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.

Founding Director Valerie Batts, VP, Training and Development, ​ on VISIONS’ humble beginnings and powerful impact.

Co-Founder Angela Bryant shares her experience of VISIONS’ history.

Co-Founder John Capitman shares his experience of VISIONS’ history.

Our Core Values


We are committed to fundamental fairness and justice for all individuals and reflect these principles in our actions and interactions with others.


We welcome and embrace differences. We seek to include people and perspectives that might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.


We are trustworthy, honest, and transparent in what we say and what we do.


We strive to create community in our work and conduct ourselves with empathy where we seek to understand and accept others.


We acknowledge and recognize the unique perspectives, lived experiences, and beliefs of those with whom we work and support.

The Legacy Project onstage after their show.
The Legacy Project onstage after their show.

Working with the next generation…

In 2003, in collaboration with W.K. Kellogg Foundation, VISIONS began to actively look at how these issues are the same and different for young people, and developed a version of our model geared toward those ages 15 to 30. Our engagement with this age group, including developing a cadre of youth consultants, has allowed us to stay fresh in our thinking and our perspectives and join with youth to continue our work to increase opportunity and equity for all people.

Youth can play vital roles in creating positive social change in their communities.Since 2003, VISIONS has been cultivating the voices and leadership potential of young people through our Youth Empowerment Workshops and The Legacy Project.

VISIONS FY 2020 Activity Report