Our Commitment to Diversity


We reject hate, racism, and bigotry.  Social and economic justice, diversity, and inclusion are in the DNA of Community Rowing.  We are actively pursuing divestment from inequality and embrace the challenge of speaking, living, and dreaming of ways we can reflect the best in our nature and hearts.  

Racism, sexism, and bigotry are not “out there” while we are “in here”.  They are in the streets, in our schools, on TV, in the news, and embedded in “other” organizations and places.  They are “in here”, too, among us.  There is ongoing fluidity between racial strife and injustice and the ease with which it can be carried to CRI.  What happens “out there” affects us deeply and personally “in here” daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.  We will keep working and sharing our commitment to break through injustice and the loss that we all suffer when people are diminished, dehumanized, and excluded because of their skin color, identity, experience, background, or ability. 

The CRI leadership team and Board of Directors remain committed to embracing a more diverse and inclusive community at CRI. While many of our efforts have been underway for some time, their importance and the increased sense of urgency within the scope of economic, social and racial justice has led us to communicate more broadly.   Below is a summary of work that began in late 2018 and continues today.

Quarterly Updates

This section will be updated seasonally, generally around the end of March, May, August, and November each year, as we learn and assess change in our organization.

Structures for Change

We are working to enhance our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across CRI –– from supporting and amplifying our allies, to shaping CRI around the strengths of our diverse community, to hiring and retention practices. This work requires ongoing dialogue, internal reflection and acceptance of the discomfort that comes with continuous and ongoing change.  And, we strongly believe that it is the right thing to do for CRI and for the community we serve. 

In September 2019, the Board of Directors began evaluation of CRI's mission, values and strategic priorities.  This effort included external consulting support and creation of a sub-committee to begin the process to change CRI.  Progress on this effort, and our four pillars model, began with a series of Board discussions and retreats conducted at the end of 2019 and concluded just a few days prior to the start of the COVID crisis in early March of 2020 - subsequent time and attention of the board focused on CRI's response to the COVID crisis and delayed slightly the approval of the final work on this plan.  However dialogue and planning among the board and senior leadership team continued throughout the summer of 2020.

In August 2020, we rolled out the architecture for the approach to creating a more diverse, inclusive CRI and identified three primary areas of focus—Allyship, Our Connection to our Community, and Diversifying CRI. Each of these areas contains opportunities to learn, improve and serve. Click here for a pdf of the table below, which outlines the structure of how we will organize and address our efforts. (This like many of our documents is a "living" document that changes regularly and will evolve as we do—we will make effort to share the most updated version of this model regularly.)

In November 2020, the Board unanimously approved CRI's strategic plan. The Four Pillars of CRI's strategic plan include:

  • Increase Diversity, Champion Equity and Nurture Inclusivity
  • Deepen Local Community Engagement 
  • Strengthen Employee Engagement & Operational Health
  • Build Financial Resilience

Click here to view the strategic plan.

In April 2021, CRI concluded a reorganization of our programmatic and leadership structure that reflects our commitment to reducing programmatic and leadership barriers. To that end, we’ve created a new reporting and programmatic structure that eliminates leadership and management silos and more expressly includes all programs under greater functional support. Click here to view our revised organizational structure.  Throughout the summer of 2021 and into the fall, CRI initiated the reorganization and focused our efforts there.   Further updates are highlighted above.