UpStart’s Commitment to Racial Justice

At UpStart, our vision is a more just, vibrant, and inclusive future. That vision means a future that is safer and more equitable, and that illuminates everyone’s potential–particularly those who have been systematically disenfranchised both within and outside of Jewish communal life. As the pandemic disproportionately impacts people of color, and as we witness consistent and systemic violence against Black people, we know this vision must be pursued with more urgency.

We also know that the Jewish community is not immune to racism, and that repairing these wrongs must start here.

First, we want to say unequivocally that Black lives matter and that we are committed to building an anti-racist Jewish community. We stand with our team members of color, our network members of color, and all people of color in this struggle for justice.

Second, while we have started this work, we recognize that we have so much more to do. We are committed to accelerating our actions towards making our vision a reality, including ongoing self-reflection and learning, centering marginalized voices, and annually articulating concrete priorities to advance this work. In the next fiscal year, we will:

  • Allocate targeted funds in our budget and increase dedicated staff time to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and anti-racist work.
  • Codify a regular rhythm for mandated anti-racism training, prioritized in line with other mandated training for both the staff and Board.
  • Engage in a facilitated process to identify UpStart’s core Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) priorities, 3-5 year outcomes and milestones, and strategies to achieve them.
  • Emphasize hiring consultants or consulting firms who are led by Black, Jews of Color, or People of Color to facilitate UpStart’s anti-bias trainings and to develop our ongoing strategy.
  • Maintain an ongoing portfolio of initiatives to advance DEI and racial justice, including the codification of equitable hiring and compensation policies and practices, developing interventions for core programs to attract and support a diverse and representative pool of participants, and integrating equity more firmly into our decision-making frameworks.
  • Invest in ongoing staff learning around implicit bias and anti-racism.

Together, we will bring our community closer to our vision of a just, vibrant, and inclusive future.

Our purpose is to enable entrepreneurs to bring bold Jewish ideas to light. We help them reach Up to people in new ways that are meaningful, more inclusive, and create a brighter future for our Jewish community and the world we share.

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