At ImpactED, we are passionate about working with mission-driven organizations to respond to the needs and goals of the communities they serve. We know we have a responsibility to examine our practices to ensure that decisions affecting communities reflect the perspectives and challenges of the people living in those communities, particularly those who have historically been excluded from the process. This work requires us to push through our discomfort as we have challenging conversations about how identity, power, and/or privilege may hinder our ability to build trusting connections and move beyond the limitations of our own perspectives.
We aim to build a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture by leading with our values of collaboration, empathy, excellence, and continuous improvement. We recognize that advancing equity requires not only reflecting on our programmatic work, but also on how white supremacy culture influences our internal culture. To that end, we are committed to:
- Investing in collaboration to expand our views and understanding. We recognize the limitations of our own perspectives and believe that collaborative efforts produce more effective and innovative results. We also know that to build trust and agency, it is not enough to invite people into the conversation. Authentic collaboration involves co-generating ideas and incorporating the voices of multiple stakeholders into decisions, including the voices of those most affected by the decisions. However, we often feel a sense of urgency to respond quickly and move projects forward, which can limit our ability to be truly collaborative. We’re committed to developing realistic work plans that allow for inclusive and intentional decision-making processes.
- Deepening our understanding of and empathy for our collaborators, partners, and the communities they serve. We engage in constant inquiry to help us better understand the needs and goals of all the stakeholders we work with and for, including our collaborators, partners, and the communities they serve. This understanding helps us center their humanity and tailor our approach and interactions accordingly. However, we recognize that building authentic relationships will take time and require us to reflect on our own identity, power, and privilege. We’re committed to creating the conditions for candid and honest conversations so that we constantly challenge our assumptions and explore different approaches.
- Having a shared commitment to excellence and delivering results for our partners. We are committed to excellence because we believe in our partners and their capacity for social impact. To support our partners in realizing their goals, we ensure that our products and trainings meet high standards and use our platform to amplify their work. However, we recognize that a commitment to excellence unchecked can lead to perfectionism and that the academic lens of excellence can be limiting and exclusive. We’re committed to supporting a culture of appreciation and learning that recognizes mistakes as an opportunity for growth and celebrates people’s unique strengths and contributions.
- Continually learning and improving our practice. At ImpactED, we strive to be a learning organization, and all staff use data to engage in reflection and learning on a regular basis. We seek to learn from our collaborators, partners, and the communities they serve, and value unfiltered feedback that helps us grow and improve our practice. However, we recognize that this work will not be easy and that we will need to constantly challenge our need for comfort. We’re committed to providing space and time for meaningful reflection and ensuring our human resources systems and practices incorporate values that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.
ImpactED recognizes that living into these values will require a continual process of reflection, learning, and action. We are committed to investing in ongoing training and development that allows us to become students of the historical context of oppression and deepens our understanding of our own socialization. We believe that this commitment is vitally important and will help us better serve our partners and their communities.