Our values guide our behaviors as we pursue our mission and strategic goals:
The Baltimore Children & Youth Fund must be built on racial equity. The evaluation of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc.’s work should include a basic understanding and appreciation of the cultural resources and assets within each community. We should clearly identify and directly address how society’s power structures show up in the organization’s operations, including how assumptions about race may figure into the decision-making processes. Specifically, white people should not dominate or drive the conversation.
The Baltimore Children & Youth Fund must include youth leaders along with adults in all aspects of its work. Having different generations work together will reflect how our entire community must work together to improve the quality of life for our young people. In the West, we often greet each other by saying, “How are you doing?” The Maasai people of East Africa greet each other by asking, “How are the children?” This greeting represents the idea that the well-being of the children defines the well-being of the community. The purpose of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. is to help the whole city of Baltimore to embrace and live out the worldview embodied in this Maasai greeting. Specifically, the well-being of our children is everyone’s responsibility.
The purpose of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund is to provide the communities typically seen as merely recipients of services with equal, authentic decision-making power to disperse theBaltimore Children & Youth Fund Inc.’s resources. This means that the organization should reflect the totality of our community. Specifically, the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. must include a variety of people who are highly committed to the communities they serve.
The Baltimore Children & Youth Fund will strive to have collective decision-making processes. “Gatekeeping,” when one person has too much power in a decision-making process, marginalizes the people and communities who are most hurt by structural racism. Gatekeepers can use their power to circumvent community accountability and limit access to power and resources.
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.