PYP Seattle’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Initiatives
Pitch Your Peers Seattle believes in racial equity and will strive to be anti-racist allies in all that we do. We are committed to examining all facets of PYP Seattle through a racial equity lens and to learning and evolving as an organization in the process.
The events of 2020 brought needed attention to racial justice and equity in the United States and allowed Pitch Your Peers Seattle an opportunity for deep reflection. We created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee open to all members in August 2020 to explore diversity as it pertains to both our membership and the organizations we support. PYP Seattle will continuously work to acknowledge, examine and address any conscious or unconscious biases present in our organization. We will also teach and encourage our members to apply a racial equity lens when vetting organizations during the grant-making process. Most importantly, we will work to expand our membership to ensure that PYP Seattle represents the vast diversity of King County and the breadth of communities that we aim to serve. By enriching the range of perspectives, experiences and cultures that comprises our membership, PYP Seattle will, in turn, be better positioned to create maximum impact on each individual member, the organizations we support, and our community at large.
In order to ensure that PYP Seattle’s membership represents the vast diversity of King County and the breadth of communities that we aim to serve, we intend to prioritize women of color for membership for the next three years. If we are unable to fill all openings with women of color, we intend to keep up to five positions open until they can be filled with women of color.
PYP Seattle DE&I Committee
We created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee open to all members in August 2020 to explore diversity as it pertains to both our membership and the organizations we support. Our DEI committee meets approximately twice per month in pursuit of the following goals:
- Reflect on our own privilege, examine our own racism and biases, and identify racial inequalities and disparities as well as institutionalized and systemic racism in our organization, the King County community, and society at large. Learn and practice being anti-racists and allies to people of color
- Ensure that DEI principles are embedded in PYP Seattle’s procedures and that PYP Seattle is inclusive and equitable in our grant-making practices and outcomes
- Put a plan in place to diversify our membership and help to foster an inclusive culture so that all members (and potential members) feel welcome
- Share learnings, opportunities to engage, and resources with other PYP Seattle members
In 2020, we made the bold decision to dedicate our entire grant cycle to local nonprofits whose services are targeted toward promoting equity for people of color and who have diverse leadership that is representative of the people they serve. We ended up with a fantastic lineup of racial equity nonprofits to be pitched to the members: The Seattle Clemency Project (SCP), Technology Access Foundation (TAF), and Mentoring Urban Students & Teens (M.U.S.T.). Our members, their families, and the local community expressed their support for this lineup by contributing additional donations to bring our grant pool to $200,000 – our largest pool to date!
M.U.S.T. Executive Director, Kelvin Washington (far right), hosted a barbershop-style discussion for PYP members to learn more.
PYP Seattle Grant Champion, Helen Kelly (top left corner), organized a webinar follow-up session for PYP members to get to know SCP better.
PYP Seattle Grant Champions Amy Lee, Mina Velamoor, and Linda Floyd delivered their pitch for TAF virtually at PYP Seattle’s 4th Annual Pitch Night in October 2020.