ioby's journey towards racial justice

At ioby, we want to work towards a world where Black Lives Matter. Fighting for racial justice, and affirming the dignity and inherent value of Black life, is critical to who we are at ioby. We were founded with the belief that residents know best, and from the beginning, we were committed to working with particular attention to communities and neighborhoods that have been overlooked by government and philanthropy, often because of a long history of formal and defacto racism—like redlining, highway demolition, and more. But we know that committing to racial justice, committing to the fight to undo 400 years of inequality for Black Americans, isn't a one-time affair. We know that it is a continuing journey, a continuing commitment, that we have to actively affirm and work towards every day.

We also know that there's a lot we still don't know as an organization. Because of that, our fight for racial justice isn't an action we can take alone. We have to do it together with our community, we have to be held accountable by our community, and we have to be led by our neighbors of color—especially Black neighbors—as we confront systemic and historic anti-blackness. This fight is a marathon, not a race, and we invite you to join it. We're going to be keeping this page updated regularly with the things we're working on to become a fully realized anti-racist organization, to ensure that we're accountable to our community, and to make sure we do what we say we'll do. Help keep us accountable, remind us of our commitments, and hold our feet to the flame. Racial justice demands it. 

2020 (Anticipated)

  • We hope to finalize our Race, Equity, and Inclusion Audit and formalize the immediate and medium-term next steps that we can take.

2020

  • Shared our Hiring Practices, cited by staff as being the piece of formal racial equity work that we feel most passionate about, and that we feel are best at. 
  • Established Juneteenth as a formally recognized holiday.

2019

  • November: ioby Board launched a Race, Equity, and Inclusion Audit and Framework process for the Board and staff to co-create to assess where we are, and chart where we need to go next. Nadia Owusu, a member of our Board of Directors, is generously leading this work.

2018

  • April: ioby worked with ioby Leaders to lift up their work on Racial Justice and created a toolkit for residents to begin Racial Justice work in their own neighborhoods.
  • May: ioby created an expanded Senior Management Team and made updates to our organizational chart to create more opportunities for leadership at ioby.

2017

  • ioby staff and board participated in a “Groundwater” Training led by the Racial Equity Institute. It created an important starting point around values for relationship building among all involved, and an important foundational touchstone for ioby as an organization to refer to when planning for continued work in anti-racism.
  • With our friends at Neighborhood Connections in Cleveland, we launched the Racial Equity Matching Fund to double gifts to projects in Cleveland that crowdfund for racial equity.

2016

  • We launched our "Civic Duty Days" to encourage teammates to participate meaningfully in democracy and activism.
  • October: We launched our "2% for Racial Equity" initiative to fund internal racial equity learning and training. 
  • Hosted a four-day staff training on working practices, bias and equity in Memphis, Tennessee, facilitated by Bex Ahuja of The Management Center.

2015

  • Formally included the racist policy of redlining as a critically important part of how ioby decides to make long-term investments in neighborhoods, and integrated it into our Phase 0 research process.
  • Completely changed our formal hiring practices to eliminate opportunities for unconscious bias. We’re grateful to our advisors Karla Monterosso and Bex Ahuja for our work on this. 
  • Seeing a clear ask from our community, ioby added a commitment to racial justice to our statement of Principles and Actions. 

2012

  • September: ioby's Board, ~33% of whom at the time were people of color, wrote and passed ioby's Board Statement on Diversity with the explicit goal to achieve at least 50% Board members of color by 2015 (which we met in May of 2015). 

2010

2009

  • ioby was founded with two key values: (1) Residents Know Best, and (2) We are Whole People