For more than two years, NCWWI staff have been talking and thinking about how racial equity fits into our work. At our December 2016 staff meeting, the entire staff made a commitment to embed racial equity work across all of our initiatives. This commitment included an explicit promise to develop intentional action strategies that would be integrated into work plans.
When we started the Institute in 2008, all of the partners participated in the development of our "Operating Framework" that includes our vision, purpose, tag line, values, etc. As leaders who believe in the importance of having a value driven vision and purpose, we were obligated by the commitment made at the staff meeting to re-examine our original Operating Framework to see if it reflected the intentional commitment to integrate racial equity work across the Institute. It did not. I guess we could have let this slide, knowing our implicit commitment to racial equity and the work going on in the different teams, but this approach seemed disingenuous. We agreed to call out racial equity in our vision and purpose and publicly state our organizational commitment to this important work.
I am proud to be a part of a leadership team that takes organizational commitments to heart. We feel more honest working with our staff around their commitments, when the leadership team has made racial equity an explicit part of our operating framework on a number of dimensions.