Our mission is to empower the creation of environments where diﬀerences are recognized, understood, appreciated, and utilized for the beneﬁt of all through both time-tested and innovative training and tools, public advocacy, and consulting models addressing the personal, interpersonal, cultural, and institutional levels.
We have been certified a Minority-controlled Nonprofit by the Massachusetts State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Assistance (SOMWBA).
Our Founding Principles
The spirit of reciprocity is a time-honored tradition in African-centered cultures and organizations. This spirit forms the fabric of who we are as an organization and is essential to what we do and how we do it. We recognize that our consultants bring skills and abilities learned prior to, and concurrent with, their own experiences in VISIONS. As an organization, we collectively beneﬁt from the skills, abilities, and self-development processes of the consultants. The power of VISIONS is derived from our relationships with one another and the mutual support these relationships provide.
It started with a question…
In 1984, the founders of VISIONS—three black women who grew up in legalized segregation and a white Jewish man who grew up in the civil rights movement—brought together change agents in the fields of education, law, psychology, public health, business and religion, all of whom were asking the question, “How do we include people who have been historically excluded from white, mostly male institutions?”The challenge was to understand and pioneer ways that everyone could prosper. Following the first wave of affirmative action in the U.S., the common practice had been to add more diversity without paying attention to how to best prepare the workplace, community, or church for success. Organizations failed to recognize the elements that needed to change to ensure that those being brought in would stay and thrive.
Our Core Values
Strategic Plan 2020 - 2024
Our Vision for our Organization
We envision a future where VISIONS is known globally for our expertise, skills, and talents, where we: Are viewed as authorities and experts in this work. Are equitable and transparent in all that we do. Operate in a manner that is sustainable, financially successful, and able to invest as needed in critical functions and supports. Ensure continuous excellence of consultants, staff, and board members. Achieve impact at the policy and systems levels through collaboration with policy groups that are primarily focused on advocacy.
Our Vision for our Community
We envision a more equitable world where:
Differences are valued and used for the benefit of all. Where is a common awareness of and language for addressing issues of difference among all sectors. Communities listen more, always seek to understand each other first, grow in their curiosity of each other's perspective, and accept that multiple perspectives are the pathway towards equity and liberation. Our justice, health care, education, and other systems are more equitable.
Intersectionality is recognized, understood, and acted upon.
Goals and Strategies
Evolve our portfolio to meeting community needs and the development of the next generation of DEI leaders by:
- Creating a full, robust menu of VISIONS' offerings
- Expanding our offerings to include a focus on youth, law enforcement and criminal justice
- Becoming a certification and education resource for trainers
Establish an overall and integrated marketing, fundraising, and partnership strategy to enhance and strengthen VISIONS’ reach and impact by:
- Establishing an overall and integrated marketing, fundraising, and partnership strategy to enhance and strengthen VISIONS' reach and impact
- Establishing a fund development strategy
- Developing signature partnerships that advance the work, brand, and impact of VISIONS
- Developing the capacity to advocate and address policy issues as extension of consulting work
Strengthen VISIONS' internal capacity to support, sustain and expand services by:
- Investing in and improving organizational infrastructure and work processes/systems
- Establishing quality improvement capacity to assess and measure the impact of the work
- Further developing and formalizing the learning agenda for VISIONS' consultants
- Developing an organizational culture that recognizes our history and enables our future
Position the Board of Directors to best support and advance the work of VISIONS by:
- Reviewing and updating our board structure
- Updating and clarifying board roles and expectations
- Continuing intentional board development