A Message from B:CIVIC and Leadership Foundation
We can only have a vibrant community for all when we are inclusive. At the Leadership Foundation and B:CIVIC, we recognize that we have a responsibility to invest in building racial equity and to support our community of leaders in being agents of change. We’re committed to becoming an organization that is more anti-racist and we’re committed to creating a sustained effort to support the necessary behavior and systems changes so all leaders are equipped with the tools to be inclusive.
We know that we haven’t done enough in the past and that we can learn from it. In the spirit of transparency, we want to bring you along on our journey as we listen, learn and gather feedback from our community.
A few months ago, we outlined our six priorities to keep our promise of showing up for people of color in our communities in ways we never have before. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
Staff Training and Organization Evaluation – To be effective in fostering inclusive spaces in our programs and organizations, we knew we had to look internally first. We’re reflecting on how we’re creating inclusive spaces for our members and our team through surveys and candid discussions. One learning that came out of it was reevaluating our inclusivity statement to embolden our commitment to this work. In the process, we have deepened our understanding of policies, practices and structures so we can become the organization we aspire to be.
Our board of directors is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) principles by dedicating time and resources to support this work. They’ve empowered us to foster DEI through the lens of our mission to “educate and inspire” leaders who want to make a difference in their organizations and communities.
To embed listening and learning into our culture, we are committing to ongoing team, organizational, program and member surveys to help shape priorities and action steps to positively impact DEI work for our community.
Education and Skills Development – We’re beginning to share resources on our website, collaborate with Inclusive Economy on a toolkit for companies and encourage deeper commitments through the Colorado Companies Uniting Against Racism pledge to learn, discuss and act in building racial equity in our community. We’re also working on a Virtual Voices series with a DEI lens in partnership with the Leadership Foundation. Check out the past Virtual Voices.
Amplifying Community Work and Strategic Partnership – Our community is full of organizations and civic leaders advancing work to make sure Black and Indigenous communities and people of color can prosper. We recognize that we’re not the experts and are cultivating partnerships and relationships with diversity and inclusion practitioners to advance racial equity in our community. Our recent B:CIVIC Summit included four sessions focused on topics of DEI for companies and we will continue to elevate best practices from the field in our work. We believe it’s critical to elevate the conversation around DEI and incorporate it into all that we do, and we will have a greater impact by doing this work together.
Revisiting Our Values – Colorado’s Civic DNA™ represents the spirit of what makes our community strong, and as our community has evolved, so has our understanding of how we live those values. This work to examine our values will take time, so we can ensure the process is inclusive and all voices are heard. We’ll get started soon and promise to work with our community to have values that better reflect a community where everyone can prosper. Learn about the history of Colorado’s Civic DNA.
Transparency – We are listening to our community for how we can make sure all leaders are equipped with the skills and experience needed to enact meaningful change. We acknowledge that we have work to do as an organization, both internally and externally. We are committed to building trust with our community so that we can do our part to be a part of positive change and racial equity.
As an organization, we’ll continue to listen and learn as we work toward creating a more inclusive and racially equitable community of leadership. We ask that you, our community, share your honest feedback with us by emailing us, and that you hold us accountable on our promise. Our members have always been a critical part of our success and key to setting our priorities, identifying gaps and advancing our mission. We also ask for your encouragement and support as we grow to become better civic leaders ourselves.