Here’s what EverTrue is doing (and will do) to fight racism

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At EverTrue, we believe that Black Lives Matter.

During this time of intense mourning and civil unrest we condemn the unjust treatment of the Black community that has been perpetuated through systemic racism since the founding of this country. We see these racial inequities not just play out in law enforcement, but also in our healthcare, justice system, economic opportunities, schools, universities, and beyond.

Everyone in the EverTrue community — and beyond — deserves justice and equality. Racism has no place here, nor in any community. We stand in solidarity with those actively protesting and putting their lives on the line to advocate for long overdue change. As allies in this struggle, silence is not an option.

Many at EverTrue were drawn to work here because of the opportunity to indirectly provide students with a higher-education experience. We equip fundraising professionals with the software, data, and strategies needed to raise funds to support schools and the students that attend them.

For hundreds of years, higher education has been an engine for social mobility, for equity, for access, for protest and debate. We know that fundraising makes the higher-education experience accessible for those who otherwise cannot afford it.

When EverTrue is at our best, we enable schools to deliver high-quality academic and personal experiences to students from all walks of life. Discussions and new experiences that occur on college campuses represent moments of profound growth for students. The eye-opening conversations, thought-provoking discussions, and diversity of relationships built in college are unlike those found anywhere else.

Very few companies have the opportunity to effect this kind of change for the next generation, not as a charity act, but as their core offering. This is a privilege and a responsibility that we do not take lightly.

When we partner with a new school, we get the chance to help deliver access to opportunity by way of higher education. We can help hundreds of schools invest in their students, provide equal learning and career opportunities, and in doing so begin to dismantle the system that traditionally blocks these paths.

But in moments like these, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Breonna Taylor’s murder, Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, it feels too indirect. We need to do better. We need to have a more direct impact in our immediate communities and find our voices as allies.

That is why we are committing to you — our customers and our community — to be anti-racist. Now and moving forward, our mission is to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive relationships in pursuit of a just world.

Here’s What We’ve Done

At the start of 2020, EverTrue formed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. You can read more about the DEI Committee’s first quarter here. We are building the foundation for change. The DEI Committee is active, meets weekly, and full of passionate members who are committed to enacting change within the culture at EverTrue. They have set goals for the year and we are excited to support them as they play a critical role in our company’s progress.

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the civil unrest that has since followed, we made donations to Florida State’s Black Male Initiatve and Louisiana State’s Black Male Leadership Initiatve. We are continually seeking other initiatives to support, so please reach out with your suggestions and recommendations.

In addition to our direct donations, we’ve broadened our employee matching donation program to empower our colleagues to support social justice organizations of their choosing. We recognize there is no shortage of institutions and organizations doing good work.

We created a #True-Ally Slack channel. Over 75% of our company has opted into the channel. It is a safe space for solidarity and allyship within EverTrue. We recognize that reading, listening and opening our minds is a critical step in understanding the systemic racism, inequalities and injustices that plague our world.

We are actively working with Hack Diversity to provide an internship this summer for Black and Latinx students who lost their summer fellowships due to COVID-19. A handful of Hack Diversity Fellows lost their opportunity for a critical foundational experience within their greater career trajectory. Many also lost the chance to provide financially for their families over the upcoming months.

Here’s What We Will Do

Starting immediately, we are committed to being better, stronger, more consistent allies to the Black community. While we may be early in our journey of recognizing our white privilege and in unlearning years of behavior, we will fight white supremacy and racial injustice.

The leadership team, with the help of the DEI Committee, will overhaul our hiring process to ensure that it is as inclusive as it can be. Admittedly, we have a lot of room to grow in this department, but we are eager to make real changes to build a diverse workforce that includes widening our candidate searches, hosting recurring educational programs to help our hiring teams identify and eliminate unconscious biases, and involving diverse voices throughout the process. We will also take into consideration the candidate experience and ask for feedback from candidates so that we can continue to learn and reform the process.

We will create the first-ever #EverTrueScholar program. While we aren’t exactly sure what it will look like just yet, we will send at least one student of color to college each year moving forward, starting this year. We have long dreamed about the potential to sponsor a scholarship for a student and we can’t imagine a better way to honor George Floyd and the countless other Black Americans before him. We are inspired by the Ron Brown Scholarship Program, which is tightly connected to UVA, and we are open to learning from other programs as we begin to make our dream a reality.

And finally, over the next 12 months, we will commit to board-level diversity. As of today, our board is solely composed of white men. Board-level diversity for its own sake is insufficient, but diversity in relation to EverTrue’s goals at-large will be key. Do we want our company and board to reflect the demographics of the communities we serve (higher education, advancement professionals, etc)? Do we want our board to reflect the demographics of our nation? What role does diversity currently play in our company? What role do we want it to play? How will diversity help us achieve our mission of building relationships in pursuit of a better, more just world? Answering these questions will help us intentionally diversify our board and the opinions we trust, reinforce our mission, and strengthen our allyship.

A Week of Reflection, Weeks of Action

Last week was one of reflection. We listened, we learned. We sat with our emotions. Those of shame, guilt, anger, frustration. We shared resources with one another. We sat in the discomfort of, for the first time, fully seeing the systemic racism.

This week will be our first of fully committing to taking action, of being allies, and of being anti-racist. While practice makes progress, know that every member of the EverCrew is showing up and committing to change because we believe that Black Lives Matter.

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