The Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, and United Way of the Ozarks stand together to denounce racism and discrimination. We care deeply about recent events that have once again brought this systemic problem to the forefront, as well as the historical nature of how we got to where we are now. We denounce racism and discrimination, not just with words, but with measurable actions. We are listening, and we know we must look within ourselves and our own organizations.
We commit to addressing racism and discrimination by implementing the Inclusive Excellence Model — a strategy that was created for higher education, but is adaptable to the public, private, and social sectors. This model drives systemic change and promotes inclusive organizational culture and opportunities. The model was first brought to Springfield and implemented at Missouri State University, and it has expanded to Springfield’s public entities and other nonprofit organizations. We recognize that words without action are meaningless. Therefore, we commit to the following framework created by the National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy:
- We will make culturally relevant decisions. We will create and utilize a joint Tiger Team to provide the diverse lens we may not have within our own organizations. We will look for and be sensitive to unintended consequences.
- We will support diverse communities. We will support the basic needs of those we serve, including their emotional and mental health needs. We will widen and strengthen the culturally relevant lens of our organizations.
- We will communicate thoughtfully and inclusively. We will actively listen and clarify how we will address inequitable practices. We will provide diversity and antiracism training to our partner organizations.
- We will digitize inclusive excellence. We will use digital resources to help bridge the “digital divide” and encourage diverse and inclusive online engagement.
Beyond looking within ourselves and our own organizations, we also commit to promoting the Inclusive Excellence Model to other organizations within our community. We will work with our community partners toward the Inclusive Excellence Model’s ultimate goal — to prevent people of diverse identities from being left further behind and continue to make entities and organizations inclusive and excellent for everyone.
We WILL do our part to help our community make positive changes that promote healing and change systems of inequity that perpetuate racism and bias.
Greg Burris, President & CEO
United Way of the Ozarks
Janet Dankert, President & CEO
Community Partnership of the Ozarks
Brian Fogle, President & CEO
Community Foundation of the Ozarks