Wednesday, May 3, 2023

When Mennonite Mission Network initially developed Shared Voices, in 2007, the booklet was written as a guideline primarily for Marketing and Communication staff to reflect Mission Network’s commitment to anti-racist communication when telling stories across various types of media — written word, photography, video. Sharing and learning with communities across the globe, staff soon understood that anti-sexist communication needed to be addressed, too. The 2010 revision took this into account.

Now, in 2023, as we continue to live out our mission statement, “Together, sharing all of Christ with all of creation,” we realize it truly means just that — God loves everyone. And this meant that Shared Voices needed to be updated to become a guide for more than just Mission Network staff and the North American context; it needed to become an international resource. The most recent edition of Shared Voices is intended to be a valuable guide for culturally competent communications globally.

Shared Voices exemplifies Mission Network‘s commitment to antiracist, anti-sexist, and anti-oppressive action and awareness. This leads to more respectful and just treatment of people. This commitment helps us transform our work of cross-cultural engagement and makes us more responsive when we are corrected.

Mission Network Marketing and Communication staff use these guidelines as a tool to engage other departments and invite staff to think critically about ways racism and oppression are present in their work and how these issues can be addressed. We recognize that racism and oppression are not just present in our written and visual communication pieces but are built into other systems and processes throughout our work, as well. Simply editing our media to be “politically correct” is not our goal.

More than 20 years of international experience gives us a measure of expertise. However, we acknowledge that our agency remains on a journey toward becoming an anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-oppressive organization, and there is still work to be done. These guidelines are meant as a tool to invite reflection and dialogue throughout Mission Network and beyond.

Please see the 2023 Shared Voices document. We encourage your feedback, as this document will continually be improved. Send comments and questions to JaneM@mennonitemission.net.

 

 

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