*this letter was submitted by Aakhil Lakhani, former EWB chapter president, JF, and office staff
I was interested to learn that you have taken on the leadership position on the board. I wanted to reach out with a little reminder and encouragement.
I distinctly remember your response and support when I came back from my JF placement after having been assaulted.
I am not here to assume that you haven’t learned and grown in the last 5 years. I am reminding you that every single year since 2013 there have been incidences of grievous harm to JFs. I am letting you know that even though I have distanced myself from the organization, EWBers come to me to disclose harms that have taken place within chapters, on overseas placements, and at national office.
This is a symptom. A symptom of an organization that victim blames its members to such a degree that they cannot find one beacon of safety within the organization.
Rebecca, please please stop protecting an institution at the expense of human beings.
I understand that our own experiences and traumas inform how we navigate the world. I am asking you to step out of your own truth and reality to see this from the perspective of the vulnerable youth whose mental and physical well-being you are exercising power over.
Rebecca, you are more than EWB. You can exist as a good person in the world without EWB. You do not need to hold on to power that is derived from white supremacy and the patriarchy to be valued and worthwhile.
You know what you need to do. Bring the JFs home. Sending you the courage to make the ethical decision.