Updated March 4, 2021
Change for the better.
Although we are proud of what Bike & Build has accomplished over the last 18 years, it is essential for us to acknowledge both our successes and failures. In terms of successes, we have engaged over 3,800 young adults in the Affordable Housing cause through 125 cross country and regional cycling trips, granted $6.2 million to affordable housing organizations across the US, and built strong relationships in communities around the country who have supported us in both tangible and intangible ways.
So that we can take active steps toward implementing change that addresses our organizational challenges, we must take a harder look at our failures: Historically, our ridership, staff, and board have been predominantly white; we rely on predominantly white, Christian-based institutions to host our teams on the road; and we have taken a relatively singular approach to address the affordable housing cause. Participants of marginalized races, genders, social economic backgrounds and sexual orientations have at times held the burden of addressing matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion, rather than the organization itself. We recognize that there is room for significant growth in creating a more justice oriented Bike & Build experience to:
- Build a stronger understanding of the multi-faceted cause that we pedal for
- Welcome a more diverse ridership in a supportive, inclusive way
- Expand the types of organizations and groups we partner with on the road
We are committed to taking on the work that is necessary to enhance Bike & Build’s approach to our work with new perspectives that support all involved more equitably. We want this work to be done at every level of Bike & Build, so that the organization reflects the people most impacted by the complex and intersectional issue of affordable housing including people of color, people with disabilities and other underserved groups.
We have included Phase 1 of our action plan below for moving the organization forward to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Phase 1 provides an outline of our steps towards improvement. Phase 2 will include metrics to measure our growth forward (ETA 2021). This necessary work for Bike & Build will not happen overnight, and it is an ongoing iterative practice of reflection and action. Our goals may shift as we learn and grow, and this page will exist as a living document of our progress and changes to our action steps.
Partnering with Experts
In order to implement organizational, programmatic, and institutional change with Bike & Build, we have begun a growth partnership with Reify Solutions, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultants, to assist us in the ongoing effort to be an equitable organization.
We will be using 360 surveys, focus groups, and coaching to create benchmarks and accountability metrics to support the holistic DEI initiatives within the organization.
Check out the Build Equity: Benchmark Report which aims to capture the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Bike & Build.
Our Plan: Phase 1
- Design and implement new mission-aligned program offerings that lower financial and cultural barriers which have historically excluded individuals from marginalized communities from our traditional offerings
- Implement changes in our traditional program offerings to reflect organizational values surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Diversify partners and hosts and ensure our core values of inclusivity and acceptance are shared with, not simply tolerated by, our hosts and partner organizations
- Broaden the scope of the pre-trip and on-the-road Affordable Housing Curriculum to incorporate resources related to privilege, white supremacy, white saviorism, and anti-racism
- Revise leader hiring practice to be actively non-discriminatory by acknowledging implicit biases in our job description and interview process
- Train Trip Leaders in facilitation skills to address intra-team dynamics regarding race, gender, and socioeconomic background. As well as, ensure leaders provide a level of support and mentorship needed for training and pre-trip support
- Provide support and resources to all participants to continually build an inclusive culture across all trips
Marketing & Recruitment
- Broaden our outreach strategies in order to reach a more diverse audience
- Build partnerships with historically black colleges and universities and minority young adult groups
- Increase outreach to diverse audiences through dedicated recruitment platforms (i.e. Handshake)
- Decrease our reliance on “word of mouth” marketing in order to tap into new audiences and demographics
- Revise marketing materials, application materials, and web pages to acknowledge and change coded language and imagery that perpetuates exclusivity
- Leverage scholarship program to support underrepresented riders and FGLI (first-generation and/or low income) students to participate in our program.
- Board of Directors
- Complete DEI trainings with full board & staff facilitated by Reify Solutions and Comprise DEI
- Work to diversify our board members through consistent and targeted outreach and relationship development with potential recruits
- Actively recruit candidates with diversity in mind
- Increase transparency of the demographic makeup of our Board and Staff through edits to our website (i.e. sharing photos, pronouns, etc.)
- Hiring Process
- Create hiring process that values and prioritizes diverse candidates
- When staff positions are available (FT, Part time, Seasonal) work to recruit candidates from diverse backgrounds
- We are unsure of what sorts of DEI goals Bike & Build should have in regards to funding, but would like to infuse our DEI initiatives into all aspects of our organization and that includes funding and fundraising in a variety of ways.