This page details Medical Teams International’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Medical Teams International DEI statement

At Medical Teams International, we affirm that every person is made in the image of God and has inherent value to God, and as such, we aspire to treat everyone with the dignity divinely ascribed (Genesis 1:27). Grounded in this core belief, we are committed to create an environment where diversity and cultural inclusion are foundational throughout the organization, where people from a diversity of backgrounds feel respected, welcomed, and safe. Committing to this work anchors Medical Teams in the pursuit of a culture that embodies its calling: Daring to love like Jesus, we boldly break barriers to health and restore wholeness in a hurting world.

Statement from our President & CEO

I am filled with grief by the decades of losses of our African American brothers and sisters. I’m traumatized because when I see George Floyd’s face pinned under the knee of a white policeman, I see the face of my husband Marcel. When I listen to how Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down during a run, I imagine my son Luke. Like many African American homes and interracial families like our own, we are trying to process our pain as we come to grips with a society that accepts this level of violent and racist oppression. We are filled with fear for our loved ones.

Racial injustice is antithetical to our faith as Jesus sought to reconcile us to God and to one another. We at Medical Teams International strongly oppose race-based oppression, injustice, and violence of any kind and stand in solidarity with oppressed and marginalized communities here in the US and around the globe. Our calling charges us to dare to love like Jesus and bring wholeness and restoration to a broken world. To do this, it must start with us — both as individuals and as an organization. I am committed to making sure this is lived out at Medical Teams. It is of utmost importance to me that we continually create a culture of diversity, inclusion and unity for all staff.

—Martha

We are committed to growth and change

As a part of Medical Teams’ ongoing work around diversity, equity and inclusion, we’re committed to fostering lasting change in our organization, as demonstrated by the initiatives below.

Introducing the Diversity Advisory Council

In 2020, we formed a Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) to help discover, guide and execute various initiatives around our DEI work. The council is made up of employees across disciplines, departments, and backgrounds. Some of their commitments are outlined below.

Within the organization, the DAC commits to:

  • being a champion in providing opportunities and resources for staff DEI learning and training
  • serving as a neutral body and an organizational mechanism to provide and receive feedback on the experiences from minority culture staff members
  • recommending 2-3 DEI priorities to leadership for consideration as part of our organizational DEI workplan
  • serving as a resource to assist leadership in fulfilling DEI objectives

We recognize and appreciate the importance of creating an environment in which all employees feel respected, welcomed and safe; empowered to do their best work and bring great ideas to the table. Given that our individual social, economic, and cultural identities shape and influence our experiences and perspectives, it stands to reason that Medical Teams will do its best work by ensuring diversity in our workforce across the various dimensions of social and cultural identity and by practicing inclusivity in how we work with one another. We will encourage and invest in diversity and inclusion within our personnel.

We honor Juneteenth

Juneteenth, a day of significance sometimes referred to as Emancipation Day, commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States. The tragic and public deaths of Black lives in recent years have caused our country to pursue a national reckoning over its roots steeped in centuries of racial injustice. This tipping point has caused us to enter into a time of honest reflection, both individually and corporately.

Like other international humanitarian organizations, Medical Teams focuses on serving the marginalized both in developing communities and here at home. However, we realize it is easy to overlook the deeper causes of inequity and injustice within the US, right in our own neighborhoods. We recognize our need to examine how we do this internally as an organization — not just externally toward those we serve.

A call to prayer, lament and fasting

During the last several years in particular, our nation has witnessed the senseless deaths of persons of color — continually reminding us that liberty and justice for all remains a distant vision rather than a present reality. Against the haunting backdrop of racial segregation, inequality, and trauma from our collective history, we long to untie the tight cords of injustice that have had a grip on our nation for far too long.

As our calling statement encourages us to love like Jesus, we see throughout Scripture the example of prayer and fasting during times of mourning and deep repentance, to seek an encounter to hear from the Lord. Jesus exemplified this often throughout his ministry on earth.

In Joel 2:12, the Lord says to “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

We cry out to God because it is not only important, but necessary. Lament isn’t a word we use often but as a noun, it is a passionate expression of sorrow or grief. It can be a song, hymn or poem of mourning. As a verb, it means to cry out to God to express sorrow, mourning or regret aloud.

