Race and educational inequity have been intertwined throughout our nation’s history. On May 17, 1954, in the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the Supreme Court observed “…it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” However, oppression, inequity, and violence still obstruct the path to self-determination and a life full of choices for young people from historically marginalized identities.
In fall 2017, Xiomara Padamsee and her team of nearly a dozen professional talent advisors formed Promise54 -- driven by the conviction to help organizations deliver on the promise implied in the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling. We envision a day when organizations committed to educational equity have maximum impact because they have the right people excelling in the right roles, their teams reflect the communities served, their cultures are inclusive, and their internal structures are equitable. Essentially, Promise54 helps adults to thrive so that they can do their best work for students, families, and communities.
Promise54 is a nonprofit 501(c)3 with a small, strong, passionate, and growing team of 20+ experienced advisors. Our partnerships balance investments in people and the organizational systems and culture around them, spanning topics such as recruitment systems, competency modeling, compensation, performance management, change management, board development, management / leadership development, communications, decision-making and more. All of our work includes a deep focus on diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI), based on our belief that creating a thriving, sustainable workplace for a diverse team will both generate greater impact for students as well as more durable relationships with the communities these organizations serve.
We have committed to specific goals by 2023: first, we aim to engage 1,000 leaders about the link between talent and DEI in achieving strong organizational outcomes for kids; second, we will support 100 organizations to material progress on diversifying their teams, increasing staff performance, and strengthening retention without gaps by seniority or identity.
Promise54 provides services to support these goals at three levels:
For the field, we conduct research, mine for insights, and disseminate widely to support leaders in their work to build thriving organizational environments with effective DEI to drive better outcomes in service of kids, families, and communities. Our research products include quantitative and qualitative reports such as 2017s Unrealized Impact and a set of deep and vulnerable case studies about to be released.
For organizations, we focus on supporting and enhancing organizational effectiveness, inclusive culture, and equitable systems through tailored advising partnerships and cohort programs.
Finally, for individuals, Promise54 focuses on supporting and developing leaders to thrive through 1:1 executive coaching, and cohort-based workshops and institutes.
In service of this work, our team is committed to the following core values:
Champion Justice: We acknowledge the impact of historical inequities and are committed to pursuing justice. We will do this by reshaping mindsets, behaviors, and structures one organization and one leader at a time, while examining ourselves in the process. We believe all young people, especially those of color and those growing up in low income communities, deserve to have adults acting boldly on their behalf – challenging the status quo, spotting and addressing inequities, sharing power and, perhaps most importantly, making room for silenced voices to be heard.
Pursue Impact: We are committed to helping adults live out their fullest potential, so they can offer their very best to the young people they serve. This means we relentlessly pursue the best outcomes with our partners and, in the process, we always choose courage over comfort. We strive to consistently deliver excellent work and an unparalleled client experience to inspire effective action, advance equity, and help our partners realize their missions.
Embrace Possibility: We approach our work/h with a sense of possibility, adaptability, and optimism. We invest time in new ideas, engage in thoughtful problem solving, and explore innovative ways to team with each other and partner with our clients.
Be Well: We know that to do our best work, we must accept and support each other in all of our humanity. We have fun, laugh out loud, celebrate each other’s life milestones, and live unapologetically in our own skin. We practice flexibility related to where and how we get our work done, respecting each other’s professional preferences and life priorities. We carve out time to relax, recharge, and refuel individually and as a team.
Be Humble: We don’t have all of the answers, so we listen closely to our colleagues, our partners, our schools, and our communities, as they tell us what’s working and what’s not. We embrace those who push our thinking while helping us make progress. This learning makes us and our work better.
Promise54’s first two years of operations have been auspicious; client demand for our services exceeds our capacity, we have gained the support of several national funders, and we have high standards for how we operate internally. Specifically, we’re trying to build a radically human organization whose policies and practices support all of our team members to bring their full selves to work. But, like any relatively new organization, we are making critical internal operational decisions in real time while serving clients, developing our team, and building our brand. This combination of aspirations means that we are juggling the different kinds of work we need to do for ourselves, and that for the field which, in turn, has revealed areas where we have room for improvement. Specifically: we don’t yet have all of our systems and structures in place; our website needs a refresh (and one is underway); we need to grow our team even further to serve the work we’re being asked to do in the field; and sometimes we achieve the elusive work/life balance we’re after, and other times we fail. Essentially, we are a work-in-progress.
Operations Coordinators at Promise54 play an integral, blended role that combines both operational and administrative contributions to the team and to client projects. This particular opening is an opportunity to work directly with our close-knit and highly dedicated Executive Search team. As such, candidates must have experience that prepares them to assume the following responsibilities:
helping to build and maintain Promise54’s proprietary candidate database through targeted research, outreach, and ongoing relationship management;
drafting and editing position descriptions, client proposals and other client-facing reports and materials, and managing job postings;
fielding requests of the practice for informational interviews by job seekers;
assessing candidates for skills and fit through initial resume reviews;
assisting in developing recruiting plans and candidate name-generation for client projects through research and talent mapping in the field in order to develop exceptional and inclusive candidate pools;
managing the Partners’ calendars, arranging travel, preparing and reconciling expense reports;
providing occasional support on organizational-wide operations; and
maintaining an active sense of talent trends in the national PreK-12 education community.
First and foremost, the Operations Coordinator must share Promise54’s conviction that organizations will best maximize their impact and truly thrive when their teams are diverse, their cultures are inclusive, and their practices model the equity they wish to see in the world. Further, we are a nimble and virtual organization by design, so that our teammates can work where they have built their lives. As such, Promise54 is a strong fit for professionals with a proven ability to work independently and virtually.
In addition, the best candidates will have:
at least 5 years of experience supporting senior managers;
experience creating (and/or improving) internal systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness;
strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
the ability to deliver timely, relevant information in a clear and concise manner;
the ability to build and maintain relationships;
a high level of integrity, trust, and accountability;
sound discernment and judgment, particularly related to confidential information;
proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and, ideally, Salesforce;
the ability and willingness to travel domestically 5-10 times/year, for 1-3 day trips; and
an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree.
The Operations Coordinator will report directly to Leslie Nair, Partner.
As a virtual organization, Promise54 has systems in place to support excellent professionals wherever they are based. We currently have teammates in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Denver, and Boston.
Promise54 provides competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package including a bonus based on individual and organizational success, full health care coverage, and access to 401(k) accounts with a matching contribution policy.
As soon as possible.
The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position(s) is filled, although submission by October 31st is strongly encouraged. Inquiries or applications (consisting of a letter of interest and a current resume) should be directed to Monisha Lozier, Partner: [email protected].
Finally, Promise54 is deeply committed to providing equal opportunities. We serve diverse organizations, we are a diverse organization, and we are committed to non-discrimination. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are treated equally without regard to age, color, ability, gender, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, expression, gender identity or veteran’s status.