Diversity Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Wily’s DEI and Anti-Racism Commitment

At the Wily Network our core values are what mobilize us toward achieving our mission in helping Wily scholars thrive in post-secondary school so that they can ultimately thrive independently. We are a listening and learning organization, which is one of the reasons we also internalize the fact that racism, white supremacy, and bias cause inequities for the BIPOC community and other underrepresented groups. We address this by staying aware of how the resulting disparities impact us and our community and taking action through advocacy, allyship, and anti-racism to ensure we’re making a positive impact on these communities internally and in the work we do. We do this by:

  • Being intentional about de-centering white supremacy and prioritizing the intellect, teachings and lived experiences of our employees and the communities we serve through our hiring process, coaching model and community partnerships, especially those from underrepresented groups.
  • Challenging our assumptions and continuously critiquing our work. This way, we’re making sure we’re staying focused on our mission and living our values.
  • Investing in continued anti-racism, equity and inclusion work and evaluating the diversity and the sense of belonging among the Wily Network stakeholders.
  • Practicing collective accountability by encouraging personal self-reflection and organizational evaluation, honoring our individual experiences and identities, and using our personal privileges to help others and benefit our personal relationships.

Growing through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2020, Wily embarked on a transformative process to build diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into the life of our organization. To lead us in this work, we engaged Kiera Penpeci, PsyD, an experienced DEI consultant who has worked with many organizations to build and sustain a culture of inclusion and anti-racism. Dr. Penpeci led trainings for the Board and staff and held focus groups with Scholars to gather their feedback and reflections on Wily programs and culture.

Why is DEI important for Wily?

The values and concepts of DEI relate directly to our mission. Integrating them enables us to better serve Wily Scholars and to build a community where everyone—Scholars, staff members, volunteers, and community partners—feels welcomed and valued.

 

“My hope for the future is that the Wily Network will become synonymous with anti-racism and inclusion, as an organization and as an employer, so that people from all walks of life will want to be a part of the pack.”

-Kiera Penpeci

PsyD, DEI consultant

Wily’s Black Scholars Affinity Group

Spearheaded by Wily Scholars in the spring of 2020, Wily’s Black Scholars Affinity Group was established to provide a safe space for students that identify as Black to freely and authentically engage in discussions regarding their experiences. Our hope is to share the highs and lows and build a support system that promotes empowerment and resiliency.

“I love Wily’s Black Affinity Group. It’s so much fun getting to talk to other people outside my daily scheduled interactions. Ana is so bright and bubbly naturally – it’s contagious. We can talk about anything, which allows us to laugh about the situations we go through and relate to one another. The group provides a break from my scheduled tasks and a space to relax, vent and be spontaneous.”

-Tikia

Wily Scholar, Boston College

“As a former Wily Network coach, I was eager to facilitate Wily’s Black Scholars Affinity Group. We must create safe spaces for Black students to breathe, thrive and freely engage in conversations about their experiences and address the complexities of racism, should they choose to. My goal for this group is for Black students to have a space to be their authentic selves, to feel seen, supported and celebrated.”

-Ana Ayobiojo

Black Affinity Group Facilitator and former Wily Scholar Coach

Wily’s DEI and Anti-Racism Commitment

At the Wily Network our core values are what mobilize us toward achieving our mission in helping Wily scholars thrive in post-secondary school so that they can ultimately thrive independently. We are a listening and learning organization, which is one of the reasons we also internalize the fact that racism, white supremacy, and bias cause inequities for the BIPOC community and other underrepresented groups. We address this by staying aware of how the resulting disparities impact us and our community and taking action through advocacy, allyship, and anti-racism to ensure we’re making a positive impact on these communities internally and in the work we do. We do this by:

  • Being intentional about de-centering white supremacy and prioritizing the intellect, teachings and lived experiences of our employees and the communities we serve through our hiring process, coaching model and community partnerships, especially those from underrepresented groups.
  • Challenging our assumptions and continuously critiquing our work. This way, we’re making sure we’re staying focused on our mission and living our values.
  • Investing in continued anti-racism, equity and inclusion work and evaluating the diversity and the sense of belonging among the Wily Network stakeholders.
  • Practicing collective accountability by encouraging personal self-reflection and organizational evaluation, honoring our individual experiences and identities, and using our personal privileges to help others and benefit our personal relationships.

Growing through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In 2020, Wily embarked on a transformative process to build diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) into the life of our organization. To lead us in this work, we engaged Kiera Penpeci, PsyD, an experienced DEI consultant who has worked with many organizations to build and sustain a culture of inclusion and anti-racism. Dr. Penpeci led trainings for the Board and staff and held focus groups with Scholars to gather their feedback and reflections on Wily programs and culture.

Why is DEI important for Wily?

The values and concepts of DEI relate directly to our mission. Integrating them enables us to better serve Wily Scholars and to build a community where everyone—Scholars, staff members, volunteers, and community partners—feels welcomed and valued.

 

“My hope for the future is that the Wily Network will become synonymous with anti-racism and inclusion, as an organization and as an employer, so that people from all walks of life will want to be a part of the pack.”

-Kiera Penpeci

PsyD, DEI consultant

Wily’s Black Scholars Affinity Group

Spearheaded by Wily Scholars in the spring of 2020, Wily’s Black Scholars Affinity Group was established to provide a safe space for students that identify as Black to freely and authentically engage in discussions regarding their experiences. Our hope is to share the highs and lows and build a support system that promotes empowerment and resiliency.

“I love Wily’s Black Affinity Group. It’s so much fun getting to talk to other people outside my daily scheduled interactions. Ana is so bright and bubbly naturally – it’s contagious. We can talk about anything, which allows us to laugh about the situations we go through and relate to one another. The group provides a break from my scheduled tasks and a space to relax, vent and be spontaneous.”

-Tikia

Wily Scholar, Boston College

“As a former Wily Network coach, I was eager to facilitate Wily’s Black Scholars Affinity Group. We must create safe spaces for Black students to breathe, thrive and freely engage in conversations about their experiences and address the complexities of racism, should they choose to. My goal for this group is for Black students to have a space to be their authentic selves, to feel seen, supported and celebrated.”

-Ana Ayobiojo

Black Affinity Group Facilitator and former Wily Scholar Coach

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