The Mind Trust is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in all we do to ensure present and future educational success for all students in Indianapolis. Upholding these principles is critical for our staff, Fellows, community stakeholders, and partners to spark radical systemic change. We recognize the past and continued existence of institutional racism, discrimination, privilege, and oppression in our education system and society at-large, in particular its adverse effects on our students of color.
We commit to pursuing antiracism by:
In April 2020, The Mind Trust announced an investment in the Surge Institute, the preeminent pipeline addressing the dearth of leadership of color at decision-making tables within education, to bring Surge Academy to Indianapolis. The Surge Academy is a six-month program that develops, elevates and unites emerging education leaders of color. 16 Black and Latino leaders of color were selected for the inaugural Indianapolis cohort.
In early 2019, The Mind Trust established an internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to oversee and direct our internal work to become a more antiracist organization. The committee, comprised of members from every functional team across the organization, meets monthly and leads internal initiatives to create a more equitable workplace.
Our staff is currently engaging with Promise 54’s DEI Accelerator, which is a program that involves ongoing coaching support and a professional learning community of other organizations advancing their commitment to DEI, in order to enhance our capacity for this work and receive feedback on our current strategy and protocols. The Mind Trust is participating in the DEI Accelerator through the 2020-2021 school year.
We believe it is imperative to ensure that the Fellows we support, the staff we hire, and the board that governs us are all reflective of the students and communities we serve. While work remains, we are proud of the strides we have taken to become more diverse, inclusive, and equitable when it comes to representation and empowerment across our organization. Currently, 82% of our Fellows identify as people of color, 42% of our Board of Directors identify as people of color, and 43% of our staff identify as people of color (up from 19% in June 2018).
In 2018 and 2019, The Mind Trust staff attended Undoing Racism workshops held by Child Advocates. Since, those workshops have been reimagined and launched as Interrupting Racism for Children. The Mind Trust staff who joined our team in the past year will attend this new workshop to ground themselves in the local context necessary to combat racism and systemic inequity.
Starting in summer 2019, The Mind Trust staff began engaging in a book study on Glenn E. Singleton’s Courageous Conversations About Race. Our full staff convenes every other month to discuss the book and the ways it encourages readers to engage more fully in equity and antiracism work in education. Additionally, staff small groups meet monthly to ensure we are building individual capacity for having difficult conversations about race internally and externally.
We look forward to sharing additional information soon about the other ways we intend to weave DEI throughout our work to ensure that every student, no exceptions, has access to a great school. Please contact Patrick Jones, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Equity, to learn more about our DEI work.