Statement of Parallel Development
The South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence (SDCEDSV) is committed to the concept of parallel development that allows for diversity and ensures equity and equal opportunity for its members. This commitment is reflected in the policies, procedures and By-Laws that affirm and support indigenous women in their struggle for self-determination.
Principles of Parallel Development
Parallel development is an organizational concept that models a system of operation and cooperation to ensure that all members have access and equal opportunity for leadership. Parallel development provides indigenous women with the opportunity to address issues within their own context and to be a learning tool about relationships of equality for women of other cultures. Parallel development is one attempt to put into practice the ideology of a partnership between two peoples that enhances the different qualities of both and acknowledges the strengths that lie within the differences.
Within the SDCEDSV, parallel development is a policy agreement between indigenous women and women of other cultures that establish practices to ensure that indigenous women have a voice and environment whereby their presence and participation are valued. This agreement is reflected, in one way, by the development of co-chair positions for the Board of Directors and by co-director positions for the staff. The personnel policies state that one co-director minimally shall always be a woman of color.
Task Forces were also established by the SDCEDSV to offer disenfranchised and traditionally silenced women an opportunity to meet together to address issues and concerns affecting an individual or the entire group. Task Forces have the right to caucus during any meeting to call attention to and discuss an issue without the entire group hearing the concerns. Usually, a caucus is exercised when a Task Force member perceives the discussion is moving in a direction that is not representative of the Task Force. During a caucus the general meeting must adjourn until the Task Force members are once again at the table.
Parallel Development Practice
The SDCEDSV believes indigenous women have the expertise to represent all areas of interest on behalf of the SDCEDSV, have the right to determine their own future and the right to access resources to implement and control decision making processes.
The SDCEDSV believes non-native women have the right to be reflective of their many cultures, have the right to develop processes that incorporate diversity and flexibility in determining their future, and have the right to access resources to implement such decisions/directions.
The SDCEDSV believes it is the responsibility of non-native women to openly and directly confront racism and acts of colonial oppression and to openly and directly confront acts of oppression and subjugation in all sectors of society.
Services offered by the organization shall be culturally appropriate in the design, delivery, assessment and critique. Issues of racism, cultural imperialism and/or colonization and gender oppression shall be integrated into the educational content of all programs to demonstrate the parallels between these various forms of violence. All staff members of the organization shall be required to attend specific training on these issues.
The SDCEDSV is committed to reflecting the policy and practice of parallel development within all areas/activities outside of the organization in which the SDCEDSV is represented.