Since our beginning in 2006 SVP Tucson has been working to solve big social issues in our community – increasing literacy for youth and adults, providing quality education, increasing job attainment, and providing more opportunities for social mobility. Our work has always been rooted in bringing experiences and opportunities to individuals in our community who do not have them.
As an organization that values life-long learning, we began to ask ourselves some tough questions: Why are these issues so hard to solve? Why do these problems exist in the first place? We aren’t alone in asking ourselves these questions. The philanthropy world is increasingly recognizing that in order to solve the problems we care about; we have to consider the root causes.
In 2019, the SVP Tucson board established an Equity Committee and asked the committee to create opportunities for partner education and discussion and to develop strategies to diversify the perspectives that inform our work. We did not have to look far for motivation. The SVP Values and Behaviors adopted in 2017, provided a guide for our work. Even then, we stated Equity as one of our five core values, and recognized the importance of curiosity and life-long learning as tools for how we approach our work.
We were further motivated by you, our fellow SVP partners. We heard you say “I want to learn more”. We heard you ask “What can I read?” We acknowledge you sharing humble and heartfelt statements such as “This is new to me” and “I’m not sure I understand.” Your words guided our actions.
We believe that we must learn before we act. With that in mind, we developed an Equity Resource Library housed on the SVP Tucson website. Here, you will find links to articles, books and movies that we found useful in our journey of learning.
We have started having Equity Chats, where all partners are invited to join John-Peter and Equity Committee members for a conversation about what the word equity really means and explore topics such as unconscious bias in a safe and supportive environment.
This continues to be an incredible journey of learning for me personally, as well as for SVP organizationally. I invite you to embrace your commitment to learning, explore our resource library, and engage in conversation with us.
Your partner in learning,
Chief Executive Officer, SVP Tucson