Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement
We stand for inclusiveness, equity, and respect―and against racism. We will speak up for equity and justice in schools. We operate with the utmost respect for our employees, volunteers and the communities we serve.
As the board of directors of Lead to Read KC, we recognize that:
- The students we serve in Kansas City’s most disenfranchised communities have not had equal opportunities, often due to their race.
- Illiteracy is one symptom of the larger challenges of racial and economic inequality that Kansas City faces.
- The time our volunteers spend building relationships and mentoring students inside the classroom helps close this literacy gap, creating a more equitable society.
- With our 1,100+ volunteer corps, Lead to Read KC is uniquely positioned to impact the community conversation on racial and economic inequality.
- We also have a responsibility to work outside of the classroom, to change the world for good that our students grow up in.
We aspire to the following:
Inside the classroom:
- To create a more diverse volunteer base and that our volunteers reflect the demographics and experiences that the students we serve face.
- To educate volunteers – on topics such as trauma, implicit bias, literacy, growth mindset, challenges of racial and socio-economic inequality – to be the most effective reading mentors and student ambassadors possible.
- To ensure books distributed to students and teachers reflect our students’ cultural diversity, their experiences, and celebrate the rich histories of each culture represented.
Outside the classroom:
- To challenge our own biases and assumptions, and to educate ourselves to help dismantle the mindsets, systems and structures that result in Black students and other students of color having less opportunity.
- To work to diversify our board and staff to reflect the diversity of our broader Kansas City community.
- To hold ourselves accountable by establishing specific goals and periodically reviewing how we are doing related to the actions stated above.