Respect for diversity and the promotion of a society based on principles of equality have always been defining beliefs for Intercultura,…
…going hand in hand with the intercultural and language education that is our mission and reflected in our values, which seek to “cultivate global awareness, empathy and empowered communication, giving participants effective tools to implement responsible change as they learn to navigate, understand and respect the diverse culture of our world.”
This moment in our collective history is a challenge for us all, both to face the deep-rooted, institutionalized racism in countries like the United States, and for the light it casts on the alarming proportion of discrimination that minorities continue to experience in the world today. Seeing the horrifying events in the recent case of George Floyd has made it more than evident that racism in the US is a problem at a deep structural level, sponsored and even promoted by government systems, institutions and polices. This government, through its social contract, promises to defend and protect, but on the contrary, ends up murdering and betraying a large part of its people.
Many of us feel anger, frustration, anxiety, and an overwhelming feeling at the scale of the problem.
The question is what we can do to be part of the solution to this problem.
How to put pressure on government entities so they in turn carry out the necessary reforms in the basic structure of the police departments and others responsible for guaranteeing citizen security; how to take actions that result in changes or concrete solutions?
The answer is different for each person or company.
Intercultura Costa Rica, as a school, reinforces its mission to uphold the principles of diversity and inclusion, while creating new strategies to work locally to effect change. We are reviewing our internal policies in order to improve equality of opportunity for people of all minorities, and to make a heightened effort to eradicate any form of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion (or absence of it), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender or age. We will continue collaborating with government initiatives and NGO’s working to counter the effects and results of historically discriminatory treatment of vulnerable populations in Costa Rica.
We have also made donations to Campaign Zero and the ACLU in the United States, in recognition of the fact that we are not isolated in Costa Rica, as evidenced through the cultural exchange we share with students and teachers from the US and around the world. Our students and team members too have shown their solidarity, either by participating in protests, writing communications that help others to inform themselves or working on a personal and professional level to counteract the devastating effect of this and all kinds of discrimination.
We want to make our position very clear:
We absolutely condemn the injustice, persecution, murder and brutality that have characterized the treatment of the African-American community in the United States and in much of the world. We will continue to research ways to establish new goals and actions that we hope will help improve our community, working towards a more just world system for all, including minorities and groups that for centuries have been systematically ignored, abused and mistreated.