I love this time of the year. As we head into this hectic holiday season of decorating, going to parties, shopping, and visiting with friends and family, it’s easy to forget what it is that makes this the season of “giving thanks.” At a recent team meeting, my colleague posed the following reflection question: “When in your life have you felt abundance?” It could not have been a more timely discussion.
First and foremost, I’m thankful for my family, and their constant love and support. I’m thankful for the community of friends that surrounds me. I’m thankful for my amazing colleagues at Edgility who are intelligent, insightful, and fun and who believe in the power of diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value of the work we do. They are constantly teaching me, modeling for me and stretching my thought process in this area. I am thankful for the inspirational clients, candidates and placements we work with every day. – Serena Moy
Here’s what some of them had to say about being thankful this season:
“I’m thankful and grateful for the equity work we do at Change for Kids because it is important for me to let young people know that folks that look like they do, sound like they do and come from where they come can actually make it. I’m thankful to be a mere piece of the puzzle necessary to build the agency in them so they can overcome inequity.” – Kevin Ervin, Executive Director – Change for Kids
“I am thankful to have the privilege of working at an organization where equity is at the center of what we do because I believe that it is how we will undo racism. To be able to release into the world black and brown scholars who are problem solvers, change-makers and global citizens is the work of antiracists.” – Guerschmide Saint-Ange Executive Director, La Cima Charter School
“As an Executive Director of City Year San Jose, I am thankful every time I step on to one of our campuses and see students interacting with an AmeriCorps Member. The relationship formed goes beyond academic preparedness to being a trusted support. I am thankful every time I hear students say ‘That is MY City Year.’ That interaction demonstrates the power we have in this world to impact change and I am thankful to be a part of that.” – Pete Settelmayer, Vice President and Executive Director of City Year, San Jose/Silicon Valley
“I am thankful to be a part of the Surge Oakland team because my job allows me to live out my purpose every day. I am part of creating a safe space for our community of education leaders of color to explore their passions and identify their purpose. These leaders make an impact by moving in purpose rooted in their knowledge of self and owning their strengths.” – Michelle Seijas, Ed.D., Executive Director, Oakland, Surge Institute
“I am grateful to work in an organization that seeks to ensure every student has the resources they need to succeed in school. We support students through an equity lens because it represents one pathway toward breaking intergenerational poverty and marginalization that perplexes too many of our communities. When students have the resources they need to succeed in school, they become the future for the success of our communities.”- Joel Mackey, Executive Director, Oakland Public Education Fund
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with hundreds of high school students and see them grow and thrive through our Speech and Debate programming. I’m also grateful for the caring adults in their lives – including our staff – who are dedicated to opening up new opportunities and communities to them, so they are able to reach their full educational and professional potential.” – Rolland Janairo, Executive Director – Silicon Valley Urban Debate League
“Focusing on internal equity is critical to aligning how we work as a team with SEO’s mission of creating a more equitable society by closing the academic and career opportunity gap for motivated young people from underserved or underrepresented communities. Delivering top-of-class impact requires an amazing and consistent team. Recruiting and retaining passionate, high-performing professionals is simply not sustainable without an equitable workplace. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work every day to align mission, values, and practice, which together translate into sustained impact. ” – Hugo Faria, Chief Operating Officer, SEO
“I am thankful to be a living example and support system for the youth we serve in empowering them to achieve any dream, goal, or aspiration they have no matter their social-economic status.” – Solomon Howard, Executive Director, East Oakland Boxing Association
EDGILITY Gives Thanks!
“I am wildly lucky to work with such an incredible team of talented strategists, matchmakers, and equity warriors. Our work makes a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of kids every year and builds the capacity of their leaders to be more equitable and fair.” – Allison Wyatt
“When I started recruiting in education over 15 years ago, the prevailing assumption was that although finding candidates from diverse backgrounds was important, it was really difficult to find ones who met the “bar” expected by our sector’s organizations. Similarly, although everyone said they wanted to see more women in leadership roles, mothers like me found that when we had young children, we were told in many subtle – and not so subtle – ways that our contributions were less valuable if we weren’t able to put aside the immediate demands placed on us by the little people we were working to raise. And there was no doubt for anyone working in these organizations that women and people of color were systematically paid and promoted less than their white and male colleagues. I am thankful that through our work at Edgility, we are able to challenge these assumptions, push against bias and ensure that highly qualified people of color and women are able to attain C-suite roles – with the appropriate levels of pay, support and appreciation relative to their significant value and experiences.” – Christina Greenberg
“I am thankful to support our clients who want to build a more equitable and inclusive culture for leaders of color”. – Ron Rapatalo
“I am thankful for the work we do around equity because I believe it will lead to a more fair and just society and that is a priority for me. I don’t think one’s successes in life should be dictated by where they were born, their skin color, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic background or sexual preference. We are all human and the closer we can get to equity for all the better it will be for everyone.” – Jennifer Svendsen
“Finding and placing great talent in high impact roles within the education and nonprofit sectors is incredibly rewarding. I’m energized by a focus on students and doing the best we can to help them reach their potential.” – Angelica Molero
“I believe in the power of working with mission-driven organizations that are urgent about creating equitable and sustainable talent systems when recruiting for a given role. I’m thankful to be able to listen and learn alongside so many other diverse thought leaders, both at Edgility and with the organizations we collaborate with on a daily basis!” – Zachary Harr
“I appreciate being able to bring my whole self to our work. Through speaking my truth, I am able to help our clients squarely face and address the challenges of our work. Good intentions are not enough. The stakes are too high. Especially in many of the communities where our clients work and serve. I appreciate working with a team that is constantly pushing ourselves and our clients towards greater equity.” – Kevin Bryant
I know I speak for my colleagues when I say that it is a privilege for us to walk alongside you in this work and life journey. Thank you for all that you do to help us live in a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.
– Serena Moy