VOBS commits to work for racial equity and to understand its intersections with other identities. We are examining the systems we work and live in to ensure our organization supports equitable and inclusive outcomes for all.
Our 57 year history and journey with equity, inclusion and diversity have included inflection points and efforts to diversify our staff and students. Over the past ten years, we have invested in and seen wonderful outcomes through our partnerships in the Twin Cities. We have more work to do to ensure this occurs throughout our organization. Our 2025 vision is laying the foundation to more than double the number of Black, Indigenous and People of Color who experience and are part of our organization as students, staff and board members.
George Floyd’s killing in 2020 was another pivot point for us. This tragedy crystallized and sharpened a national imperative to face the pervasiveness of racism. Along with our community and the world, VOBS paused to reflect and learn. We asked Justice Outside to examine our organization – systems, policies, practices, culture – to help us identify and understand our organizational blind spots, unconscious biases, and structures that do not fully support a more equitable, inclusive and diverse organization.
We are excited about enacting these changes, internally and externally. In support of our 2025 vision, we have begun by:
Increasing our efforts in philanthropy to support increased student enrollment, improved staff capacity, diversity, compensation and strengthening our organizational culture
Educating our staff and board to deepen understanding of systemic privilege and oppression, and the impacts of Ideological, Institutional, Interpersonal and Internalized racism
Establishing an equity, inclusion and diversity staff working group and board committee that will centralize our priorities and EI&D efforts
Increasing the number of board members and staff who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color
This statement is a working draft and living document and we will incorporate these commitments into the ways we work together every day.