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 of Trustees 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 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.
Our efforts around race, equity and inclusion are organized in three categories:
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 an investment policy mandate; directed our investment consultant 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
Began incorporating diversity and inclusion principles into BCF’s evolving grantmaking guidelines
Hear us talk about it:
Investment Manager Diversity
BCF Vice Chair Tedd Alexander along with Natalie Eckford from BCF's investment consultant, Cambridge Associates spoke at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations about BCF's efforts to diversify investment managers. See the below videos from this informative session. Use the Playlist button to select:
1. Introduction by Erika Seth Davies of the Association of Black Foundation Executives
2. Panel discussion including BCF Vice-Chair and Investment Committee Chair Tedd Alexander and Natalie Eckford of Cambridge Associates, BCF's investment consultant
3. Q&A with the audience