The Wise Fool Board of Directors is doing something radical: working to dismantle racist structures from the inside out.
Wise Fool’s roots are as a street theatre collective, and its mission is rooted in social justice. But as organizations “grow up”, they face many structural pressures to operate within the dominant American culture that perpetuates inequity. We are pushing back against these pressures because we want to ensure that our ways of working together are true to our mission, and we want our board to build diverse community just as much as our programs do.
At its start, Wise Fool’s Board was a reflection of its social justice mission–centering voices of women, indigenous, and queer people. The current board is determined to rebuild this diversity by including an equal number of POC voices as we grow. Statistics gathered by BoardSource show us that diversity percentages in US boards haven’t changed in over two decades: boards were 86% white in 1994 and 84% white in 2016. These statistics are appalling and addressing board diversity is a critical issue that Wise Fool takes seriously.
Last October, our board members participated in a retreat on Dismantling White Supremacy Culture to look at racial justice within the structural makeup of the organization. We are defining ways to become more aware, accessible, and create a more welcoming space for anyone who would be interested in serving as a board member. We are dedicating every other board meeting to addressing racial justice within the organization and are looking to the broader community in order to identify POC stakeholders and accountability partners who will guide and/or join us on this path.
The Board of Wise Fool has a challenging journey ahead. We know that by keeping our minds and hearts open with continued training, education, dialogue and our commitment to serve our community, we will grow and succeed. As a Board of Directors, we seek to be rooted in social justice, and as diverse as the community that Wise Fool serves.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the Board of Directors of Wise Fool New Mexico, or supporting us on this journey, please contact Wise Fool at firstname.lastname@example.org