From Saviorism to Co-Conspiring

In this month’s blog exploring cross-cutting themes that surfaced in our DEI in Action case studies we released recently, Promise54's Dawn Albert and Lora Cover take a closer look at one theme that surfaced in Blue Engine and TNTP’s cases  — the role(s) of white folks in racial equity work. This blog is written by white folks, and directed toward white folks.


All of the Above: The Unpaid Labor of People of Color in DEI Work

In our six-part blog series, we explore cross-cutting themes that surfaced in our DEI in Action case studies, and that we see again and again in our work with organizations across the country. As we delve into the challenges and successes of Blue Engine, College Track, and TNTP’s DEI efforts, we first extend gratitude to the many leaders and staff members who were courageously candid with us. It’s because they were willing to vulnerably pull back the curtain — in front of the world — that we’re now able to learn from patterns and leverage these learnings to build more inclusive, radically human workplaces.


In this month’s blog, we take a closer look at a theme that surfaced in Blue Engine and TNTP’s cases — the often overlooked and inherently disproportionate burden that people of color bear in DEI work.


These are not the case studies you’re used to.

Ever since Promise54 released Unrealized Impact — a first-of-its-kind effort to quantify the state of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the education field — we’ve received many requests for narratives sharing organizations’ actual DEI journeys. 

We’ve heard you loud and clear!


Radically Human.

At Promise54, one of our most sacred guiding principles is the idea of being radically human. Xiomara Padamsee, Promise54's CEO, shares what it means to her, and where it came from.


That’s A Wrap: Second Cohort of Changemakers Complete 2019 DEI Accelerator

We are excited to have completed the 2019 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accelerator program. This second cohort brought together 132 leaders from 43 organizations to understand their current state around diversity, inclusion, and equity and to drive forward progress. These leaders came from across the country representing schools, nonprofits, and foundations to implement a concrete plan for progress and to build skills and community along the way.

Apply now to join us in 2020!


Realizing the Promise: 3 Strategic Moves for a More Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Field

My team and I launched Promise54 with a clear mission and vision: to help adults thrive so they can do their best work for students. We believe it’s our job as educators and advocates to deliver on the promise of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling — a decision made in the spirit of challenging race as a predictor of educational opportunities and outcomes.


NSVF Summit 2018: Moving Beyond Diversity to True Inclusion

Leaders often shy away from public discussion of our work to deepen diversity, inclusion, and equity in our organizations for fear of saying the wrong thing, being or making others uncomfortable, taking credit for the work of the collective, conveying that we have “the answers”, and so many other reasons. At the recent NewSchools Summit, Jovian Zayne and Xiomara Padamsee organized a session where four courageous leaders did the opposite - they stepped up to share a bit about their individual and organizational journeys, imperfections and all, with the hopes that their perspectives could help to inform and fuel others’ continued progress.


Interrupting White Dominance to Make Good on the Promise of Equity

Today, on the 64th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, I find myself reflecting deeply on the intent of this landmark decision. I believe the spirit of this decision was a promise to decouple race from access in order to eventually remove the predictability of success or failure as correlated with any identity, which is the definition of equity.

We have yet to deliver on that promise.


Who Are the Winners and Losers in Performance-Based Compensation?

The other day I left a working session with a client where we were tackling the question of whether and how their team members should be compensated based on performance. Inevitably, it was a challenging and values-laden conversation. Performance-based compensation is an approach where some or all monetary compensation is related to how employee performance is assessed relative to stated criteria. This model is intriguing enough that it comes up in virtually every compensation or performance management project I’ve ever been involved in.


On Being in the Closet at St. Ignatius

I distinctly remember one gay teacher while I was a student at St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in Chicago. Or, at least we all thought he was gay. He taught Spanish and was unapologetically flamboyant. I never had the pleasure of having him as a teacher, nor did I ever have a teacher who was openly gay until graduate school — I cried when she said it in passing on the first day of class. I don’t know if the Spanish teacher ever came out to students or ever said that he was gay. Frankly, it was none of our business. Even without the “official” confirmation, the students loved him. It was said that he was one of the best Spanish teachers in the department.