Race, Equity, and Inclusion
What we believe:
Our region is stronger, better, and more prosperous when all residents have equal opportunities to participate in civic life. We recognize the disparities experienced by people of color and other communities in accessing those opportunities, and we seek to redress those disparities.
By being intentional and strategic about diversity, equity, and inclusion, BCF will be a more informed, innovative, and effective community investor and will increase progress toward our vision of a Baltimore with a growing economy, where all have the opportunity to thrive.
What we're doing:
In 2011, the BCF board created a task force to develop a framework and a timeline for educating trustees, staff, and partners about diversity and inclusion principles and incorporating those principles into our emerging focus areas of schools and neighborhoods. From the outset, the task force recognized that equity and inclusion encompasses many factors, however the history of structural racism in the Baltimore region makes it important to focus - at least initially - on race. They ways we're doing it:
Education - ongoing opportunities for board and staff to develop a common language and understanding of REI issues
Organizational Development - an examination of BCF policies and practices with regard to race, equity, and inclusion
Grantmaking - an exploration of how REI considerations can be embedded into BCF's community investment work in the areas of neighborhoods and education; and strategies for encouraging BCF grantees to consider REI in their work
What we've done:
- Developed recommendations to improve BCF’s internal operations in the areas of personnel, board & committee development, vendor recruitment, investment management, and communications
- Created new criteria for managing vendor and contractor relationships
- Hired a new investment manager using diversity and inclusion as a recruitment criterion; directed our lead investment management firm to consider diversity in hiring future investment managers
- Provided the Race Matters Toolkit training, available here, to lead partners from BCF’s two target neighborhoods, Greater Highlandtown and Reservoir Hill
- Started a quarterly brown bag series on diversity and inclusion topics for BCF board, staff, and volunteers
- Began incorporating diversity and inclusion principles into BCF’s evolving grantmaking guidelines
Hear us talk about it:
Listen to BCF Trustee Harry Johnson and VP for Community Investment Danista Hunte talk about our approach on WYPR's "Lines Between Us" program in this December 21, 2012 interview.