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Community Agreements National Equity Project

Community agreements are a powerful tool for promoting fairness, inclusivity, and equity in any organization or community. The National Equity Project, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California, has developed a set of community agreements that can help individuals and groups work together more effectively and equitably.

What are community agreements?

Community agreements are a set of shared expectations and commitments that members of a group agree to uphold. These agreements can help establish a foundation of trust and respect among individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. They can also provide a framework for addressing conflicts and promoting accountability.

The National Equity Project has identified six community agreements that can help promote equity and inclusivity in organizations and communities:

1. Assume good intent: This agreement encourages individuals to assume that others have good intentions and are working towards a common goal, even if they may disagree on some issues.

2. Be present and engaged: This agreement emphasizes the importance of being fully present and engaged in group discussions and activities, and avoiding distractions or multitasking.

3. Speak your truth, listen actively: This agreement encourages individuals to speak their truth and share their perspectives, while also actively listening to and respecting the perspectives of others.

4. Accept and expect discomfort: This agreement acknowledges that conversations around equity and inclusivity can be uncomfortable, but encourages individuals to embrace this discomfort as a necessary part of growth and learning.

5. Commit to learning: This agreement emphasizes the importance of ongoing learning and growth around equity and inclusivity, and encourages individuals to seek out opportunities to deepen their understanding.

6. Lean into community: This agreement underscores the importance of building strong, supportive relationships within a community or organization, and committing to collective action towards shared goals.

How can community agreements promote equity?

Community agreements can promote equity in a variety of ways. They can help establish a culture of inclusion and respect, while also promoting accountability for behaviors or actions that may perpetuate inequities. Community agreements can also help ensure that all voices are heard and valued, even those that may be traditionally marginalized or overlooked.

By agreeing to a set of community agreements, individuals and groups can also commit to ongoing reflection and growth around issues of equity and inclusivity. This can help build a stronger, more equitable community or organization over time.

In conclusion, community agreements developed by the National Equity Project can be an effective tool for promoting equity and inclusivity in organizations and communities. By committing to a shared set of expectations and behaviors, individuals and groups can establish a foundation for trust, respect, and collective action towards shared goals.

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