary work within their own spheres of influence.
The WiG Leadership Team