This week the United States commemorated the ratification of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 — 247 years ago. While celebrating this historic day, The Cloudburst Group also recognizes that racial disparities continue to undermine equal access to fair housing, employment, quality education, and healthcare for people of color. At the state, local, and national level, much of the work we engage in across the United States focuses on identifying systemic inequalities and working to dismantle them. While Cloudburst had always been mission-driven to improve social, economic, and environmental resilience, after George Floyd’s murder in the Spring of 2020, Cloudburst doubled down on its internal commitment to embed racial equity into every aspect of our ethos, as the foundation of all our policies and practices.
We began by examining the existing state of our racial equity competence by conducting an organizational equity assessment. Equity Leads were appointed and racial equity working groups were formed. Throughout the racial equity work, Cloudburst staff led the way by:
- Advancing how Cloudburst attracts and retains diverse talent
- Revising our organizational values to include equity
- Ensuring persons of different races, colors, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and abilities are present in all aspects of our work
In addition, Cloudburst expanded its workplace training curriculum to focus on issues of unconscious bias, preventing discrimination, cultural competency, microaggressions in the workplace, among others, and offered staff time to reflect on these trainings and how to apply core concepts in our work internally at Cloudburst and in our work with clients.
Staff were also encouraged to participate in affinity groups, where they connected with colleagues who shared similar cultural backgrounds and identities. We discovered racial equity work requires continuous dialogue, learning, dismantling, and relearning.
As Cloudburst continues in its racial equity work we regularly evaluate our progress with staff and strive to operationalize equity within each practice area. We are also leveraging our racial equity training to authentically work with persons with lived experience.
Today, Cloudburst is an active participant in the Coalition for Racial & Ethnic Equity in Development (CREED), a collective of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian assistance organizations working collectively to advance racial and ethnic diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within our own organizations’ policies, systems and culture.
Building an organization where diversity, equity, and inclusion are part of our DNA is difficult, but it has already made an enormous difference in who we are and how we work in the world.
We hope you will join Cloudburst and other CREED signatories in taking the necessary steps toward racial equity in your organization.
If you would like to become a participant in the CREED Coalition, please visit: https://coalition-for-racial-and-ethnic-equity-in-development.org/
To learn more about Cloudburst’s racial equity work, please visit https://www.cloudburstgroup.com/our-services/
To learn more about Cloudburst’s mission commitment to equity, please visit: https://www.cloudburstgroup.com/join-our-team/