Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
At Project ECHO, our mission is to empower students with entrepreneurial and leadership skills so that they can thrive in college, their careers and in their community as change-makers. We accomplish this goal through activity-based, hands-on programs that impact the direction of student’s lives through mentorship, friendship and business plan competitions. We believe that DEI is not only an integral part of our mission but also a fundamental aspect of creating a more vibrant and equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem for all young learners.
Diversity: We embrace diversity in all its forms, recognizing that our strength lies in the unique backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of our students, educators, volunteers, and partners. We are committed to fostering an environment that values and celebrates diversity and ensures that it is reflected in all aspects of our programs.
Equity: We are dedicated to providing equitable access to entrepreneurial education opportunities for all students, regardless of their background or circumstances. We actively work to remove barriers that hinder access to our programs and resources, striving for fairness and inclusion in every aspect of our work.
Inclusion: Inclusion is at the heart of our educational philosophy. We believe that every student has the right to feel respected, valued, and heard. We create a learning environment where all voices are welcomed, where diverse perspectives are cherished, and where students can thrive as they explore their entrepreneurial potential.
Curriculum and Content: We design our curriculum and teaching materials to be inclusive and representative of diverse cultures, experiences, and perspectives. Our aim is to inspire all students and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed.
Access and Outreach: We actively seek to engage with underserved communities, schools, and students, ensuring that our programs reach those who may face additional challenges in accessing entrepreneurial education. We are committed to tailoring our outreach efforts to meet the unique needs of these communities.
Safe and Inclusive Spaces: We create safe and inclusive learning spaces where students can express themselves without fear of discrimination or bias. We have zero tolerance for any form of discrimination, harassment, or exclusion within our organization.
Professional Development: We invest in the ongoing education and training of our educators and volunteers to ensure that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to create inclusive and equitable learning environments.
Feedback and Accountability: We actively seek feedback from students, educators, and partners to continuously improve our DEI efforts. We hold ourselves accountable for progress and are committed to transparency in our DEI initiatives.
Project ECHO is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our Board, staff, and programs. We recognize that our work has a profound impact on the lives and futures of these students and that promoting diversity and equity is essential to achieving our mission. By embracing DEI principles, we aim to empower every student, regardless of their background, to explore their entrepreneurial potential and contribute to a more inclusive and innovative future. Together, we can nurture the entrepreneurs of tomorrow while building a more equitable society.