CCI’s values ground our work and shape our collaboration with our partners and program participants, in the community investment field and in low-income communities and communities of color across the U.S. Our five fundamental values are racial equity, diversity, compassion, balancing urgency and rigor, and learning. Because these values embody both vision and practice, we have built them out with specific actions for which we hold ourselves accountable.
1. Racial equity is the compass that guides everything we do.
- We base our work in our understanding that advancing racial equity is a complex and never-ending endeavor, especially in the current political and social environment in the United States, and that equity is not the same thing as equality.
- We push ourselves to understand the history and ongoing legacy of racism and to interrogate our own biases and the need to shift inequitable power structures.
- We actively bring those who are the most affected by inequities to the forefront, while simultaneously engaging groups that hold institutional power to raise understanding about racial equity and accountability.
- We identify and promote best practices for advancing racial equity and build resources to enable local strategies and initiatives to have greater racial equity impacts.
2. We embrace and amplify diverse perspectives, expertise, and voices.
- We collaborate internally and externally, engaging diverse voices and incorporating the perspectives of those most affected by inequities.
- We support local community leaders by highlighting, elevating, and energizing their work.
- We foster a culture where people feel heard and their ideas are respected.
3. We invest in people and keep sight of our shared humanity.
- We hold ourselves, each other, and our external partners with compassion.
- We express appreciation for all contributions, no matter how big or small.
- We affirm and lift up all identities and encourage our staff and partners to bring their full selves to their work.
- We invest in our staff’s professional and personal development.
- We recognize the importance of our health and promote self-care practices.
4. We recognize the urgency of our task and the need for deep, specific results to accomplish it.
- We identify the results we seek, use criteria to hold ourselves accountable, and plan our work to achieve them.
- We are adaptive and nimble.
- We strike a purposeful balance between speed and rigor, recognizing that the two are not mutually exclusive, but at times one must be the priority.
5. We rely on learning and reflection to live our values and achieve our goals.
- We hold experts in equal measure, welcoming contributions from all personal, educational, and professional backgrounds.
- We make our thinking visible: We express both the “what” and the “why” of our ideas.
- We challenge our assumptions and encourage our partners to do the same.
- We share our learnings with each other and with our partners.