Businesses and Corporations that operate within the confines of a capitalist economy, where the bottom-line of profit and accountability to stakeholders and Boards of Directors can present a unique context within which to advance and uphold equitable practices and creating truly inclusive spaces for authentic relationships and a sense of belonging.
Foundations also operate within a certain context where funding is typically finite, and thus not a lot of space to grow as an organization, and the very philanthropic nature of foundations lends itself to an environment that can be inherently in a savior frame of mind. Under these conditions and circumstances, there is still a need to look internally at the equitable practices and relationships within the foundation and also examine the external relationships with outside partners and community based organizations with an equitable and inclusive lens.
I immediately noticed an overall feel of understanding throughout the organization. In so many ways, it was like the glass of silence had been shattered -- folx felt more inclined to share themselves, but also seemed more inclined to reflect deeply about themselves and their positionality in this organization as well as the organization's larger positionality in the cultural landscape. The understanding of our shared context was absolutely key. It also drew me closer to my colleagues, and made me feel safer at work to share myself.
Eryn Kimura, Rintaro