We hold ourselves to the following values and agreements to ensure that the work we do fulfills our mission to cultivate leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of community-of-color-led nonprofits and foster collaboration between diverse communities to effect systemic change.
- We create a space for everyone. We actively build an environment where everyone of any race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, accessibility needs, or country of origin feel welcomed and seen.
- We welcome partners, children, and friends of our RVC family at RVC events.
- We stop, even briefly, to say hi and check in with everyone who visits our office.
- We welcome and encourage energetic conversations across diverse perspectives and challenge each other respectfully.
- We are present with one another in group settings (e.g., not checking phones or laptops), and ask for permission if we need to be less present.
- We take time to get to know each other as individuals.
- We support each other to learn and to grow, and pitch in as needed to support each other’s’ work, focusing on the greater good.
- We have a good sense of humor and find fun and joy in our work.
- We do not form cliques, but will work to include everyone.
- We are thoughtful of everyone’s needs when coordinating RVC events and activities. We consider accessibility challenges and provide food, childcare, and transportation assistance when possible.
- We are thoughtful of our impact on the environment as we do our work and will go paperless and avoid creating waste whenever possible.
- We are visible and present in the larger community, developing strong connections and supporting advocacy led by our communities.
- We ensure that the people and communities who are most affected by inequity are visibly leading.
- We are thoughtful about our privileges and how they affect our interactions with others.
- We create environments that allow for voices that are often less heard to be heard, including checking in with those who tend to be quieter, and asking more dominant voices to step back and do more listening.
- We respect that people of color, and other groups with shared identities, need their own space to meet from time to time, away from others who may not share the same identities and challenges.
- We acknowledge and celebrate the strengths and differences in others, and do not assume that the ways we are used to doing things are the only correct ways to do things.
- We lead with equity, proactively seeking opportunities to have conversations with donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders about equity, systemic oppression, and opportunities for transformation.
- We do everything with our values in mind.
- We assume the best of intentions in people, give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and hold ourselves accountable to the impact that our words and actions have on others.
- We do everything thoughtfully and with high quality.
- We give feedback directly, respectfully, and with a focus on solutions.
- We communicate our needs and expectations openly, and do not get angry at others’ failures to fulfill expectations we never clearly set.
- We actively listen and are open to feedback and improvement.
- We take responsibilities for our mistakes and learn from them.
- We acknowledge our roles in conflicts and participate finding and implementing solutions.
- We plan to the best of our abilities and take timely actions using available information.
- We take calculated risks and view failures as learning opportunities.
- We are not afraid to change course as more information becomes available.
- We do what we say we are going to do, and follow deadlines that we commit to.
- We support each other and give everyone a chance to learn and to improve because we believe individuals are the key to societal transformation.
- We learn from our mistakes and publicly share our learning, so that others can learn from our internal transformation work.
- We are not afraid to have courageous, sometimes even painful conversations that may lead to the positive transformation of our organization, of Rainier Valley, and of the wider community
- We recognize our role of supporting leaders and organizations to transform policies and systems, and only take direct lead on advocacy issues if requested by our communities.
- We encourage and create opportunities for diverse communities to support each other and build solidarity across identities