Two months have passed since the death of George Floyd. During this time, we’ve seen our communities come together to support each other and work towards racial justice. I would now like to address BestPrep’s role in this movement. There have been many discussions among staff and board members, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning and reflecting. It is clear to me that there is not a quick fix. An ongoing and sustained effort is needed to ensure racial equity for all. With nearly half of the youth served by BestPrep being students of color, we recognize that we have a responsibility to use our programs to do more for students, teachers, and schools.
BestPrep has identified a number of action items that we will begin to work on to better support those we serve:
- Review BestPrep’s programs to seek ways to foster educational experiences that will create a safe environment of equity regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, economic, religion, or other statuses.
- Review and develop volunteer training practices, seeking opportunities to better educate volunteers about the needs of our students, teachers, and schools.
- Conduct an audit of the language used in program curriculum and promotional materials to ensure there is not unconscious bias.
- Establish a committee of students and recent alumni to review BestPrep program content.
- Research potential new presentation topics for classroom presentations that address racial issues in the workplace.
- Increase diversity among staff, volunteers, leaders, and board members to better reflect the population of students we serve.
- Strengthen relationships with diversity-based organizations, employee resource groups, and other community associations to share hiring and volunteer opportunities. This will open up opportunities to be involved with BestPrep to a wider population.
- Broaden the types of companies we partner with and recruit volunteers to expand the number of small and medium-sized businesses participating.
- Provide learning opportunities and a safe and inclusive environment for all employees.
- Consult with Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion, and education professionals to revise and update staff policies.
- Identify additional channels of communication for staff to provide feedback and share student, volunteer, or personal experiences.
- Provide opportunities for staff to volunteer together for other causes and local organizations.
- Establish internal educational opportunities for staff to learn together about social justice. Provide resources including seminars, workshops, books, movies, podcasts, and more. Staff will participate in quarterly meetings to increase our knowledge personally and professionally of unconscious bias.
- Create an internal staff committee to ensure the organization is accomplishing the goals stated above.
These steps represent the beginning of an ongoing process, and I continue to welcome feedback and dialogue. BestPrep stands with communities of color and we are committed to continuing to develop this plan to work towards equality for all.
President & CEO