We recognize that in order to pursue our organizational mission at Education First, we must approach our work by studying gaps and inequities, asking tough questions about structural racism and more deliberately engaging diverse voices in problem-solving. We’ve been building our own skills to deliver solutions that center racial equity, with particular attention to equitable ways of thinking and working, and we are committed to helping our clients do the same in projects that have a goal of increasing equity at their core.
- Black lives matter. We are collectively responsible to amplify and support Black students, families and leaders.
- People are experts in their own experience. We cannot effectively support our clients to problem solve and innovate without centering the people they aim to serve.
- Racism and inequity were designed, and can be redesigned. People make up the systems, policies and processes that govern our experience, and we must support our clients to explore their role in reimagining what could be possible.
Within Education First, we have committed to building a Race Equity Culture—creating the conditions to adopt antiracist mindsets and actions. To live into this commitment:
- As individuals, Ed Firsters are engaged in Race, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (RIDE)-centered professional learning that supports team member learning, unlearning, reflection and action.
- As leaders of the organization, all Education First Partners and Chiefs have identified areas of growth and are engaged in active development of their personal RIDE beliefs and behaviors.
- As an organization, we continue to examine and refine the design of our initiatives, policies and practices that translate to our workplace experiences so that we can continuously improve the lived experiences of all Ed First team members.
- As an organization, we are partnering with clients to center the communities they seek to serve throughout our engagements.
Additional opportunities for Ed First team members to learn, problem-solve and support one another include:
- Black Staff Advisory Council: The Council serves as the regular point of contact for Black team members and Partners and Chiefs to discuss updates and progress on key initiatives aimed at addressing Black team member interests.
- Affinity groups: Team members have the option to engage in affinity-based spaces based on their identities, needs and interests.
- Community Advisory Group: This work group is designed to elevate the voices, perspectives and lived experiences of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ staff to inform Ed First practices, policies and processes.
We will continue to revisit our goal and prioritized actions, as the work of combatting and dismantling systemic racism in education is a journey, not a destination.