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 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.

Our Commitments

We commit to pursuing antiracism by:

  • Creating policies, programs, and opportunities internally and externally that equitably redistribute power and control in our community.
  • Eliminating the predictability of outcomes associated with race or other identity markers through our work for our city’s students and our staff.
  • Reflecting on and evaluating the impact of our work by engaging our students, families, and communities.
  • Empowering and elevating current and upcoming leaders of color by investing in them through leveraging our institutional power, privilege, 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. But, we don’t have to keep withering in the suffocating prison built for us by white supremacy.

Patrick Jones, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Equity

Current DEI Initiatives

Equity cohorts for schools and nonprofits

In partnership with Beloved Community, The Mind Trust offers Indianapolis Equity Cohorts, for schools, school networks, and nonprofits.  During the 10-month experience, Equity Cohort participants complete Beloved Community’s Equity Audit, examine bias in staff hiring and retention practices, and build capacity to lead their organizations’ diversity, equity, and inclusion work. 

The Equity in Schools Cohort examines the ways schools can align diversity and equity strategy across governance, operations, pedagogy, student culture, and adult culture. The Equity at Work Cohort builds capacity for participants to successfully implement the structural changes that lead to an equitable environment and practices for their entire staff and the people they serve.

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 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.

Promise 54 DEI Accelerator

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.

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, 100% of our Fellows identify as people of color, 42% of our Board of Directors identify as people of color, and 48% of our staff identify as people of color (up from 19% in June 2018).

Interrupting Racism Workshop

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. New staff of The Mind Trust attend racial equity trainings led by Indianapolis Public Schools to gain context on this issue in education.

Team Book Studies

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. In spring 2021, our team began a book study on Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk About Race. The Mind Trust purchases all books and study materials for staff to participate.

Our CEO's Message

The Mind Trust’s CEO, Brandon Brown, shares his thoughts on The Mind Trust’s commitment to pursuing antiracism by internally and externally redistributing power.