Read our June 2020 employee-owned company statement on Black Lives Matter.
The tragedies of the summer of 2020 have made us all question deeply as a company what actions we will take to create change. In addition to condemning police violence and racial injustice, what are we doing to address those issues? What could we be doing? What should we be doing?
Our first step has been to create a Black Lives Matter Working Group, tasked with helping the company identify and move forward with specific long-term commitments:
Ending police violence against Black people
Addressing racism and bias at Community IT
Working to end racism in American society
We will periodically post Black Lives Matter progress report updates here on the steps Community IT Innovators is committed to, and the outcomes of these changes.
- Working with DEI consultants, complete review of our policies and procedures. We want to assess and then assure that our policies align with our goals of racial equity.
- Evaluate and transform the structure and activities of the company to further social and racial justice.
- Seek opportunities to celebrate and elevate under-represented voices in our company and incorporate them more broadly in our internal and external communications.
- Seek opportunities to work with our nonprofit technology community and more widely with the technology sector to combat racism, elevate under-represented leaders, and promote equity.
- Engage with local organizations to support actions to end police brutality.
- Continuing engagement with partners and consultants for Racial Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work internal to Community IT.
- Review our employee equity plan from hiring to compensation to professional development with DEI/Justice lens.
- Planning ongoing and prioritized employee workshops on race, diversity, equity, justice, and inclusion, focused on learning how we can talk to one another about difficult topics.
- Changing internal processes and structures such as meetings and scheduling to be inclusive spaces.
- Exploring external partnerships with organizations promoting racial equity and justice and decreasing police violence.
- Undertaking first annual website review to decolonize language and images.
- Formed an internal BLM working group, currently made up of 7 selected employee volunteers, CEO, and other resource staff.
- Our BLM working group reports internally on progress to make sure the process, timeline, and goals are fully transparent.
- Began with internal conversation and reflection. Have ongoing discussions led by experts and internal staff about why Black lives matter to us.
- Started reviewing our policies and procedures in March 2021. In April surveyed staff to get a baseline of where we are as individuals in anticipation of group discussions in the months ahead.
- Community IT will observe Juneteenth as an official company holiday starting June 19, 2022. This will increase the total number of company holidays from 9 to 10. The cost of adding a tenth holiday is well worth commemorating this important occasion in our nation’s history. Taking this step is one manifestation of the work our BLM working group is doing to orient Community IT toward equity and inclusion and to further social and racial justice.
- Intentional internal community building, including creating more inclusive meeting formats, times, and ability to include remote and in-person staff together.
- Celebration and elevation of women at Community IT and within our larger network during Women’s History Month.
- 4-part staff open discussion centered on High on the Hog.
- Celebration and elevation of Black History Month.
- Presented Diverse Perspectives on Nonprofit Tech Careers at NTC conference and as part of our monthly webinar series.
- Changed all-staff meeting formats. Created Ask Me Anything AMA short weekly meetings to increase transparency internally, promote collaboration and community.
- Held all-staff workshop and education activities fall 2021.
- Created “Community IT Voices” to highlight and promote employee experiences and give examples of diverse career paths to under-represented communities.
- Held a company-wide education and celebration of Juneteenth in 2021.
- Created and will maintain this post updating ourselves and our community with our dreams, the progress we are making, and the outcomes achieved.
- Added BLM banner to website, with link to company statements and updates.
We know the next steps we will take, as an employee owned company, to address grave social problems in a meaningful way will be challenging.
We are grateful for the work of our employees to center this challenge company wide and we have committed ourselves to work hard to rise to this opportunity to transform our company into a more meaningful place to work and a better agent of broader social change.
We strive to live our values throughout our work; with our clients, with our colleagues, and with our internal structures.
We look forward to where we might go next, and we will keep our community informed of our Black Lives Matter progress.