JEDI Statement
Shift 2021:
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement, Definitions, and Commitments 

All businesses and all business leaders have a role to play in the dismantling of unjust, racist, and extractive systems. Shift is an event intended to help advance that work. Justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism are at the core of our purpose, mission, and vision. 

Shift aims to bring together a diverse community of entrepreneurs and business leaders to share knowledge about the best ways we can help move our society away from racism, discrimination, exclusion, and exploitation and towards justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We invite and welcome everyone to this event and community and encourage all who join to share your perspectives and listen to the voices of others. 

This document lays out justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as well as a number of commitments that we, including organizers of the event and collaborators, have made to ensure that the structure, content, and experience of this event practices the ideals we are working to achieve.

Because we intend for our approach to be actionable, not merely theoretical, we hired JEDI consultant Jocelyn Corbett to craft definitions of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion that are relevant to this event so that all collaborators and participants operate with a shared understanding of what we mean when we use these terms.

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(Social) Justice

Social justice includes a vision of society in which the distribution of resources is equitable and all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure. Social justice involves social actors who have a sense of their own agency as well as a sense of social responsibility toward and with others and the society as a whole. (1)

For Shift 2021, “justice” refers to a shared vision among organizers and collaborators, that social impact businesses have a responsibility to: 


  • Recognize ways that they are implicitly or explicitly perpetuating injustice and exploitation of workers, community, environment and consumers; 
  • Actively correct those injustices; and 
  • Pursue the equitable distribution of resources for their stakeholders.
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Equity

Providing different levels of opportunity and assistance dependent upon need and starting place. Equity involves identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent the full participation of some groups or individuals. Promoting equity requires an understanding of the causes of outcome disparities within our society. The cornerstone of equity is justice.

For Shift 2021, equity means providing support and assistance so that all individuals can fully participate in programming, especially people with identities who have been marginalized and therefore excluded from, disempowered or discriminated against in business, investing, business conferences and online events. 

Equitable access can look like free or discounted tickets, offering childcare stipends for those who need them in order to be present, or providing free language support via ASL interpretation or closed captioning. Equity also means sharing profits generated with individuals and organizations who provide value to the event. Given the barriers that people of color face in business and in business conferences, and the additional value that their contributions provide to organizers around central topics such as racism, economic inequality, and the racial wealth gap, equity means sharing a greater percentage of profits with people of color and organizations led by people of color.

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Diversity

Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, physical appearance, and other social identities. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values. (2)

For Shift 2021, diversity is applied to all individuals involved in the event, including speakers, partner organizations (paying attention to leadership and participating individuals), sponsors, participants and event organizers. Diversity is most critical among the groups who have the most decision-making power, such as organizers, core partners and speakers, as they will have the heaviest hand in shaping the experience for all. While no aspect of diversity is more or less important than any other, Shift 2021 will prioritize the meaningful inclusion of Black, Indigenous and people of color in part because race and racism are core topics for the conference. Additionally, Shift 2021 will meaningfully include identities that have been marginalized and under-represented in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, such as women, trans and gender non-conforming leaders, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people and people who live on a low or fixed income (referred to as “non-dominant identities” in the subsequent recommendations).

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Inclusion

Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into processes, activities, and decision/policy making in a way that shares power. (3)

For Shift 2021, inclusion means ensuring that everyone, and especially those who are systemically marginalized based on their identity, are meaningfully included in shaping and accessing content. This includes ensuring that a significant portion of the content is provided by and intended for people who have been and are often excluded based on race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and other aspects of their identity. It also includes ensuring that discussion, questions asked and other forms of audience participation explicitly and intentionally make space for the voices of people with non-dominant identities.

JEDI Commitments

We, the core partners and organizers of Shift 2021, agree to the following commitment to ensure the event we produce embodies the ideals of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion: 

  • We agree that 40% of all content topics (networking, speakers, panelists, workshops and keynotes) should be by and/or for people of color and those with non-dominant identities. 

  • We agree that all content topics, titles and descriptions will be reviewed with an equity lens.

  • We agree to be mindful of scheduling content to accommodate a variety of schedules, including parents. 

  • We agree to ensure that facilitators and speakers are trained on specific strategies to engage non-dominant voices during workshops and panels where there is audience Q&A, breakout sessions, or discussion so that those important perspectives are shared with the group, and so that people with non-dominant identities feel meaningfully included and able to share their voice. 

  • We agree to provide training for all speakers, facilitators, and session moderators which includes the following components:
    • Review of Shift 2021’s JEDI Statement
    • Review of agreements
    • Review of code of conduct
    • Training for inclusive and equitable audience participation (see above)

  • We agree to make a number of hours available for one on one coaching or training for speakers that opt-in for extra support, especially if they need technical guidance. 

  • We agree to provide closed captioning, or live transcription of what is communicated verbally, for all Shift 2021 sessions.


  • We agree to work to ensure that anyone who wishes to participate can access the content, regardless of tech fluency. We will provide optional tech training in advance of the event for anyone who needs additional guidance using the virtual conference platform and/or any of its features. We will offer tech support during the event so that anyone can get one on one support troubleshooting an issue without disrupting the flow of content.

  • We agree to provide childcare stipends on an as-needed basis for speakers and participants who need them. 

  • We agree to provide meal stipends to speakers on an as-needed basis if content is taking place during traditional meal times.

  • We are committed to enforcing our Code of Conduct which we have written to ensure that all Shift participants feel welcome and safe throughout the event. 

  • We commit to asking speakers and participants to share and introduce themselves with their pronouns, as we know that normalizing the sharing of pronouns takes the burden off of people who are often misgendered or use non-traditional pronouns from having to introduce the topic. 

  • We commit to reducing financial barriers to attendance of Shift 2021 through our Equity Pass Program. Anyone who wants to attend Shift 2021 but does not have the means to pay full price is invited to apply for discounted tickets to Shift 2021 through our Equity Pass program. Priority will be given to Black, Indigenous and people of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, people who live on a low- or fixed income, and people with intersectional and/or marginalized identities. Equity Passes will be discounted by 70% or more and will range from $30-90 for a full conference pass, depending on when they are purchased and the level of discount offered. The application process for Shift Equity Passes is live now on SEED SPOT. Visit the event’s registration page to learn full details. We encourage attendees of means to pay it forward by supporting the Equity Pass program. When ticket purchasers buy 3 or more tickets at a time, their purchase generates a matched number of Equity Passes.  
Endnotes

1 Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell and Pat Griffin, editors. Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A Sourcebook. New York: Routledge

2 UC Berkeley Center for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, Glossary of Terms. Baltimore Racial Justice Action.

3 OpenSource Leadership Strategies, Some Working Definitions


Contributing Author and JEDI Consultant

This statement and the accompanying definitions and commitments were written by and adapted from the work of Jocelyn Corbett of JoCo Consulting for Shift 2021. Corbett is a social impact consultant who works to build cross sector partnerships and racial equity. She works with nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses to achieve just outcomes for communities.


Feedback and inquiries can be directed to: shift@jbmediagroupllc.com
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