Our Equity Journey

The Community Foundation was founded on a keen awareness of our interconnectedness as a community of people sharing a region. Our futures are intertwined, and in order to thrive together, we need to ensure that we are contributing to conditions that enable everyone to meet their full potential regardless of the circumstances of one’s birth.

We also know that our communities, like all communities across our nations, were designed in hierarchy, to include some and exclude others. Across our history, community members have faced barriers to their full participation in the benefits of our society on the basis of race, gender, and other identity characteristics.

For the past three years, we have been on a journey of self-reflection and exploration to transform ourselves into an organization that is deeply centered in our value that every person matters. As a steward of this region, we believe we have an obligation to ensure it is one where everyone can thrive, contribute, and belong. We are centering equity in our programs and services, our internal operations and culture, and in our community leadership.

We began a focused effort in 2018 and described our journey in a letter to our constituents.

Our work to date has included:

  • Racial equity trainings for our whole board and team to develop a shared language and understanding of how race functions as a system of power
  • Skills-building and leadership development for a core group of board and team members
  • An equity assessment of our entire organization
  • Monthly racial identity group caucusing among team members to shape internal culture and strengthen communication
  • Disciplined examination of how race is operating within the Foundation and action plans to create a more equitable internal environment
  • Updates to hiring approach to address biases and ensure an equitable process
  • Review of our governance approach to embed our values of equity and inclusion
  • Use of equity lens in existing programmatic initiatives, including COVID-19 response
  • Design of grant programs to ensure more equitable distribution of resources

Our work is not done. We remain committed to our journey toward a more equitable organization and region.