Washington D.C. (December 1, 2020) – In an effort to help end discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV and AIDs, Cultural Vistas has signed the #workingpositively pledge, joining a global effort to commit to creating safe, supportive and inclusive spaces for people living with these and other chronic illnesses. Alongside the German Ministry of Health and the German Ministry of Labor, Cultural Vistas participated in an official signing ceremony in Berlin December 1, 2020, coinciding with World AIDS Day.
Cultural Vistas is one of the first United States-based organizations to sign the pledge. The #workingpositively campaign invites employers to commit to being visible role models in their support for HIV-positive employees. First launched in Germany in June 2019, the campaign has since been signed by more than 100 companies across Europe. The campaign is designed to expand inclusive employment opportunities for those living with HIV and AIDS, as research shows that fear, stigma and basic misinformation drive exclusions from private and public sector employment opportunities for this group.
“Cultural Vistas looks forward to being one of the trailblazing employers in the United States, as part of our larger effort to expand our intercultural diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives,” said Jennifer Clinton, President/CEO of Cultural Vistas.
“As an international exchange organization, we have an opportunity to foster a shared understanding and appreciation of diverse peoples, thus bringing the world closer together. We are proud to take this small step to support a larger effort to help end stigma and bias surrounding HIV and AIDS.”
Signing the #workingpositively pledge is the latest step in Cultural Vistas’ commitment to Intercultural Competency, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives (ICDEI). The initiative was brought forth by the organization’s ICDEI taskforce, comprised of staff members. Signatories to the pledge commit to:
- Fight stigma and promote open, respectful cooperation for people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses
- Welcome employees living with HIV who can be open about their HIV status without fear of reprisal
- Create opportunities for employees to engage with AIDS services and community-based organizations
- Honor privacy and never demand an HIV test during company medical examinations, or ask an employee to disclose their chronic illness status
- Promote a commitment internally with our employees and publicly share our organization’s commitment on social media.
About Cultural Vistas
Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization whose mission is to enrich minds, advance global skills, build careers, and connect lives through international exchange. Cultural Vistas develops international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. With more than 75% of programs cancelled or postponed, now more than ever we need your help and support to sustain our ability to advance global engagement in new ways. Learn more at culturalvistas.org.
Lauren Salisbury, Director of Communications