Commitments to Equity

These are intended to reflect areas where we, as an entire project team, actively commit to promoting equity in the Catalyzing Communities project.

They are not intended to be exhaustive or static, and we invite our partners to hold us accountable to these intentions in our work together. 


We commit to building trust with community partners, honoring community experience and expertise, and providing equitable opportunities for building capacity and networks.

Ways we act on this include active, responsive, and compassionate listening; learning about and being responsive to social, cultural, and historic context within our partner communities; creating opportunities for community partners to take on leadership roles within the project; convening a learning collaborative to connect partners


We commit to centering, uplifting, and being responsive to the perspectives of our community partners and those who live and work in, and are knowledgeable about, their communities.

Ways we act on this include using research methods that are community-based and participatory; addressing barriers to project participation by providing support for things like transportation and childcare; distributing research-related payments in a timely fashion

Communication Practices

We commit to using accessible, respectful, and inclusive language.

Ways we act on this include using clear and concise language; seeking guidance from partners on context-appropriate terms


We commit to elevating the work of partners and amplifying the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and other scholars who have been historically excluded in research and academia.

Ways we act on this include citing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) scholars; inviting community research partners to be co-authors on peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations; providing support to community partners when they take the lead presenting this work at conferences, meetings, and in other venues


We commit to sharing results of our research in ways that are appropriate and responsive to community needs and intended audiences.

Ways we act on this include working with partners to decide when and how project data will be shared back; facilitating connections to promote shared learning and reflection; creating communication materials, in collaboration with community partners, that are designed to meet community needs and center community voice; building open-access fees into project budgets so we can freely share peer-reviewed articles with project findings


We commit to open communication about our project timelines and capacity, and to building community capabilities to extend impact beyond a single project cycle.

Ways we act on this include having upfront discussions with partners about our project timelines and the amount of financial support we can offer; introducing tools, providing technical assistance, and sharing opportunities for continued development outside our work; sharing related grant opportunities and supporting with applications to help sustain work

Intervention design, implementation, and impact

We commit to supporting community partners in prioritizing and implementing actions and strategies that will have an equitable impact in communities.

Ways we act on this include providing technical assistance to help communities to set and measure goals; considering cultural relevance and community capacity when identifying actions; prioritizing policy, systems, and environmental change strategies that are likely to promote equitable outcomes; supporting partners as they apply for funding to initiate and sustain community-based change

Data collection and evaluation

We commit to being responsive to our community partners when developing data collection tools and to continually supporting them throughout the implementation and evaluation process

Ways we act on this include considering adaptations for surveys to reflect community partner feedback; working with community partners to identify local data sources and partnerships; providing technical assistance to help evaluate their action ideas

Organizational Learning

We commit to regularly reviewing our practices to identify opportunities to strengthen and improve our actions, building diversity within our internal team, and monitoring our progress toward equity-related goals

Ways we act on this include having honest conversations; building time into internal meeting agendas to discuss our practices;  reflecting on our personal identities as a team and how they relate to the work; using positionality statements in presentations; attending trainings; hiring all staff in accordance with the Tufts University’s Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination policy; partnering with researchers and advisors with diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and expertise


We commit to being open and receptive to feedback from those who hold us accountable to these commitments

Ways we act on this include fostering trust with communities; regularly eliciting feedback from our partners during meetings and in follow-up communication; building in time to internal meetings to thoughtfully respond to and evolve our practices