“Anti-racism is not an identity or a checklist; it’s a practice.” – Andréa Ranae
In the summer of 2020, UP for Learning developed, in collaboration with the UP Youth Action Council (YAC), UP Board of Directors (BOD), and UP staff, its Commitment to being an Anti-Racist Organization.
In it, UP committed to:
- Listen, change and grow
- Invest in the ideas, talent, power, and solutions of leaders of color and communities of color
- Bring humility and an eagerness to learn from our partnerships with people and organizations who share our mission of advancing educational equity and opportunity for all youth
- Deepen and strengthen our organization’s anti-racist policies and practices as we work towards educational equity and justice for communities
- Become an inclusive, anti-racist organization and community that fights for liberation
During the summer of 2022, UP staff worked to create an action plan for achieving and
regularly evaluating our commitment to creating and sustaining inclusive practices in our work.
Action items connect directly to commitments made in 2020 and align with UP’s mission and its
core value of seeking equity and justice. It is important to the UP staff that these actions also
enhance facilitation and partnership with teams. UP respects that all staff have different points
of entry to this work and values personal and organizational learning. This is a living document
that will be updated and recommitted to annually.
- UP employees engage in educating themselves about the role of white supremacy
culture in organizational systems and work to dismantle these systems and co-construct
new, just and equitable systems.
- UP for Learning offers a monthly meeting for youth and adult
employees/leaders of the global majority to discuss Justice, Equity, Diversity, and
Inclusion( JEDI) efforts in an affinity space.
- UP’s staff uses available funds to further their own learning in anti-racism/JEDI
work and to build skills to better serve youth and adult teams.
- UP employees are engaged in organizational learning about JEDI related issues/topics.
- UP builds into its weekly virtual and monthly in-person meetings for the staff to
learn about the impacts of white supremacy culture..
- UP employees engage in JEDI-centered professional learning led by people of
the global majority.
- UP for Learning compensates Abenaki educators/community partners for
professional development opportunities for UP employees and teams.
- The UP team studies the experiences of marginalized communities and the global
majority by choosing at least one nonfiction work by members of the global
majority authors to read/watch and discuss.
- The UP team volunteers in support of an organization or event led by people of
the global majority.
- UP employees are aware of and work to change the relationship between
professionalism and white supremacy culture.
- A majority of professional learning materials UP employees engage with will be
written by people of the global majority.
- UP will develop a list of partner-organizations that can support school teams in
more specific content areas, such as Outright VT, etc.
- UP actively seeks employees, BOD, YAC members and partners who are members of the
- UP provides school and community teams with specific questions to inform their
team recruitment process for youth and adults, ensuring inclusive representation
and helps them create a diverse, representative team and works to more deeply
engage them in UP.
- UP for Learning actively seeks to hire diverse candidates for all open positions
and continually reviews and adapts hiring practices, policies, and norms to retain
staff from the global majority.
- All hiring committees reflect the diversity of the staff.
On February 23, 2023, our team at UP for Learning agreed to these commitments.
To ensure that we make progress on each goal, we will hold monthly full team check-ins to
reflect on our progress. At every check-in, each term of the agreement will be compared to the
current status, and the following will be discussed in rounds so that each team member is heard:
- How has the team’s progress affected you individually?
- What is a small step you’d like to celebrate?
- What is a small step you’d like to take?
- What are some resources (articles, books, videos, etc.) that have helped you in your
learning, and that you would like others to check out?