As we lament, we offer a unifying cry of solidarity with our oppressed brothers and sisters, both here and around the world. As we fast, we realign our hearts with the Father’s toward reconciliation, restoration and peace.

Below is a list of resources we’ve compiled as a starting point on this journey.

Guided prayer

by Garrett Kell

What is a Christian response to injustice?

Stare at it (Eccles. 4:1)
Groan with grief (Rom. 8:22)
Lament before God (Ps. 13, 77)
Pray desperately (2 Chron. 20:12)
Be angry without sinning (Eph. 4:26)
Weep with the hurting (Rom. 12:15)
Rescue the oppressed (Prov. 31:9)
Pray for the oppressors (Mt. 5:44)
Rebuke oppressors (Is. 1:17)
Speak against injustice (Eph. 5:11)
Repent of your own injustices (Rom. 2:1-4)
Do justice (Mic. 6:8)
Entrust vengeance to God (Rom. 12:17-21)
Hope in Jesus’ return and the Day when evil and tears shall be no more (Rev. 21:4)

Come, Lord Jesus.

Suggested Scripture readings

Psalm 124
Psalm 6
Lamentations 3:19-33 (the Message)
Romans 12:15
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Jeremiah 12:1-6
Psalm 27:1-6

Fasting

Fasting is a helpful way to focus on God in the midst of uncertainty, darkness, and grief. Here are some fasting tips for beginners.

Lament

Here is some guidance for organizing a service of lament.

Additionally, below is a lament CEO & President Martha Holley Newsome wrote during a time of reflection on racial issues and injustice.

Our Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit – three in one,
We need you in this time of trauma, pain, anger, and loss.
We need the Father who gets off the porch and runs to all who are in deep pain, marginalized, oppressed.
We need you to run to all of us as a nation as we heave with grief.
We need your embrace.

We need the Son who experienced torture, oppression, and was murdered for us, to save us.
He who knows what it feels like to have everyone run away, to be abandoned and alone.

Holy Spirit, we need your calming comfort in our nation. The Holy Spirit who speaks peace.
The Spirit who hovered over the waters when the world was made.
The Spirit who intercedes when we have no words.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we’ve had enough!
Too many African American lives have been sacrificed in our country to fuel our greed, our power, and privilege as white people.
Too much damage has been done and there’s been no reparation, there’s been no change.
Our lynching has become more sophisticated with guns instead of ropes, institutionalized in our policies, courts, churches, neighbors, and police.
Enough O Lord – Our Black and Brown friends cannot be sacrificed on the altar of complacency any longer.
We cannot allow this insidious disease to eat away at the fabric of our souls and society.
This cancer must be stopped before the spread of it kills all of us.
Enough, enough!
Like Lady MacBeth we cry “Out, damned spot”
But the spot has taken over our body,
And like Lady MacBeth we all have blood on our hands, we are all guilty.

Therefore, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
We are on bended knee
We are in ashes and sackcloth
To ask for your forgiveness once again.
But may it be, dear God – three in one
That this time we seek true repentance
That our hearts would be changed
That our prayers would give way to reparation
That you would guide us to listen, to hear, to understand the decades of injustice and oppression
That we would understand what overt and covert oppression has done to generations of African Americans in our country.
How it has been absorbed in their psyches, in their bodies, in their families and communities.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we ask that from forgiveness, repentance, reparation,
would come true reconciliation – the kind that is costly and strong.
Reconciliation that causes true change and, finally, action to create a society
where all men and women are truly equal, truly valued, accepted, seen, and affirmed.
A society that replaces fear with embracing difference,
With seeing the gift our brothers and sisters of color bring.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit This is our dream, this is our cry.
We know we are bankrupt we can’t even try
Yet you dear God – are the only one in three
Who can rescue us from this place.
We remember that you have made us beautiful in your image
We remember your faithfulness to all of us in the wilderness
We remember your promised power, your rescue, your healing –
When your people pray.
We wait for you Lord
We enter your presence
We accept your healing embrace
We know Aslan is on the move,
That only your love can conquer this darkness.
We are with you dear God
We surrender our arms
to let you lead this battle
And we know You will win!

In name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.

Additional resources

Here is a thoughtfully compiled list of anti-racism materials including articles, podcasts and books for adults and children.