Two years since Next Street first announced its anti-racist commitment in response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery in February 2020 and George Floyd in May 2020, we continue to approach our journey with humility and recognize that there is still so much work to do.
Next Street recognizes that our commitment as an anti-racist institution is a long-term journey that requires sustained dedication and continued actions. We believe that we need to work actively and with intention every day to become an anti-racist institution and realize a more inclusive U.S. economy. We know that this is not a short-term objective.
Since 2020, we have taken a series of actions to make progress towards our anti-racist commitment through a variety of approaches, which have included:
- Increasing the diversity of our board to represent communities we serve
- Providing anti-racist trainings and racial identity caucusing for staff at all levels
- Providing grant funds to BIPOC-owned businesses
- Examining our procurement process to direct more of our spend with diverse contractors & suppliers
- Launching a long-term compensation plan that reflects our anti-racist values
- Refining existing recruitment and hiring practices
At a firmwide all-staff to kick off 2022, we reflected on our progress and the continued work we want to tackle in the new year to meet our anti-racist commitments. As a firm, we spent dedicated time reflecting on issues and antidotes that come up in our daily work across audiences both internally and externally. At our inaugural Inclusive Impact Committee retreat in March, we developed a short list of priority focus areas to continue along our journey as an anti-racist institution. Our next set of priorities focuses on both broadening our commitment externally while also reinforcing our internal structures to reflect our anti-racist values in the long-term.
Our 2022 priorities include:
- Expanding and continuing external communications by sharing progress, highlighting milestones, and leading discussions through case studies and reflections
- Hosting our second annual grant program, providing direct funding to BIPOC-owned businesses we serve
- Increasing our accountability to our anti-racist mission and beliefs in our work with clients and prospects by supporting our teams with the tools and training needed to deliver anti-racist work, and developing a set of metrics to better understand and monitor our progress
- Reinforcing anti-racist trainings and communications for internal staff by ensuring we have consistent training through our partners and by building trust through accountability
Recent tragedies in Buffalo, NY, Lagune Woods, CA, Uvalde, TX and elsewhere remind us of the urgency surrounding this work, and we recognize there is still so much more to be done. We look forward to continuing the work, and to sharing our journey with you.