SE Today and Tomorrow: A Special Report on Our Organization

We are speaking out: “We don’t intend to lose the moment.”

We heard you—on underrepresented voices, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. During Town Halls and other forums, some of your questions were pointed—and painful. You challenged, asked for explanations, recommended specific actions, aired your disappoint- ments, asked for more accountability. We gave you honest answers—even if the answer is “we’re still working on it.” We’re in conversation inside the Institute, as well. Staff exchanged and shared resources and opportunities for our own education. In October and November, members of our faculty, Board, and staff participated in an anti-racism training program facilitated by Victor Lee Lewis, SEP, and Patti Digh. Together, Board, staff, faculty, coordinators, and assis- tants have conversations addressing these pressing issues, as often as once a week. Board, staff, and faculty have committed to personal work and additional professional development to strengthen understanding and awareness of DEI, anti-racism, and overall training issues. We heard you in Town Halls and other forums, and we’re still listening. Because we don’t intend to lose the moment. Our conversations allow for connection to more people in the community and better relationships that are more personal and sustainable. Milestones: • More than 600 people participated in our new Town Halls, held in April, June, July, and September. • Common Town Hall themes and questions: decisions (who and why) on including or excluding BIPOC; better public outreach and advocacy; improving committee participation and processes for faculty advancement; process for grievances; next steps for equity and justice, including within the Institute; ways to better address cultural differences. • We added a new Diversity and Anti-Oppression Resources section on our website. As of Novem- ber 30, the section had 9,448 user interactions. • Our newsletter, SE Today, began issuing twice-monthly. It always includes a link, “Do You Have a Story to Share?,” inviting members of our community to get in touch to share stories that would serve to advance SE worldwide and can serve as the foundation for future conversations.

In their words: “This was the first year we had regular meetings with our colleagues who are international organizers. In the past, we didn’t have that, so in terms of building a better community, this has been huge. Because most of them also had to switch to online training, we really were going through the same thing at the same time—it was a uniting force. And the worldwide recognition and embrace of the social and racial justice movement strengthened our sense of community. While we were trying to make strides in the area of better inclusion and diversity, all of a sudden, we had to do far more than just think about it and take small steps. We all felt called to action.” – Ana Paula Bastian, Director of Legal Affairs and International Relationships

In their words: “Because of COVID, 2020 was certainly a challenging year, but there were some ‘gifts’ associated with the challenges. We are now having regular conversations with different parts of the community that weren’t happening before. The conversation started out as a need—how do we figure out how we’re going to move our training from a live, in-person experiential training to an online training? It was a huge collaboration with faculty, coordinators, organizers, assistants. And now that we have figured out how to do that, we’ve continued those conversations as ways to get feedback.” – Sonja Cole, Managing Director of Professional and Community Development

• Our social media presence is strong and growing. We have 95,000 followers on Instagram, 47,000 on Facebook, and 9,750 on LinkedIn. Our YouTube channel has 11,900 followers and, as of the end of November, we’ve had 763,510 views of our media on YouTube.

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