We’ve all witnessed the protests taking place around the world calling for equal justice and the end to systemic racism. These are core principles and global issues that ICANN strongly supports and are part of our very ethos. We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for Black people and people of color.
ICANN is entrusted with ensuring the stability, resiliency, and interoperability of the Internet’s unique identifier systems, and we believe in an open Internet where everyone can connect. The events of the past few weeks remind us all that the Internet and access to information is a powerful tool to shed light on racial bias and injustice, and to facilitate initiatives that bring people together to work for change, both locally and globally.
Within the ICANN organization, we are taking actions to hold the organization accountable. We are committed to better understanding the many dimensions of diversity and inclusion, so that we may establish a set of guiding principles. We will open a facilitated dialogue to support our employees, to ensure that racial bias and discrimination, or bias of any kind, have no place in our workforce. We need to be comfortable having uncomfortable conversations so that we can address the unconscious and conscious ways in which systemic racism is perpetuated. We need to listen more to Black people and people of color to learn about how these issues impact them each and every day. And we need to continue to take meaningful actions to address inequality.
ICANN stands with our global community, as we continue to enable inclusive and diverse participation in ICANN processes so that we improve global representation in how ICANN policies are formed. There are efforts, such as the diversity recommendations out of Work Stream 2 of the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability, that are awaiting implementation. However, implementation of those recommendations is just a starting point.
Lasting change doesn’t happen overnight; it requires work and attitudinal transformations from all of us to truly embrace diversity and inclusion in our global community. The Expected Standard of Behavior and ICANN Anti-Harassment Policy are the guideposts by which we need to conduct ourselves, and they also reveal who we want to be as a community, in the spirit of mutual respect.