MCC statement in response to open letter and petition

Canada United States — Jun 2024

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Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is aware of the open letter and online petition launched by seven former staff members who worked for the organization over a period of 24 years. When employee concerns arise, MCC follows its policies and seeks to resolve the issues for the mutual benefit of all individuals involved.

We acknowledge the hurt expressed by these former MCC staff members. We want to respond with humility and compassion. People are fallible and as a result, MCC is constantly reviewing policies and procedures to ensure they meet the complex needs of our staff and reflect the difficult locations where we serve. As people serving people, our goal is to ensure the ongoing health and safety of all our workers.

MCC takes all reports of complaints from employees seriously. Formal complaints submitted to MCC will be addressed and investigated, as appropriate, by trained Human Resources (HR) staff or external investigators. We seek to listen carefully to others who share their stories online, via email or by contacting us in other ways. In some situations, MCC will hire external third parties to review the work that is being done.

On social media, statements may be made by others that are inconsistent with MCC’s understanding of the facts. However, because several individuals have initiated legal action, MCC cannot discuss the facts of the case in public forums. We will share the facts as we know them in a court of law at the appropriate time.

MCC’s HR staff are committed to engaging with respect and care. They are individuals of faith who are consummate professionals working with different countries, cultures and rapidly changing situations. When situations evolve in unexpected ways, there are times when HR and leaders within MCC must make decisions for the broader good of everyone involved. We recognize that individuals on the ground may disagree with those decisions. When this occurs, MCC seeks to find a resolution that is consistent with our policies and offers compassion to those engaged.

We recognize that past and present MCC workers often serve in complex and challenging environments. MCC has trained International Program staff who as part of their job diligently monitor the safety and security in the contexts in which staff work. MCC employees are committed to maintaining rigorous staff security policies and procedures, recognizing the risks and ongoing volatility inherent in many regions.

MCC welcomes anyone who wishes to raise a complaint to do so through our Speak Up Service (link opens new window). All reports are confidential. Through the Speak Up Service, complaints are received by a third party on their secure servers. The reports are then handed over to trained MCC HR staff and may be investigated by a neutral third party where appropriate. MCC’s Speak Up Service provides an avenue for employees (and others) to report concerns such as violations of ethical or professional standards, misconduct, or unfair or inappropriate management of resources.