Commitment to Equity & 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 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 the 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 that you will share your ideas, questions, and experiences with us. You can do so by emailing us or you can submit anonymous feedback through an online form.

Our Equity Team, community committee, and board committee all meet regularly. If you would like to join one of these meetings to observe, join the conversation, or even add something to the agenda, you are welcome to do so  — just contact us for scheduling.

The Equity Team leads a review and evaluation process related to the policies and practices outlined in our Commitment and the policies below, in coordination with the board and community equity committees, each year. Reporting of those evaluations and outcomes may be communicated on our website or in other channels for community feedback.

Staff, Board, and Volunteers

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 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 contributions we author include a diversity of voices and perspectives.

Board of Directors

NTEN has a board of directors both to fulfill the fiduciary duty required of a 501(c)3 organization and as an important component of our community-centered approach. Board members have diverse lived experiences and perspectives as well as professional backgrounds and participation in NTEN’s programs.

In partnership with the board, NTEN regularly reviews and improves our 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 do not have a contribution minimum that board members must donate 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 and lead by example for our community.

Volunteer Committees

NTEN values the inclusion and participation of community members across 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 Equity Commitment.

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 Handbook, regular opportunities to learn together, and staff support whenever needed.

We expect that all organizers 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 an important part of NTEN’s financial sustainability, though, as we are not an association, we are intentional in limiting barriers to participate or access NTEN programs and content with a membership requirement.

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, recruitment, retention, and orientation will be reviewed to ensure that we are prioritizing historically marginalized communities.

NTEN creates opportunities for Members to expand and improve their commitment to equity through connections to 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 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 that all faculty and NTC speakers be guided by this Commitment, 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 Speaker Resource 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 and service providers, as well as 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 different types of organizations with varying 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.

Vendors and Contractors

NTEN knows that working with a wide range of professionals, suppliers, and consultants strengthens the communities that we serve, therefore we prioritize hiring diverse vendors and service providers. We employ open processes for selecting contractors such as public RFPs, 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.