Over the next six months, leaders in the National FFA Organization will work as part of the Advancing Racial Equity Community of Practice, which aims to strengthen approaches in the nonprofit sector for advancing racial equity internally and externally. The effort is funded by the Walmart Foundation and is led by The Bridgespan Group, a Boston-based organization that provides management consulting to nonprofits and philanthropists.
“We believe FFA and agricultural education is a place for all,” said Scott Stump, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “By partnering with other nonprofits through this initiative, we can expand our capacity to seek and promote inclusion and diversity in our membership, leadership, and staff to reflect the belief of the FFA in the value of all human beings.”
The National FFA Organization’s inclusion in this initiative comes less than a year after FFA — through it’s national foundation — created a grant to help preserve the history of New Farmers of America, a minority-centric ag youth organization that merged into the National FFA Organization in 1965. That grant aims to digitize an estimated 150,000 pieces of memorabilia from NFA and offer online access to the materials so students, scholars, and the public can learn more about an organization that played a vital role during segregation.
In addition to FFA’s participation, the Advancing Racial Equity Community of Practice includes nine other organizations: American Red Cross, Center for the Future of Arizona, Education Design Lab, Goodwill Industries International, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Team Rubicon, The Recycling Partnership, Winrock International, and World Wildlife Fund. The Walmart Foundation’s funding is intended to assist in supporting the National FFA Organization to collaborate with others to share best practices and learnings on their work to prioritize equity.
“We can make a greater impact when we come together to support each other’s journeys to advance racial equity,” said Kirstie Sims, Senior Director, Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. “We heard from many nonprofit organizations we work with, at varying sizes and points in their racial equity journey, that they wanted to learn and share best practices, knowledge and challenges with others. The Bridgespan Group’s leadership of the Advancing Racial Equity Community of Practice provides that space.”