Commitment to equity and liberation

As a team and a community, we work to dismantle systems of white supremacy and oppression in ourselves, organizations, and our world.

We center those who are most impacted personally and generationally to build new systems and structures for equity and liberation.

The layers of our identities and experiences make our relationships stronger as our freedoms are connected.

Because our commitment to collective liberation requires a long view, we acknowledge the importance of balancing daily work with rest for ourselves and our communities.

Our commitments in practice

We encourage and invite your feedback and partnership. To support accountability and to be accessible as we continue to do this work, we hope you’ll share your ideas, questions, and experiences. Email us or submit anonymous feedback.

Our Community Equity Committee and other committees meet regularly. You’re welcome to attend one of these meetings to observe, join the conversation, or add something to the agenda. Email us for meeting information.

Each year the Community Equity Committee evaluates the policies and practices outlined in our commitment to equity and liberation, in coordination with the board and community equity committees. We share these evaluations in our articles and other places where we listen to our community’s feedback.

Equity within our community

We advance equity in our everyday actions and the systems we create for our work.

Staff

NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, hiring, orientation, and retention practices to employ diverse staff and create opportunities for every staff member to be their best and whole selves through their work with NTEN.

We expect all staff to recognize that they represent NTEN in person and online, in the office and beyond, with words and actions that meet our commitment to equity and liberation and lead by example for our community. This includes not speaking on panels or at events where the speaker lineup is not diverse and ensuring that written pieces they author include a diversity of voices and perspectives.

Board of directors

NTEN’s board of directors both fulfills the fiduciary duty required of a 501(c)(3) organization and is an important part of our community-centered approach. Board members have diverse lived experiences and perspectives and come from a range of professional backgrounds and NTEN participation.

In partnership with our board, NTEN regularly reviews and improves our board recruitment, selection, orientation, and support practices to engage diverse community members and create opportunities for every board member to be their best and whole selves through their work with NTEN. We don’t require a minimum donation to be part of our board and we provide travel support as appropriate for in-person meetings.

We expect all board members to recognize that they represent NTEN in person and online with words and actions that meet our commitment to equity and liberation and lead by example for our community.

Volunteer committees

NTEN values the inclusion and participation of community members across our programs and events. We frequently organize committees, both short and long-term, to include diverse perspectives, abilities, and time commitment levels in our planning and evaluation processes. We review, analyze, and improve our volunteer committee processes for recruitment, selection, orientation, and support to reflect NTEN’s commitment. Volunteer committee participants are expected to uphold, advocate for, and abide by NTEN’s commitment to equity and liberation.

Offline and online organizers

NTEN creates volunteer organizer roles to increase the number of leadership positions available in the community and actively works to support diverse community members in those roles. NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, orientation, and retention practices to support diverse organizers. We support organizers serving successfully in a number of ways, including resources in the NTEN Nonprofit Tech Club Organizer Handbook, regular opportunities to learn together, and staff support whenever needed.

We expect all organizers to recognize that they represent NTEN when operating in their role and as such are guided by this Commitment, including but not limited to the co-organizers they recruit, venues where they hold events, speakers they invite to present, format of and non-presentation content of events, and their use of accessible and respectful language. Organizers should share the NTEN Speaker Resource Guide with event speakers to support successful presentations.

Members

NTEN’s members support our values and beliefs, vision and mission, and this equity commitment. Membership revenue is also an important part of NTEN’s financial sustainability. However, since we are not an association, we don’t require people be members to participate in or access NTEN programs or content.

NTEN regularly evaluates and improves member benefits, NTEN programs, and our engagement opportunities to be inclusive of diverse individuals and organizations. NTEN evaluates and analyzes member communications and opportunities to ensure that NTEN’s member experience is inclusive, collaborative, and equitable. Additionally, we review member recruitment, retention, and orientation to ensure that we are prioritizing historically marginalized communities.

NTEN creates opportunities for members to expand and improve their commitment to equity and liberation through our community, programs, and other resources.

Speakers

NTEN believes that the knowledge and experience of those from diverse backgrounds, organizations, and sectors should be elevated through our programs. As such, course faculty, NTC speakers, and other program partners are community members and practitioners. NTEN uses our commitment to equity and liberation to help us ask who is not included and identify what barriers we have created or continue to maintain that may exclude or decrease participation. NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, selection, orientation, and support practices to engage diverse speakers and create an inclusive opportunity for new practitioners and leaders.

We expect all faculty and NTC speakers to be guided by this commitment to equity and liberation, including but not limited to the presentation materials they use, the examples they include in presentations, the participation expectations they set for attendees, their recruitment of co-presenters, and their use of accessible and respectful language. Speakers should use the NTEN Presenter Prep Guide to support successful presentations.

Sponsors and exhibitors

NTEN provides opportunities to sponsor or fund events and programs in recognition that the investment by technology vendors, service providers, foundations, and other funders makes it possible for NTEN’s programs and events to be available to beneficiaries at the lowest cost possible and that these same companies value the exposure and participation in our community. We use sponsor pricing options that make participation accessible to many types of organizations with different organizational budgets and goals.

We expect all sponsors and exhibitors to operate with their own commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. NTEN expects partners funding programs with direct access to community members to recognize that their actions reflect upon NTEN and to meet the standards set in this commitment to equity and liberation.

Vendors and contractors

NTEN knows that working with a wide range of professionals, suppliers, and consultants strengthens the communities we serve. This is why we prioritize hiring diverse vendors and service providers. We employ open processes for selecting contractors such as public requests for proposals, outreach to niche and alternative networks, and reviewing our RFPs (and other requests) for inclusive policies, language, and expectations.

We expect all organizations and individuals with whom we contract, whether for facilities, catering, decorating, or other services, to recognize that their actions reflect upon NTEN and to meet the standards set in this commitment to equity and liberation.