Our Equity Work

Equity is central to the Bush Foundation’s purpose: to inspire and support creative problem solving, within and across sectors, to make our region better for everyone. 

The way we talk about concepts like diversity, inclusion and equity has changed since Archibald Bush’s generation. What hasn't changed is our commitment to uplifting the whole region. We have struggled at times to live up to our aspirations; at times our actions have contributed to social, economic and racial disparities. Those shortcomings are real opportunities for us to think and act differently about how we advance equity in our region.

As a charitable foundation, we have a particular obligation to live up to high standards of diversity, equity and inclusion. We have a power in the issues we raise, the questions we ask, and the people and organizations we fund. For us to be effective in addressing issues in communities throughout the region, we must be sensitive to and savvy about differences such as culture, race, income, gender identity, geography, physical and mental abilities, religious belief, or any other difference that is meaningful in understanding an issue and how it might be addressed. We see equity as part and parcel of excellence. And we are committed to becoming excellent.

As we work toward being more equitable in our work at the Foundation, we plan to publicly share our successes and setbacks in hopes we can be useful to others. We do so with humility and recognition that we are — and will always be — a work in progress.

Our commitment to equity is central to our mission, springs from our values and informs our decision-making processes.

Building an Inclusive Culture

Changing organizational culture takes intention and time. Since 2013, we’ve worked to create a more inclusive culture internally so that we can be more effective externally. Here’s what we’ve learned so far. 

Inclusivity Practice tool
Inclusivity Practice [PDF]

In 2018, based on continued learning and feedback, a staff committee updated the original equity framework to create our Inclusivity Practice tool. We are working to embed this practice into our daily work and decision making.

Building a Stellar Staff

We believe that we're more effective when our staff reflects a wide range of perspectives and life experiences. Here are the strategy and tactics we use as we apply an equity lens to recruitment, selection and hiring.