Equity Commitment

We are committed to antiracism. 

We are committed to advancing equity as an intersectional issue, understanding the foundation of all equity work is antiracism due to the dominance of white supremacy in all systems of oppression. 

We know the diversity of experiences, ideas, individuals, and organizations in our community and the sector make us stronger together. To create a more just and engaged world, we must embrace and celebrate diversity, practice inclusion, and exercise our role as a champion of equity.

We accept that our commitment to antiracism means a commitment to constant learning — we will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from them and to improve.

To be transparent and realistic, we also acknowledge that our capacity as an organization means we cannot always implement measures to the level that we may like (such as providing content in multiple languages). We are accountable to ourselves (both as staff and board) and to the community, and create regular opportunities for reporting on our work, progress, mistakes, and plans.

The work of becoming an antiracist organization in tandem with the work of creating an antiracist world will take all of us and will not be accomplished in a year or even a lifetime. Our commitment to this work is with a long-term view and to engrain that in our operations we have a focus on equity named in the roles for both our CEO and Equity Manager, a commitment to embrace and further this equity commitment included in all staff position descriptions, and a cross-organizational Equity Team sharing responsibility for pushing the organization forward. Additionally, we have Equity committees on the board and within the community, distributing the leadership of and contributions to our collective responsibility to this commitment. 

This commitment is not to help us “remember equity,” but a public commitment to our community and an invitation for accountability. 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 by using this 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.

What NTEN’s DEI Commitment Means for Our Work

Intentional practices and policies for equity enable us to better reach our mission and engage a range of perspectives, voices, and experiences in all that NTEN does. We expect that all NTEN community members – those participating in any of NTEN’s programs or engaging with our community groups – similarly make commitments to equity to make our shared work and our world better. All participants, community members, volunteers, vendors, and anyone else contributing to or accessing NTEN’s programs and content are subject to NTEN’s Code of Conduct.

The NTEN 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 the NTEN.org website or in other channels for community feedback.

Staff, Board, and Volunteers


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.


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.


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.

This page last updated on 12/10/20.