19 Jun LA Promise Fund’s Anti-Racist Commitment
The LA Promise Fund stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all marginalized communities that have faced injustice and inequity for too long.
We have been enraged and heartbroken in the recent days and weeks by the tragic killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Riah Milton, Dominique Fells, and countless others before them. There is no place in our world for police brutality, senseless violence and deaths, especially those fueled by racism. We support the protests that have brought the world’s attention to this injustice and the need for an immediate remedy.
While the South LA population we serve is 100% Black and Latinx, and our mission is to advance equity and opportunity, we recognize we must do more to address institutionalized racism and systemic injustice that pervades many aspects of society. We will pursue targeted strategies that eradicate racism within our organization, our South LA community and beyond. To do so, the LA Promise Fund commits to the following:
- Create a Diverse and Equitable Team. We will improve our hiring processes and set ambitious diversity goals for our recruiting and hiring practices across all roles and departments to ensure our staff reflects the communities that we serve. We will ensure that our commitment to diversity and representation expands to our board of directors as well so that we are governed by leaders more reflective of our community.
- Foster a Culture of Diversity & Equity. We will review our cultural, organizational, and HR practices to ensure our team members are supported in their professional growth and performance, are treated equitably, and are able to advance diversity and equity in the work environment. We will engage in ongoing diversity and equity training to build a strong culture and inform our practices.
- Promote Anti-Racist Learning. We will deepen our commitment to a college and career education curriculum that fights bigotry and hatred, infusing diverse perspectives across all content areas. Students will be empowered to make informed decisions and raise their voices in advocacy and action. We will provide robust, customized, and culturally relevant learning and whole-child support to ensure the academic success of each student subgroup, including Black and African American students. We will also engage in restorative behavioral practices in our schools that promote student, family, and faculty well-being, recognizing and addressing the trauma that too many of our students have experienced.
- Ensure Equity in Participation. We will commit to representative participation of Black and African American students in all of the extracurricular programs that we manage, from parent engagement to STEAM to college and career access. We will ensure that programs advance diversity, equity, and action by incorporating anti-racist teachings, diverse perspectives, and opportunities for action.
- Raise Funds to Combat Racism & Promote Greater Equity of Opportunity. We will raise funds, in conjunction with our SLATE-Z colleagues, to bring more resources to South LA students, families, schools and the economy to advance equity of opportunity for South LA students. Our fundraising efforts will convey the strength and resilience of the community we serve.
- Raise our Voices to Fight Racism and Uplift our Communities. We will use our platform and our organization’s voice to combat racism in communications, policy advancements, and strategic partnerships. Our language will be asset-based and DEI-informed. We will call on the strength and diversity of our team, the students, families, and communities to inform our communications. We will empower students and families to raise their own voices in action and advocacy.
- Support South LA, Black-Owned, and Female-Led Businesses. We will work with local vendors in providing services and partnerships, inclusive of Black, Latinx, immigrant, LGBTQIA+, and female entrepreneurs. When we work with an outside company to provide a business partnership in our programming, we will push harder to ensure that their participation is a reflection of the diversity of our student population.
- Promote Advocacy, Agency and Action. We will create a process for vetting and supporting anti-racist and pro-equity policies. We will support local, state, and national policies that uplift our community and oppose those that suppress it. We will also equip our students and families to make informed decisions on key policies so that they become active and engaged citizens. We will always advance voter participation and census activities across our programs and schools, among our team members, and in our communications.
Education remains one of the most powerful tools to break generational cycles of poverty, oppression and violence for individuals, families, and communities. Education can also chisel away at racism by teaching diverse histories and perspectives and disrupting a predominately white male perspective that has excluded the voices and contributions of others.
We are committed to making these improvements over the long haul. We will develop metrics that reflect this commitment and incorporate them into our strategic plans and annual goals. It is our intention to maximize this moment in time to change the world for the better by defining our anti-racist role in it so that we better achieve our mission of preparing students for success in college, career, and life.
Veronica Melvin, President & CEO, LA Promise Fund