News, Policy Updates

Our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization

by WREN Staff on Nov 11, 2020

In June WREN sent a message of solidarity with Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities in this country who bear the brunt of state-sanctioned violence handed down through generations of systemic racism and anti-Blackness. In this message, we made a promise to our network to become an actively anti-racist organization. We acknowledge that releasing a statement does little to address the historic and continuing trauma Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities endure daily, nor does it address WREN’s complicity in upholding white supremacy. Dismantling entrenched white supremacy within our organization and the social institutions we touch requires bold action, not empty rhetoric. We will back up our promises with a commitment to anti-racist practice that we hope will lead to meaningful change. Dismantling white supremacy will take sustained, collective effort, and we invite your input to foster a climate of accountability inside WREN, now and in the future. 

Here are some of the steps WREN has taken to become actively Anti-Racist since June 2020:

Strategic Planning

As we developed our 2021-2023 strategic plan, we worked with board, staff, and external stakeholders to assess where we have fallen short in being actively and explicitly anti-racist, and where we can make immediate improvements. We assessed our programs, communications, community outreach and engagement, fundraising, human resource practices, and internal decision-making practices. Our strategic plan includes specific and measurable targets in all of these areas.  

HR Policy Updates

We will continue to assess policies and practices to determine where we can better align with racial equity principles. Updates to employment policies include:

Resource Distribution

In the past, WREN has inconsistently compensated presenters for speaking at events that generated registration fees. We recognize the harm that we caused to presenters by not paying them for their labor, especially those who have the least access to structural privilege. Charging registration fees for events presents financial barriers that limit accessibility. To address these harms, we are committed to:  


We are committed to transforming our organizational culture to reflect the values of racial equity and gender justice by:  

Coalition Development

Urgency, one of the tenets of white supremacy culture, disrupts the trust-building process. We will nurture our partnerships with organizations led by Black, Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant, LGBTQ+, and Disabled people by centering their needs and setting realistic time frames to achieve shared goals. We will allow ourselves more time to develop relationships with these organizations and grassroots leaders and co-create content for events that amplify underrepresented voices. We will begin this process by offering space for connection and collaboration and engaging in skillshares to help build our collective capacity for organizing. 

Communications Strategies

Inclusive Policy Agenda Framework

WREN’s policy agenda framework is rooted in the principles of fairness, equity and inclusiveness, so that all women and gender-expansive people —of every race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, family status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression – can prosper and thrive. It reflects the importance of policy that serves across lifespan and regardless of income, identity or background. To that end, we will work to center the needs of Black women, Brown women, Indigenous women, immigrant women, LGBTQ people, women with disabilities, and women with low incomes in our policy recommendations through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one conversations with community leaders. Our policy framework will undergo a rigorous vetting process by Black, Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant, LGBTQ+, Disabled, low-income, and grassroots leaders prior to its adoption. 

Other Steps


We will continue to learn and grow as individuals and as an organization.  WREN by definition is a network.  As such, we commit to educating each and every member of our network in anti-racist practices.  The network should be a place where members work toward equity without fear. While no space can be truly free from harm, WREN will strive to reduce harm to those who disproportionately experience gender injustice. Each member of the network will be encouraged to contribute their power for the good of the whole. We are a network of thousands and we hope our commitment today will build a better South Carolina in the future.  We hope you will learn and grow with us. 

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