By Elisabeth Hyleck, Programs and Initiatives Director, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers’ mission is to maximize the impact of giving on community life through a growing network of diverse, informed and effective philanthropists. ABAG is committed to fulfill its mission by embracing diversity and inclusiveness and focusing on racial equity in its governance and programs.
ABAG recognizes that achieving diversity, racial equity, and inclusiveness is an ongoing process which requires intentionality and explicitness. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee meets quarterly to infuse ABAG's values of diversity, inclusiveness and respect in our work and is charged with guiding, evaluating, and sharing information about ABAG’s work toward increasing diversity, racial equity and inclusion.
Over the past several years, the Committee has led a learning agenda around racial equity, for itself and, at times, engaging the broader ABAG membership. The events and conversations following the death of Freddie Gray brought to the forefront the historic and structural racial inequities embedded in our system and our city. ABAG is committed to helping our communities heal and to building a stronger, more equitable city in which all can thrive. In accordance with our new strategic plan, ABAG will promote racial equity and inclusion in member grantmaking practice. The D&I Committee reviewed and revised our current organization diversity and inclusion language to include racial equity the ABAG board approved the newly revised ABAG Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy at its recent board meeting.
Further, the Committee will guide the development of intentional programming focused on structural racism, white privilege and racial equity. As you will see in our 2015 Report/2016 Work Plan, we accomplished a lot in 2015 and will continue on our journey in 2016.
ABAG is grateful for the leadership, expertise and guidance of dedicated committee members, especially our co-chairs, Tracey Barbour-Gillett of the Abell Foundation and Nonet Sykes of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
If you have any questions, thoughts or suggestions regarding ABAG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, please me via email: Elisabeth Hyleck, or call 410-727-1205.