HERE to HERE’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Statement

We believe that young people deserve access to pathways that support them in their transition to a thriving career. We also understand that the current systems that have been put in place have been designed to keep black and brown people at a disadvantage, especially our young people. We believe that a more equitable society will benefit everyone—including employers, educators, and young people and their families—therefore it is necessary that we remove these obstacles to their success, many of them rooted in systemic racism. 

We believe that now, more than ever, we are prepared to have difficult but impactful conversations with other stakeholders who want to make this country better for everyone who resides within its borders, especially black and brown young people.

We recognize that systems of oppression are used to uphold white supremacy, which has been and remains a barrier to social mobility, and that to achieve our mission, our strategy must include restructuring, dismantling, or reimagining these systems. We are committed to doing that work together, in partnership with our colleagues and community. Given the current national conversations around race in America, we made a decision as an organization to publicly affirm that Black Lives Matter. We believe that now, more than ever, we are prepared to have difficult but impactful conversations with other stakeholders who want to make this country better for everyone who resides within its borders, especially black and brown young people.

In order to achieve our mission, we commit to:

  • Building and sustaining a racially diverse team reflective of the communities we serve and an inclusive environment for our staff, including HERE to HERE leadership as we grow moving forward. 
  • Working to become an actively anti-racist organization to build intentionally towards racial equity for our communities, our young people, and ourselves, both internally and through our external partnerships.
  • The idea that every staff member must be committed and take action towards building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
  • Aligning our partners to create a more equitable and inclusive society.
  • Leveraging our personal and organizational social capital and access to resources to amplify the voices of our partners and other organizations that are seeking social justice and equity to young people, as well as our students (and by extension their families).
  • Being better allies, both as individuals and as an organization, to our partners such as our founding partners DreamYard and Big Picture Learning, as well as other organizations that are doing anti-racist work and supporting anti-racist initiatives.
  • Encouraging ourselves and our partner stakeholders to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations about racism and other inequities when necessary, in order to advance racial justice and equity in the communities we serve—being comfortable does not sustain growth.
  • Disaggregating data on the racial makeup of the team on our website, including our leadership team, as well as examining similar data from the corporate, postsecondary, high school, governmental, and community-based partners with whom we work.
  • Administering pulse checks from staff on diversity and inclusion.
  • Putting forward a policy agenda that addresses structural racism directly and is intended to level the playing field.
  • Holding regular meetings between the JEDI team and the Leadership Team.

*The Racial Equity Prime was originally developed by DreamYard.

Our Goals

Interim Goals: 

  • At least 80% of staff will report a sense of belonging and feeling of inclusion in an annual JEDI pulse check. Staff will have the opportunity to share their thoughts via a survey. 
    • This data will be shared and debriefed with the full staff. 
  • Each staff member will be required to self-identify a goal for their own professional development that supports the overall JEDI work at HERE to HERE as part of their annual review/work plan setting meeting. Each staff member will receive support and feedback on this goal during their annual review process.
  • Internally utilize a racial equity prime to ensure transparency on decision making across the organization.
    • Use the prime as a Leadership Team. 
    • Use the prime as a Team Manager.
  • Encourage partner organizations to use the racial equity prime, the asset language guide, and any other tools we develop or identify as helping us internally advance our social justice and anti-racism work. 
  • New hires receive an orientation to JEDI at HERE to HERE as well as access to a digital folder containing JEDI resources,  articles, and guides informed by social justice work that the organization has previously done. We will also ask them to share their experiences around JEDI and social equity at previous places of employment and any related resources as part of the onboarding process.
  • New hires provide feedback on JEDI and organizational culture three months into employment.

Long term Goals: 

  • Diversify our Board Leadership as we grow our Board of Directors/Trustees.
  • Build and grow staff capacity to facilitate difficult conversations around race, social justice, and equity with external partners.
  • Be recognized as an anti-racist organization that prioritizes diversity, inclusion, social justice, and equity by our peers in the field and a trusted leader to engage others in this work.

Continued Learning & Growth

As a staff, we recognize that social justice and equity work is not easy. While we have made a conscientious decision to lead our social justice efforts with race and ethnicity, we are committed to amplifying the voices of all marginalized groups, which include but are not limited to gender, the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with disabilities, and immigrant populations. 

We each come to this work with different perspectives and experiences, and so the dialogue around achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion must be ongoing and evolve over time. Sometimes we will fall short of our own standards, but the process of becoming a more just and inclusive organization is often iterative and must be transparent in order for us to fully hold ourselves accountable.