Our Commitment to Racial Equity
is core to social change
Community Wealth Partners dreams of a world where all people have what they need to fully live into their potential, particularly those who are kept furthest from resources and power. Achieving this vision will require change from every corner of society, working to dismantle oppressive systems, redistribute resources, and restore power for people historically denied it.
Throughout our nation’s history, racial bias, discrimination, and oppression have been baked into policies, practices, and decisions of systems, organizations, and individuals. This has resulted in wide disparities on social outcomes ranging from education to health to economic well-being, with race being the biggest predictor of disparity. Having the impact we hope to have requires us and our partners to center racial equity in our work. Doing so will better position us to advance other forms of equity as well.
The work to advance equity starts inside our own organization. As with most white-led organizations, our culture and practices have been rooted in the behaviors consistent with white dominant culture. We must unlearn longstanding practices and adopt new behaviors that foster a stronger culture of belonging for staff members of color and build our collective muscle to center racial equity in our work with clients.
Our journey began in 2015. Since then, we have deepened our understanding of how racism shows up in systems, organizations, and individuals. We have begun to build our collective cultural competency, using the Intercultural Development Inventory as a tool to measure our progress and clarify our next steps. We are examining our own processes and practices so that we can create the conditions by which everyone on our team can be their full selves, contribute their best work, and grow professionally. Some of the changes we have made include revamping our recruitment and hiring processes to improve racial diversity, updating our cultural values and behaviors to center equity and inclusion, disaggregating employee engagement data by race, and creating new processes and structures that distribute decision-making power and ownership across the team.
While we’ve made some progress, we have much more to do, and this work will never be complete. We also recognize our pace of change has been insufficient to address the urgency of eliminating racism. We regularly take stock of the progress we’ve made and identify the next areas to work on. We are inspired by and grateful to those who helped us on this journey, including trainers and investors — The Race Matters Institute, Race Forward, Team Dynamics, and Samantha Mellerson and Bonnie Howard at the Annie E. Casey Foundation — as well as internal champions on our team, select clients and board members, and equity service providers with whom we partner on engagements.
We partner with clients to tackle large-scale problems that are an outgrowth of our country’s history of systemic oppression of people of color. In our work with clients, our goal is to find ways to center those who have historically held the least power and privilege. We strive to consistently question current assumptions and ways of working because achieving equity requires dismantling systems and creating new ones. We aim to bring racial equity into our analyses and conversations with clients — all in the spirit of advancing learning and change. We are on our own path of continuous learning, which means our actions will fall short of our aspirations at times. We actively seek feedback to help us continue to improve.
We work to build relationships with organizations with deep expertise on racial equity, learn from them, and refer opportunities to them. We also partner with them on projects where we have complementary expertise. We are grateful for the learning and leadership these organizations have provided.
Our values embody our culture and commitment to social change. They guide how we approach our work, interact with partners, and shape our organization.