UpStart’s Commitment to Racial Justice

UpStart

Posted 06/19/20

Our Latest Thinking

At UpStart, our vision is a more just, vibrant, and inclusive future. That vision means a future that is safer and more equitable, and that illuminates everyone’s potential–particularly those who have been systematically disenfranchised both within and outside of Jewish communal life. As the pandemic disproportionately impacts people of color, and as we witness consistent and systemic violence against black people, we know this vision must be pursued with more urgency.

We also know that the Jewish community is not immune to racism, and that repairing these wrongs must start here.

First, we want to say unequivocally that Black lives matter and that we are committed to building an anti-racist Jewish community. We stand with our team members of color, our network members of color, and all people of color in this struggle for justice.

Second, while we have started this work, we recognize that we have so much more to do. We are committed to accelerating our actions towards making our vision a reality, including ongoing self-reflection and learning, centering marginalized voices, and annually articulating concrete priorities to advance this work. In the next fiscal year, we will:

  • Allocate targeted funds in our budget and increase dedicated staff time to advance DEI and anti-racist work.
  • Codify a regular rhythm for mandated anti-racism training, prioritized in line with other mandated training for both the staff and Board.
  • Engage in a facilitated process to identify UpStart’s core DEI priorities, 3-5 year outcomes and milestones, and strategies to achieve them.
  • Emphasize hiring Black, JOC or POC consultants or consulting firms to facilitate UpStart’s anti-bias trainings and to develop our ongoing strategy.
  • Maintain an ongoing portfolio of initiatives to advance DEI and racial justice, including the codification of equitable hiring and compensation policies and practices, developing interventions for core programs to attract and support a diverse and representative pool of participants, and integrating equity more firmly into our decision-making frameworks.
  • Invest in ongoing staff learning around implicit bias and anti-racism.

Together, we will bring our community closer to our vision of a just, vibrant, and inclusive future.

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