At DKT International, we have been contemplating our role in the global reproductive health community as we strive to combat racial injustice here in the United States. DKT’s commitment to expanding access to reproductive health care around the world does not isolate us from these issues; the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor are part of an all-too familiar pattern of racism and inequity that calls for both reflection and action. DKT International adds its voice of outrage, frustration, and sadness at these events and the seeming inability of our society to adequately change.
As the United States continues to work toward a more equitable society, DKT believes that we all have a role to play in ending overt racism as well as the systemic racism that impedes change. On the streets around the United States, we have heard and support the call that Black Lives Matter. Indeed, we hold this truth to be self-evident.
We cannot separate DKT’s mission to promote sexual and reproductive autonomy around the world from what’s happening in our own backyard. DKT International strives to empower young men and women to take control of their reproductive destinies, giving them time and space to prioritize education, careers, and emotional wellbeing. We cannot forget how those opportunities were taken away from young people of color like Ahmaud and Breonna. Indeed, in our efforts to promote reproductive justice and equity in low and middle-income countries, we cannot overlook the economic disparities and racial inequities that exist in the United States.
We must put the onus on ourselves. Colleagues at DKT have reflected on recent events and some have bravely shared their stories. This is just a first step in making systemic change in the global development community and beyond.
DKT is committed to addressing these issues. DKT will continue to empower and uplift unserved communities of color in the US and globally, and work with colleagues and partners around the world to spread the message that reproductive health care helps women, in particular, lead happier, healthier lives. In addition, in the immediate term, DKT will provide financial support for equal rights, antiracism, and related initiatives here in the US both directly and with our sister organization, carafem. DKT will also revisit our employment and hiring practices to ensure diversity and inclusion are integral to organizational development. Doing so will ensure the voices of those in power reflect the women and men we serve. We will continue to learn as an organization, recognizing that there is much work to be done to ensure our society provides equality and justice for all.
Christopher Purdy & DKT International