June 16th, 2020
Dear a)plan community,
At this pivotal moment in time, we are heartbroken and outraged by the brutal and unnecessary deaths of so many Black Americans. We stand against racism and discrimination in all its forms. Black Lives Matter.
At a)plan, we have prioritized racial diversity and inclusion since day one, with a decision from the moment of our founding to have a team that is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and more. We have explicitly supported Black Lives Matter and justice for Black communities by bringing our coaching tools to organizations who are actively working to end racism, including Help A Mother Out, New Media Ventures, Ritual 4 Return, Tara Health Foundation, Tides Advocacy, and Tides Foundation. We have served as consultants to numerous organizations to develop and improve their diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (“DEIB”) practices.
Our stand is for Black justice, and also for Black resilience, excellence, and more. Since our inception we’ve been committed to creating an inclusive community, recruiting some of the top coaches in the nation, 20% of whom are Black. Additionally, we stand for DEIB for all people, with a track record with other People of Color, age, gender, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, and more.
Here at a)plan, our entire team has weighed in on discussions about these issues and on our approach. While we are proud of our track record, we acknowledge that we have fallen short of our ideals, and there’s more work to do. Here are some of the ways in which we are deepening our commitment to ending racism and invite you to join us:
- Sponsoring our coaches and staff to participate in facilitated Racial Affinity Groups based on Ruth King’s book Mindful of Race
- Donating to Equal Justice Initiative
- Implementing strategies from The Financial Activist Playbook For Supporting Black Lives, including moving to a community bank
- Examining our individual and organizational roles in perpetuating racism. Within the next 3 months, we will publish a full audit of our DEIB work to date, our vision for doing more, and specific strategies for closing the gap.
We value your feedback and input. Please let us know what we’re doing well on these issues, and where we can improve. If you have resources beyond what we’ve listed above, let us know.
Sara, Lawrence, & the entire a)plan Team