Our values guide our behaviors as we pursue our mission and strategic goals:
Ubuntu: (n.) I am what I am because of who we all are. Ubuntu is the southern African philosophy that describes the interconnectedness of all people. It emphasizes that an individual’s well-being is intricately tied to the community's well-being. The philosophy promotes humanity, service, sharing, healing, and reconciliation.
We honor and celebrate the cultural resources and assets within the Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities in Baltimore City. We acknowledge their history and power. We work to address the role of philanthropy in dismantling structural racism by engaging in internal and external work to center Black and Brown wisdom in our approach.
We include youth along with adults in all aspects of our work. Having different generations work together reflects how our entire community must work together to improve the quality of life in our city.
The community has equal, authentic decision-making power in distributing BCYF’s resources. Embracing collective decision-making ensures that all voices are heard, promoting community accountability and equitable access to resources and opportunities. Additionally, the organization must include a variety of people who are highly committed and accountable to the communities they serve.
BCYF is committed to being an equity-focused organization.
“Color-blind” describes an organization that tends to think what’s good for “everyone” will necessarily be good for BIPOC
“Diversity-only” organization are working on representation but not inclusion or equity
“Race-tentative” organizations have a stronger sense of inclusion but don’t know what to do and don’t want to get it wrong
“Equity-focused” organizations start from a race-informed place and move into other forms of inequity such as gender, sexual orientation, and a more nuanced approach regarding ethnicity
The REAL: Racial Equity Assessment Framework – Adapted for BCYF
Has your institution made an explicit commitment to advancing racial equity in its values, mission or work?
Defining policy as any written document that guides decision-making, do you explicitly prioritize or address racial equity in your policies?
Do you have clear decision-making matrix regarding who has responsibility for different aspects of the investment process related to racial equity? Do you have metrics and reporting requirements to measure progress and areas for growth?
Are you collecting and disaggregating data regarding race related to your Consultants, Managers, and Investment Committee composition? Are you collecting and disaggregating data regarding the ownership and workforce of asset managers in your portfolio?
Are you engaging with diverse managers or participating in settings where diverse managers are present? (E.g., Financial services affinity groups, conferences, etc.) Are you incorporating feedback and learning from your engagement in your process?
Outcomes Oriented Approach
Have you defined an aspirational outcome for your investment process through a racial equity lens? E.g., % of assets managed by diverse-owned firms, percentage of impact capital toward racial justice investments
Culture of Practice
Is there continuous learning regarding racial equity within your organization or among your investment team, Investment Committee and Board? Are you involved in communities of practice?
Have you considered ways of framing the narrative for your commitment (see Why This Work Is Important)?
Are you consistently sharing information about your journey or data regarding progress toward racial equity in your investment process?
To what extent do you leverage your role in the broader ecosystem to influence change toward racial equity in investment practices?
Sample Assessment Results: Color-Blind
Culture of Practice
Racial Equity Framework: 10 Dimensions
- Stated Commitment: A clearly stated commitment to advancing racial equity guiding decision making. Includes an element of analysis that informs the organization’s approach.
- Race-Informed & Explicit Policy: Leverages data to understand impact and outcomes of decision making.
- Accountability Mechanisms: Clear power analysis, understanding of governance, decision making authority and responsibility in the process.
- Disaggregated Data: Collect, disaggregate, and analyze data. Equity focused organizations are focused on not only collecting data on their members/community etc, but why the data looks the way it does.
- Stakeholder Engagement: Ensure that representative voices influence decision making.
- Outcomes Oriented Approach: Consider institutional outcome and sustained change over time.
- Culture of Practice: Connect to practitioners and resources to inform racial equity alignment.
- Narrative: Shift the terms of the dialogue and reframing how we talk about access + ownership of capital, right to profit, risk, etc.
- Communications Strategy: Create consistency and transparency in the information we are making available and how we operationalize the shifting of and influence on narrative change.
- Systems Change: Our process is intentionally designed to alter structures driving racialized outcomes.