Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

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 systemic change. We recognize the past and continued existence of racism and discrimination in our education system, in particular their adverse effects on our students of color.

Our Commitments

  • Create policies, programs, and opportunities internally and externally that close racial disparities.
  • Eliminate the predictability of outcomes associated with race or other identity markers through our work for our city’s students and our staff.
  • Reflect on and evaluate the impact of our work by engaging our students, families, and communities.
  • Empower and elevate current and upcoming leaders of color by investing in them through leveraging our resources and access.

Imagine what our world could be if we truly educated Black and brown minds to their fullest potential. We could have had the cure for cancer by now. Think of the discoveries, art, policies, writing and leaders lost to the perpetuation of this system. A society operating at only a fraction of its capacity can solve nothing.

Patrick Jones, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Equity

Current DEI Initiatives

The Achievement Project

The Achievement Project is an opportunity for parents and schools to work together to co-create a solution for improving student achievement. Parents attend sessions to learn more about state academic requirements and standards and then collaborate with a school on designing and implementing programming that will aid students in becoming academically proficient.

Go Farther Literacy Fund

The Go Farther Literacy Fund is a program from The Mind Trust that funds solutions to help address our city’s literacy crisis and ensure all children read at or above grade level. Awarded funds range from $150 to $5,000. In January 2022, we awarded $50,000 to 18 families, schools, and organizations. This fund is modeled after Educate78’s and Energy Converters’: People’s Literacy Fund in Oakland, CA.

Recruitment of Surge Academy to Indianapolis

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.

Vendor Diversity Audit

The Mind Trust conducted an audit of our vendors to learn how we are using our capital to support businesses and organizations that are locally-owned and led by women and people of color. Each team tracks expenses to measure progress to increase The Mind Trust’s investment in women-owned, Black-owned, Latino-owned, and AAPI-owned businesses.

Internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

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 equitable organization. The committee, comprised of members from every functional team across the organization, meets monthly.

Recruiting and Empowering Diverse Staff, Fellows, and Board Members

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, 67% of our Fellows identify as people of color, 45% of our Board of Directors identify as people of color, and 50% of our staff identify as people of color (up from 19% in June 2018).