Whiteboard is seeking to become an anti-racist organization in the next three years. Read the whole plan here.
September 29, 2023
It’s hard to believe that this is the second to last quarterly blog! Months are passing by, progress is being made, and we are charging ahead towards concluding our 3-Year Anti-Racism Plan (and vision casting for what’s next). Let’s jump in.
In our last blog, we mentioned an ongoing restructuring of Goal 11: Launch virtual coffee listening tour with community leaders to assess needs and opportunities. We found ourselves unclear on the path forward for a “coffee listening tour.” Whiteboard is no longer as present in Nashville, and our presence in Atlanta has shifted over time. At the same time, the Committee knew our leadership team has been actively engaging with community leaders in Chattanooga. After lots of discussion & movement between the Change Committee and Whiteboard leadership, we collectively decided to focus on joining & providing space conversations with established community organizations in Chattanooga & Atlanta. With this shift, and a good deal of research, we can report that we have completed this goal with our involvement with Plywood Place in Atlanta and CreativeMornings in Chattanooga! A few details on both:
Plywood Place aims to provide a space where social impact leaders go to work. Taylor Jones, CEO, joined the board of Plywood in 2023, and is regularly engaging in conversations of community, co-working, culture, and collaboration. Read more about Plywood Place here!
In 2016, Whiteboard helped launch a Chattanooga chapter of CreativeMornings, originally born out of a desire for an ongoing, accessible event for New York’s creative community—free and empowering to all communities. From 2016–2020, Whiteboard sponsored every event, and Kody Dahl, Creative Director, coordinated and hosted every talk. In 2022, Eric Brown, CEO, started exploring the possibility of bringing CreativeMornings Chattanooga back (post-pandemic)under the hood of Build Me A World with Chris Woodhull (BMAW Executive Director). Build Me a World designs equitable learning environments; they support learning in the arena of inclusive experiences, equity design practice, and building real-world models in Chattanooga. With Kody’s blessing, Creative Mornings Chattanooga re-launched in February of 2023 and has been facilitating organic conversations between Whiteboard leadership and community leaders once a month, along with a free invitation for the entire community to join.
The committee is thrilled that Whiteboard has joined forces with established community organizations, and we are currently looking for ways to maximize staff involvement and intentional actions within these efforts that promote anti-racism. While our “coffee tour” looks a little different than we imagined 3 years ago, the intent of the goal has worked its way into our company and community.
In addition to our work on Goal 11, the committee has been primarily working on our Anti-Racism Repository (Goal 9)—we are currently in the copywriting and design phase! Our team has also been coordinating our smaller, quarterly events like Lunch & Learns and book club. We’re happy to report that Goal 8 (Hold Quarterly Lunch & Learns) is no longer at risk! This quarter, our book club is reading “Children of the Land” by Marcelo Castillo Hernandez. We’re excited for both learning opportunities!
The goals that we’ve identified still at risk are:
- Goal 1: Achieve Racial Parity by EOY 2023
- Goal 7: Hold regular Whiteboard-wide team hangouts.
Looking back, we can conclude that the reprioritization we set last quarter is helping us inch forward towards our bigger goals, and therefore, providing us bigger opportunities. As we move towards 2024, we’re also beginning to reflect on our efforts in the past and for the future. We know that the work of anti-racism is never “complete” and are beginning to think about what comes next for us after 2023. Excited to report more in Q4. Stay tuned!