Racial Equality Work

For our programming and service provision to be truly equitable, and for us to achieve our mission, we must recognize and respond to the long-term, pervasive effects of all forms of racism on our community members, partners, and staff alike. LBS and people of color are directly and persistently impacted by systemic racism and economic injustice. That includes The Center’s clients, the majority of whom are LBS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). We acknowledge the intersectionality of our clients’ identities and experiences and aim to dismantle the multiple systemic barriers and oppressions that BIPOC face.

Why We Are Doing This Work

Prior attempts to address racial equity at The Center have been ad hoc and have not produced transformative, lasting results. Our current efforts are built upon the previous pushes for internal change and we would not be where we are now without them. We have since dedicated financial resources, allocated staff time, and built leadership buy-in to help lead us toward substantive, structural change. We have committed to embedding racial equity principles into all internal and external work, to ensure a shared and consistent understanding around what is needed to improve.

Where We Are In The Process

This work is led by the Racial Equity Steering Committee (RESC), comprised of individuals that reflect a cross-section of our staff, and supported by our partners at Change Elemental. Through a year-long engagement, Change Elemental is focused on helping The Center build organization-wide capacity around racial equity. Beyond that term, we will continue these efforts internally and re-examine them over time.

Our initial steps have included:

  • Providing coaching sessions and trainings by Change Elemental for RESC co-leads, the Senior Leadership Team, Executive Director and Board members.
  • Launching a Board Racial Equity Working Group to steward the Board around how it will engage in racial and gender equity work.
  • Launching a Board Racial Equity Working Group to steward the Board around how it will engage in racial and gender equity work.
  • Conducting an organizational assessment (including internal and external interviews and focus groups, internal surveys, and data and document analysis) to identify areas where The Center can improve, and to help us develop a multi-year action plan to advance the changes we need.

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