Hello World! We’re the Equity Advancement Team (EAT) at Mission Capital and we’re excited to introduce ourselves!
You might have read earlier that Mission Capital launched a new strategic plan this year. Our yearlong planning process sharpened our focus on the systemic barriers and disproportionate outcomes that exist in Central Texas even, as we’re perceived as a city of great growth and resources. The shift to our new mission, to equip and connect mission-driven leaders, organizations and networks advancing equity and opportunity through their work, is exciting work AND it is challenging work.
We recognized early on that engaging in the work to advance equity will require us to reconsider, reevaluate and, in many ways, fundamentally change how we’re used to doing things as an organization. It would also influence how we work alongside other community partners already doing the work. That’s where EAT comes in. EAT is an internal group that was formed at the end of last year to help Mission Capital explore definitions of equity as it relates to ourselves and our offerings. We support our staff’s own learning and muscle–building around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work.
There are currently five of us: Irina, Kyla, Minh, Chelsea, and our CEO, Madge. Right now, we’re all Black and Indigenous People of color (BIPOC) and women. Among us, we are Black, we are Indigenous, we are Latina, we are Asian, we are women, we are queer, we are first-generation college graduates… we are many things. As our equity work continues to evolve, this group’s roster might change as we discover other internal supports and staff roles that may be helpful to our organization. We like talking, reading, eating, and art-ing together and not adhering to White, dominant power structures and norms.
In other words, we’re not interested in accomplishing things a certain way merely because that’s how we’ve always done it. Because we acknowledge that successful elements of all forms of oppression coincide with the upholding of white supremacy and its interests, it is important for us to focus on advancing race equity that is long-lasting. To achieve such a novel concept of change, it will require new ways of thinking, new ways of operating, and even new ways of defining success.
So far, much of our work has been internally focused. Our hope is to create a space where we can talk about what Mission Capital can – and can’t – do to advance equity internally and externally while challenging our assumptions about what progress means.
We’re also finding new ways to learn. We’re helping to gather resources and share out favorite podcasts, movies, blogs, and articles about equity. We helped facilitate our staff retreat to get our organization ready to talk about race explicitly. Coming up next, we’re coordinating a staff-wide reading and facilitated discussions of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
We’ll share more as we have more to share, but if you’d like to stay in touch in the meantime please reach out! You can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org