As Digital Promise continues to change, learn, and grow, we acknowledge that our equity journey and work is ongoing. As an organization working at the intersection of education leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs, and developers, we have a significant role in influencing systems, models, and policies that have the power to heal and liberate, instead of harm and oppress, students and communities. It is our individual and collective responsibility to learn and practice anti-racism and uncompromisingly condemn white supremacy.
This equity statement will evolve and change as we do. We will review this document annually in accordance with the induction of new Equity Advisory Team cohorts.
The current education system in the U.S. is designed to advantage white people and white dominant culture. Those who adhere to this system’s practices, policies, and culture, whether consciously or unconsciously, perpetuate white supremacist culture characteristics that reinforce the oppression of minoritized and marginalized people. Digital Promise will continue to analyze honestly and critically how our organization has contributed to oppressive systems. Starting with our own organization, we will actively name and eliminate structural racism from all aspects of our work and operations so that our colleagues and those we engage with can bring their fullest selves to Digital Promise’s mission and work. And where possible, we will work to do the same within institutions, systems, and structures across the education landscape, especially those we work with.
We commit ourselves to the transformation of the education system united under the knowledge that education is a liberatory and social justice issue. We dedicate ourselves to ensuring that each student has equitable access to, participation with, and powerful use of the tools, educators, and learning experiences that affirm and honor their identities, expertise, and lived experiences.
Achieving educational equity requires continuously examining our practices, expectations, assumptions, and relationships; naming privileges granted to us while ceding power to the populations we serve; and working in partnership with school and district leaders, educators, families, learners, and many more stakeholders to engineer and drive systems–level change that results in measurable improved outcomes for traditionally marginalized individuals. We recognize how we have failed at our equity work by not going far enough. Moving forward, we will call out, speak up, research, and report the ways education systems and policies fail students. We will prioritize equity–and liberatory–focused approaches and center the learning trajectories of students marginalized by race, class, and ability—emphasizing those who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
As first steps in our strengthened commitment to equity, we will:
- Establish an Equity Advisory Team to act as a trusted group of advisors who will work in partnership with Digital Promise leadership and initiative teams on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and justice;
- Encourage and support employees in naming inequities in our work, operations, and partnerships, and in confronting those inequities with the colleagues, management, and leadership as appropriate;
- Develop a system of accountability and measurement to bring attention to the organization’s actions and performance around diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Collaborate with communities that systems have marginalized to amplify their efforts and co–design solutions to create more equitable access, participation, and outcomes across education;
- Design and implement equity–focused learning programs to confront the historical, systemic marginalization of communities of color and to cultivate reflection and learning practices within the organization; and
- Initiate affinity groups and foster a culture of intersectional supports to connect, honor, and appreciate the identities of our fellow colleagues and all people.
Digital Promise values racial equity, inclusion, and liberation. We believe that the most powerful learning takes place when education systems see, value, center, and celebrate students and communities. Our vision for education imagines a reality where every person at any stage in their life has equitable access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their most richly imagined futures. We will hold ourselves accountable in every aspect of this work and welcome your partnership and feedback throughout this journey.