Amirah's Philosophy on Team Approach

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Amirah exists to provide spaces of refuge for those seeking to break free from exploitation and heal in community on their journey toward lasting hope.

 

We place high value on collaborative efforts. We believe for exploitation to be eradicated, voices of survivors and allies must be present working together on all levels in the anti-trafficking movement. 

 

Because of this, we approach this work as a team. While there is a hierarchy to the organizational structure of Amirah, there is not a hierarchy in valuing survivors or allies more or less than the other and work is done with a team approach. Decisions are made as a team, and disagreements are handled with care and respect – knowing that our motives are always to help and never to bring harm. While we model John 15:13 in our everyday actions, the approach of team comes from the prayer of Jesus in John 17:21: “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

 

Our desire is to be united in this work, to work collaboratively as a team, and model true community to those we serve and to others in this movement. 

 

With this in mind, the organization of Amirah lives out the practices outlined below as both survivors and allies in all avenues of our work.

 

  1. Listening to those who have lived-experience in the commercial sex trade.

    1. Honoring their stories and experience as policy and programming are shaped.

    2. Hearing about best approaches that help in offering support and doing our absolute best to put these into practice.

    3. Recognizing that those who have lived through this are more than their story; therefore, those who work at Amirah and sit on the board of Amirah will not assume that a survivor must share their story with them, nor will they ask for it.

    4. Actively seeking input from those with lived-experience whenever possible to supplement professional knowledge.

  2. Whenever possible, hiring those with lived-experiences in roles that are mutually beneficial for those in Amirah’s programs, for the survivor-leaders themselves, and for the organization.

  3. A willingness to constantly work on language for this work, as well as continuously offering grace when someone gets it wrong.

  4. Listening to those who are trained in mental-health.

    1. Honoring their expertise as care is given, valuing their insight and training.

    2. Hearing concerns about the level of care that is needed and what can practically be provided in the space we have.

  5. Listening to those who are hired for specific roles within Amirah based on their expertise and life experiences.

    1. Trusting the judgment and perspective of these individuals just as we would those who have lived-experience in the sex trade or those who are trained clinically.

  6. Being willing to recognize that Amirah will not be able to provide care for every survivor and handing that burden over to God to bear for us.

  7. Supporting those who bear the burden of trauma in every way we can through supervision support, ample paid time off, and regular check-ins.

  8. Providing balance in our approach collectively, making sure that we address concerns head-on and come back to the table together with mutual respect for the work that each person does.

  9. Listening to criticism, being able to receive feedback knowing that our goals are to help, not to bring harm.

  10. Being willing to change when we should, knowing that change might not be possible all of the time.

  11. Inviting voices to the table that are often not heard, whether that be from survivors or allies in this field who are working tirelessly on the ground and have not been given a platform.

  12. Making sure that if someone is in this space, we seek to work with them and support their efforts rather than begin new efforts of our own in the same area.

    1. In all media interviews, mentioning others in this work that are resources for the reporter or interviewer to contact.

    2. Freely offering support and methods of best practice to others in this work.

    3. Being a resource and support for others in this movement as much as we can.

    4. Readily engaging on the topic of the importance of team unity for this movement.