Advancing Racial Equity

CLASP Mission for Racial Equity

We understand that poverty in America is inextricably tied to systemic racism. We will explicitly and with intention, focus our policy and advocacy efforts for economic and racial justice on addressing systemic racism as the primary cause of poverty for communities of color in the United States. We believe that centering communities of color in our advocacy leads to policies that advance economic justice for everyone. We work in partnership with the people most impacted to move policies that promote racial and economic justice and opportunity from vision to policy to practice.

CLASP Values for Racial Equity

We understand that inclusion is only the first step toward fostering sustainable racial equity, in our society, and within our organizational culture. At CLASP, we value the importance of including multiple perspectives in how we shape our organizational culture and engage in our policy and advocacy efforts. However, we also know that to move beyond inclusion and to achieve true racial equity we must be intentional in centering and prioritizing the voices, perspectives and lived experiences of people of color. At CLASP, racial equity is our core value and informs all aspects of our organizational culture and the way we think about and approach our policy, issue, and advocacy areas. For true and sustainable change to happen in our country, historically white founded and led policy and advocacy organizations must commit to full and immersive racial equity.

CLASP Vision for Racial Equity

The impact of systemic racism transcends generations, especially in regard to achieving fair and equitable education, economic, and employment opportunities. Public policy in these areas has historically been white centered in its practice, narrative, and culture in a way that has perpetuated exclusion of impacted people of color rather than intentionally partnering with them to develop policies that center their needs. CLASP is committed to a vision where that culture is dismantled and replaced by one that is inclusive, participatory, and emphasizes authentic partnerships.

As an anti-poverty policy and advocacy non-profit, we understand the phenomenon of racism not only impacts the communities we advocate with and/or for, but also directly impacts how staff of color at CLASP experience our organizational culture, its norms, customs, and perceived values and beliefs. For this reason, we have a vision that requires us to build a culture that centers racial equity and dismantles systems of oppression, both internal and external.

Committing to Anti-Racism Internally

We understand that inclusion is only the first step toward fostering sustainable racial equity in our society and within our organizational culture. At CLASP, we value the importance of including multiple perspectives in how we shape our organizational culture and engage in our policy and advocacy efforts. However, we also know that to move beyond inclusion and achieve true racial equity we must be intentional in centering and prioritizing the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of people of color.

Racial equity is CLASP’s core value and informs all aspects of our organizational culture and the way we think about and approach our policy, issue, and advocacy areas. To create true and sustainable change in our country, historically white founded and led policy and advocacy organizations must commit to full and immersive racial equity. Click below to download the full document.

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CLASP's Racial Equity Journey

In the spring of 2020, amid the pandemic and the racial justice movement, CLASP took time to critically analyze and evaluate our role in fighting for racial equity and justice as an anti-poverty non-profit organization. Although we were already fervently committed to racial equity prior to this movement, we acknowledged the need to do more by continuing and deepening our engagement in making sustainable transformational change.

To meet this need and identify the next phase of CLASP’s racial equity journey, we conducted an internal assessment of CLASP’s staff, consultants, fellows, and Board members. The assessment affirmed the progress CLASP had made toward prioritizing and centering racial equity internally and externally.

One of the most important revelations from the assessment was the call to create and implement both a “Bold Vision” for CLASP’s racial equity journey and an explicit framework to inform and guide our policy and advocacy efforts. This framework will include practical ways of directly infusing racial equity into policy efforts, technical assistance, and our related strategies and partnerships.

Click below to download CLASP's full mission, vision, and values:

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