The Cowen Institute’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Statement
The Cowen Institute’s staff believes that all New Orleanians deserve access to equitable educational and economic opportunities to build a meaningful life of their choosing. We acknowledge that historic, systemic, and institutional barriers, particularly racial bias and discrimination, play a large role in the deep educational and economic disparities in the city of New Orleans. In order to help all New Orleanians access equitable opportunities, it is necessary for the Cowen Institute to proactively identify and oppose systems of oppression, both within our organization and within our broader community.
In order to more fully accomplish our mission and live our values, we strive to make our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice evident in all aspects of our work, our team, and organizational structure.
To do this, we commit to working strategically and collaboratively towards the following actions:
1. Build a racial equity lens into our organization’s strategic planning, policy, operations,
2. Actively recruit, hire, and work to retain staff who reflect New Orleans’ demographics at all
3. Actively recruit board members who reflect New Orleans’ demographics;
4. Support employees to engage in culturally responsive practices;
5. Explicitly promote racial equity and inclusion in our organization’s management and practices;
6. Acknowledge and value the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender identity and expression,
sexual orientation, citizenship status, ability, age, national origin, political views, and religions/
7. Amplify voices and efforts of those most impacted by structural educational and economic
8. Engage youth and families as partners in our work;
9. Actively identify, name, and work to replace policies, practices, procedures, programs, and
structures that perpetuate systems of oppression and inequity within our organization and
10. Partner strategically with other organizations and stakeholders to challenge racial and ethnic
inequity and systems of oppression.
We aspire to live and work in a city where all people have access to the tools that they need to achieve their goals, however they define them. We ask our community to hold us accountable so our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is reflected in our internal structure, practices, and culture as well as in our work serving the community of New Orleans.