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Director of Equity and Inclusion

Non Profit Organization

This is a Full-time position in Richmond, VA posted November 21, 2021.

Higher Achievement, a nationally acclaimed nonprofit organization working to close the opportunity gap during the pivotal middle school years seeks our first Director of Equity and Inclusion (Dr.


Building upon ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion work* which has been underway for the last year through the efforts of a staff led council (DEIC) and an outside consultant, the Director of Equity and Inclusion will assume full leadership of this work and create the environment, practices and policies to embed it into the operations and culture of the organization—from staff hiring, to scholar programming to volunteer training.

Reporting to the COO, the Director will serve as a member of Higher Achievement’s leadership team and is expected to work closely with the Director of Human Resources and Employee Engagement and the DEIC.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for someone to build upon existing commitment—at the staff and board level, and some existing practices (see more detail below) and apply their leadership by first helping us prioritize the next phase of the work based on where we are.

The Dir.

DEI will work with staff and other stakeholders to create and implement the strategies, practices, and resources to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are successfully integrated into all aspects of the organization including leadership; scholar programming; staff management and policies; external messaging; and organization culture.

Our Mission:

By leveraging the power of communities, Higher Achievement’s proven academic model provides a rigorous year-round learning environment, caring role models, and a culture of high expectations, resulting in college-bound scholars with the character, confidence, and skills to succeed.

Higher Achievement’s model delivers academic enrichment grounded in social justice principles.

Our afterschool program for 5th-8th grade scholars combines small-group, high-impact tutoring with social-emotional skill building, culminating in placement in college preparatory high schools.

The Organization:

Founded in 1975 in Washington, DC as a grassroots effort to create learning opportunities for children in low-income neighborhoods, Higher Achievement has impacted the lives of more than 10,000 young people and currently operates achievement centers in Washington, DC, Alexandria, VA, Baltimore, MD, Richmond, VA, and Prince George’s County, MD.

Higher Achievement’s award-winning model of rigorous academic mentoring, individualization of services, and comprehensive academic support is guided by leading research for effective out-of-school time programs, and the organization has undergone rigorous third party evaluation as well – helping shape the broader field.

More information about Higher Achievement may be found at:  

*Summary of Work to Date: The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Council (DEIC), formerly Racial Equity Leadership Council (RELC), was created in summer 2020.

One member of each organizational department along with one member of every city affiliate; Baltimore, DC Metro and Richmond, nominated a peer to join Higher Achievement’s inaugural Racial Equity Leadership Council (RELC).

RELC members started their commitment by hiring an external racial equity consultant in December 2020 to guide and support the work.

RELC members have worked with the consultant and on projects to advance equity organization-wide over the course of the year.

They have facilitated an equity audit of an external event hosted by the Development Team.

They have reviewed volunteer training materials and provided feedback to the Program Department to ensure our mentors, tutors, and part-time staff are all trained in equity and cultural humility to support our scholars and families.

They have created an equity concern form in collaboration with the Human Capital team to give all staff a platform to share any inequities they experience day-to-day at Higher Achievement, and to provide a forum for restorative conversations.

Equity Consultancy.

In FY21, the organization set aside funding to hire an equity consultant to guide us in our equity work.

Our consultant has provided support to the DEIC, facilitated all-staff workshops to promote learning on Systemic Racism, Cultural Competency, White Supremacy Culture, and Liberatory Design.

The consultant has conducted two rounds of one-on-one conversations with every staff member over the course of the year to understand staff experiences and has presented the organization with specific areas of “buckets” of work to tackle as an organization.

Currently, the organization has addressed the first area of work, which was rewriting our Core Values to reflect the organization we strive to be.

Our new Core Values include Scholar Centricity, Racial Equity, Voice and Inclusion, Power of Community, and Striving for Greatness.

Higher Achievement aims to be an anti-racist and inclusive organization where we aggressively work to improve equity and inclusion in all aspects of our organizational culture and operations.

The DEIC envisions a future culture where all staff feel valued, heard, like they’re growing and developing and where they can bring their whole selves to work.

Role Responsibilities: 

• The Director will be a highly-skilled communicator and be able to build relationships across the entire organization at all levels and across all roles.

Through the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion, they will evaluate everything the organization does
– policies, curriculum, organizational culture, systems and structures, and language.

They will approach the work from an asset
– based orientation, and model DEI in the way the work is led.

• Help identify and address instances, patterns, practices, and policies of systemic and institutional racism at Higher Achievement

• Promote staff understanding of, and investment in, equity principles, including creation and delivery of relevant trainings and tools (to staff, volunteers, board)

• Engage the DEIC, utilizing DEIC members as partners for diverse org-wide input and support

• Support department heads and teams to center racial equity and inclusion in annual and long-term goals

• Coach all managers to be more inclusive and effective managers and leaders by helping them uncover blind spots and biases and building new paradigms with equity at the center

• Serve as internal expert in racially equitable organizational development

• Manage data, both qualitative and quantitative, to track equity and inclusion, including working with Human Resources to review and plan to organization-wide staff engagement work

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.

The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Commitment to the mission and work of Higher Achievement

• Minimum of 10 years of professional experience

• Deep knowledge and formal training in equity and inclusion

• Minimum of 3-5 years of related experience working to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, especially racial equity.

Related experience can include working to advance equity and inclusion in human resources, education, or non-profit work.

• Experience training others in equity and inclusion principles

• Experience using data (qualitative and quantitative) to develop strategies and evaluate success

• Strong skills in planning, organizing, attention to detail, written and oral communication strongly preferred

• Leadership experience, especially at a mission-focused non-profit organization preferred

• Fluent with online tools including Microsoft Office Suite and Zoom required

Compensation and Benefits: The salary range for this regular, full-time, non-exempt position is in the low 100s, based on relevant experience.

Higher Achievement offers competitive benefits, including: company-paid insurance (medical, dental, vision, life, and long and short-term disability insurance); twelve paid holidays; five weeks paid time off; retirement plan with company match.

Physical Requirements and Work Environment: Work is regularly performed in an office environment.

Employee may spend long periods of time sitting, standing, and walking.

Must be able to walk from one part of the worksite to another and climb stairs.

Employee regularly lifts, carries, and positions objects weighting up to 20 pounds.

Position involves regular use of a computer and keyboard, telephone, and face-to-face communication in small and large group settings with adults; employee must be able to communicate clearly and professionally in all of these situations.

Employee must have visual, auditory, and physical ability to respond quickly to critical incidents involving students and act in an emergency situation.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Location: This position can be based out of any of our city locations: Washington DC Metro Area, Baltimore, MD Metro Area and Richmond, VA Metro Area.

Covid-19 Update:

As of November 2021, Higher Achievement remains a mostly virtual work environment outside of offering our in-person school based programming.

Once our offices are able to more fully re-open, all staff will be able to work within a hybrid arrangement with in-person time focused on mission critical activities and relationship building rather than an expected amount of time in the office.

At that time, this position will be expected to spend some in-person time at all Higher Achievement offices, and particularly during their onboarding period, at our centers to see our scholars and programming in action.

This will primarily consist of day travel.

Covid-19 vaccination is required for all Higher Achievement employees.