What we do

Commitment to Anti-Racism

Committed to long-lasting change as an anti-racist institution.

Since our founding in 2005, Next Street has strived to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, both internally and through the work we do. While we’re proud of what we achieved, events in 2020 including the murder of George Floyd confirmed we needed to do more to support our employees, clients, and the communities of color that we serve. To that end, we evolved beyond just promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Today, we’re committed to long-lasting change as an anti-racist institution.

We define racism as the combination of power and privilege that upholds a system of white supremacy. We have made a series of commitments to help dismantle that system.

Internally, we’ve evaluated and evolved our hiring processes, invested in anti-racism capacity-building for our leadership team and Inclusive Impact Committee, engaged in racial equity caucusing and anti-racism training for all staff, and employed a more diverse Board of Managers.

Through our work, we are accelerating the impact institutions and advisors have by providing BIPOC communities and businesses with the experts, networks, and capital they need to thrive.

We are excited to share our accomplishments, but there is still a lot of work to do. We hope that you’ll join us.

Completed firmwide anti-racist training for all staff to better institutionalize anti-racist best practices

Launched the third and largest grant program in Next Street history, providing grants to eight BIPOC-owned small businesses in Philadelphia, PA

Improved our communication efforts both internally and externally to keep ourselves and our partners accountable in advancing equity

Designed and deployed a suite of business development tools that integrate our anti-racist values into sales and partnership processes

Advocated and represented IIC on a number of internal initiatives, including creating career pathways and analyzing equity in headcount, compensation, and promotions

Launched a long-term compensation plan that reflects our anti-racist values

Onboarded new members to our Inclusive Impact Committee

Offered racial identity caucusing facilitated by Racial Equity Consultants

Engaged in a firmwide Antiracist training “Towards Liberation” with CrossRoads to help institutionalize antiracist frameworks and practices and make sure our processes are equitable across all departments

Awarded a second round of Inclusive Impact Grants to five small businesses owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs in Cook County, IL

Updated our Board of Managers to increase diversity and more closely reflect the communities we serve

Awarded inaugural Inclusive Impact Grant to five small businesses owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs in Cincinnati, OH

Following heightened awareness of violence against the Black community, we made additional commitments:

  • Lay out our anti-racism statement as well as the commitments listed on this page
  • Agitate for racial justice and system change through our individual and collective voice
  • Assess and challenge our beliefs, internal practices, and ways of working, including hiring from diverse groups
  • Act with partners to dismantle racist structures
  • Account for our progress publicly through measurement and reporting

All staff completed an Anti-Bias Anti-racism training session facilitated by Crossroads, enabling us to monitor an important framework to map our progress as an  anti-racist organization

Provided each employee with 2 days off per year to volunteer in support of causes of their choice

Building on our commitment to creating a more just future, we launched an Inclusive Impact Committee (IIC) to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion remain at the forefront of Next Street’s operations.

The goal of the IIC was to ensure our firm, our culture, and our team strived to enable individuals from all identities and lived experiences to have boundless opportunity to fully participate in the US economy.

After a few years exploring our firm’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we began exploring more formal routes, including having our leadership team complete certified Anti-Bias Anti-Racist Training.

Our commitment does not end here.

We will continue to apply what we learn through our Inclusive Impact work in support of our anti-racist commitments, and strive for anti-racism in all our work.

For a full overview of the changes we have implemented, read our recent blog post.

When we elevate small businesses, we help individuals
and communities reach their potential.

Ready to drive a more equitable future?