Thank you and Big Changes at InclusionVentures - announcement sent to our network July 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am sending you this note to update you on changes with InclusionVentures, to share next steps for me and the team, and to provide information on how you can continue to advance your DEI work.

Summary: After six years of impact, InclusionVentures is winding down our current engagements, bringing our work to a close, and referring out new business. We are grateful for your work and commitment to advancing DEI and antiracism. I will be working in a new capacity (info coming soon) to continue to advance DEI. As such, I’m shifting our focus to referring you and your company to amazing consultants. See below for more information on this trajectory, for how to get our highest recommendations for other consulting partners, and for joining us in our continued commitment to Black Lives Matter. Thank you for supporting InclusionVentures and for your work all these years.

What?! You’re winding down NOW? Tell me more!

I have been pursuing diversity, equity, and inclusion work in various forms for 30 years. Informed by continued deep learning and experiences, my theory of change has evolved every 5-10 years. In February, I realized that it was time to step away as CEO to explore disrupting harmful systemic inequities at a greater scale and more quickly. As such, I have spent the past several months exploring many options (e.g., employees take over the company, merger or acquisition with a values-aligned company) for the future of InclusionVentures to ensure our impact can continue in a way that makes sense for our clients and community. Largely given the timing of COVID-19 and other variables, the best option for us was to wind down and bring our current engagements to a close in August, and to refer any new work to our experienced and incredible peers in the space.

Since making that decision, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many other innocent Black people were murdered, and the need for this work has become even more apparent. We dug deep to figure out whether to change course and ramp up our services once again; ultimately, we referred (and continue to refer) all inquiries and opportunities mostly to Black- and Brown-owned businesses.

Thank you

Our team is proud of and thankful for the opportunity to learn and work alongside you - the inspiring people who are behind the 115 organizations in philanthropy, technology, and influential brands we have collaborated within these six years. Thank you for doing the hard and necessary work of grappling, committing, learning, and making change.

I also want to thank our incredible team members (past and current), advisors, consultants, cheerleaders, critics, and collaborators. Your contributions have helped to grow our impact, and helped to hold us accountable for the change we wish to see in the world. The work is far from done, and we are not done doing the work; team members will just be pursuing it differently.

Call to action

1. Lead from where you are. Wherever you are in your diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism journey, double down. How you champion and lead for inclusion and equity will look different depending on your identities, your position within your organization, and your fluency with DEI. Lead in a way that is authentic for you.

2. Join us in ensuring that Black Lives Matter. We stand with the protesters and all those working to dismantle systems of injustice. Continuing our tradition of staff-nominated organizations to support, we donated to: The Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund (for Black women and girls) and For the Gworls (rent and gender-affirming surgery fund for Black trans women). Please consider donating to organizations working toward racial equity.

3. Get our strongest recommendations for DEI and antiracist consultants. Email us at hello (at) inclusionVentures (dot) com and share what you’re looking for (e.g., executive alignment, coaching, workshops, audits, and policy review, coaching for white leaders), and we’ll send you our highest recommendations, especially for Black- and Brown-owned businesses. I’d love to help you find the right person.

Moving forward

I look forward to sharing my next steps in the coming months. Please stay in touch: Amy via LinkedIn and please feel free to reach out to our exceptional team members like Dr. Obi Amachi via LinkedIn for new opportunities.

With deep gratitude,
Amy Lazarus