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.
Promise54 was formed in fall 2017 by Xiomara Padamsee, Monisha Lozier, and team members from Bellwether Education Partners’ former Talent Advising practice to enable organizations to deliver on the promise implied in the Supreme Court’s 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. Promise54 helps adults to thrive so that they can do their best work for students.
With our vision and mission held closely, we are a small but strong and growing team of nearly 20 passionate and experienced consultants. We work to ensure our clients have the systems, culture, capacity and talent to cultivate diverse teams of leaders who can transform the lives of students. The focus of our partnerships balances investments in people and the organizational systems around them, spanning topics such as recruitment systems, competency modeling, diversity, equity and inclusion, compensation, performance management, change management, board development, management capacity building / leadership development, and more. We conduct all of our work with a particular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, 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.
Our aim is to shape the field’s understanding of what it means to build an organization where talent can truly thrive so that these organizations generate unprecedented results for children. In that spirit, we have committed to specific goals by 2023: first, we envision shifting the conversation with 1000 education organization leaders about the role of talent health in achieving strong outcomes with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); 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: to the education field, to organizations, and to teams and individuals.
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 practices 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 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. Candidates must have experience that prepares them to assume the following responsibilities :
Organizing calendars for up to four Leadership team members, including the efficient scheduling of internal and external meetings, often involving multiple stakeholders with limited availability; arranging extensive domestic travel; and preparing, reconciling and submitting expense reports
Supporting Leadership team members’ business development efforts through data management within Salesforce and Google Drive
Providing operational support for Promise54’s internal hiring efforts, including managing the application process and communicating with potential candidates; scheduling and coordinating interviews; maintaining Promise54’s internal candidate database and supporting the new hire onboarding process
Event Planning & Coordination
Helping with the planning and execution of team retreats and other in-person team building events, including but not limited to: developing event timeline and managing operational/logistical functions (i.e., mailings, contracts, menus, etc.)
serving as the primary contact for and negotiating contracts with hotels/venues, caterers, vendors, etc.; coordinating ground transportation
General Operations Support
Providing operational support for client-facing projects and engagements, as needed
Supporting the Chief Operating Officer and Operations Manager, as needed, on operations-related tasks
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 and/or senior project management and confidence in high-level interactions with senior leadership;
Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
Demonstrable experience creating systems for improved efficiency and effectiveness;
The ability to deliver timely, relevant information in a clear and concise manner;
Proven ability to work independently and virtually in a fast-paced environment, meet multiple concurrent deadlines, organize time and priorities and work well as a member of a team;
The ability to learn quickly, be flexible, and take an optimistic approach to work;
Strong communications skills;
The ability to build and maintain relationships;
A tested and high level of integrity, trust, and accountability;
Sound discernment and judgment;
Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and, ideally, Salesforce;
The ability and willingness to travel domestically ~10 times/year, for 1-3 day trips; and
An Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree.
The Operations Coordinator will report directly to Latricia Barksdale, Chief Operating Officer.
As a virtual organization, Promise54 has systems in place to support excellent professionals wherever they are based. We currently have teammates in Atlanta, the Bay Area, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and the Washington DC area.
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 Monday, November 11th is strongly encouraged. Inquiries or applications ( consisting of a letter of interest and a current resume ) should be directed to Latricia Barksdale, Chief Operating Officer: [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.