Photo credit: Madeline Jacobson
As the Founder of Isenberg Projects, along with our team, we recognize that we can do more to dismantle the toxic systems that oppress Black people unjustly. As a mission based company, social justice and mentorship has been strongly tied into principle and our philosophy and as an action item throughout Isenberg Project’s strategic planning. As a female founded company, we have fought for gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive rights alongside running our business. While these actions have tangentially helped, we realize that fighting systemic racism and oppression needs to be at the forefront of our mission and our work practice.
We have made some strides, but we realize our own shortcomings when it comes to being more racially diverse and inclusive. We are working deliberately to create meaningful change by conversing with and listening to the communities we do not represent adequately. We know we’ll make mistakes, and probably upset some people along the way, but our 8 years of building more engaging places while supporting artists and creators has taught us that doing the right thing takes time and practice.
We have firmly recognized the value of diversity in our projects and the importance of diverse community feedback but have fallen short of matching that goal in our workforce. We are making a commitment to shifting our current racial demographic to emphasize and prioritize hiring BIPOC candidates for all available positions. This will be practiced until the team is at least 30% BIPOC, and will continue indefinitely thereafter. We are broadcasting all jobs opportunities and internships to underrepresented populations in our workforce and on multiple channels to attract a broad applicant base.
We also recognize as an entirely white staff we need to demonstrate that our culture and internal systems are supportive and inclusive of a more diverse workforce. We are honoring that commitment by incorporating ongoing DEI training for our entire staff annually and as part of our strategic plan.
We will continue to invest in our community through donations and pro bono work. In 2020 we have done work with 826Y Boston, donated to Black lives matter, Trans women of color collective, EforAll Roxbury, Violence in Boston, Fenway Health, City Year Boston, Last prisoner project, Greater Boston Food Bank and many others. We will make this work part of our quarterly strategic planning goal setting and will be openly sharing the results and challenges throughout our experience for months and years to come.
In our continued work in Cannabis, Real Estate and Community advocacy, we see our investment in BIPOC communities as an opportunity to hold our clients, municipalities and institutions we work with more accountable with actionable plans and through financial contributions and non performative acts of anti racism. We recognize we have the opportunity to drive change through action, commitment and dismantling the very systems that helped us prosper. We are rolling up our sleeves, there’s a lot of work to be done and a long road ahead.
We can, and should, be doing a lot more to actively engage with individuals and communities who are historically underrepresented in the placemaking + placekeeping community, and create more opportunities for small business owners and culture makers and within our own company. We will use our voices to push for change within our client’s projects, and properties and to advocate for inclusivity and adoption from BIPOC voices in the neighborhoods we serve
We hope you join us and hold us accountable,
Founder + Creative Director