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Commitment to Equity

 

WolfBrown's approach to research and consulting is rooted in our beliefs about the value of diversity and the conviction that we, as a team, must embody the principles that we espouse. Thus, we embark on each project as a true thought partnership with the client and other individuals with valuable and diverse perspectives on the subject matter.

 

In particular, we believe that equity cannot just be a perspective that one team member brings to the table or a “lens” that can be applied when convenient. Rather, equity is always a spot on the horizon we strive towards, one that informs our continual questioning of whose voices are being heard and whose aren’t—both within our team and in the community—and what systemic forces are leading to the outcomes we are seeing.

 

As researchers, WolfBrown team members are committed to methodological rigor and also to intellectual honesty regarding the limitations of our data sources and analysis. We are also well aware that in complex and shifting environments such as the arts and culture sector, even the most carefully planned and executed research methodologies may need to be adapted or even abandoned altogether as new information arises. In particular, when voices that have previously been marginalized are invited to the table, we are prepared to be responsive as new lines of inquiry emerge.

 

In approaching new communities, we are keenly aware of the privileged position we are claiming in asking for their cooperation, and keenly aware of the asymmetrical power dynamics between grantees and funders and between grantees and evaluators. While it is impossible to develop sufficient cultural knowledge and linguistic skills to approach everyone with the cultural competence we might strive for, we can, at a minimum, show enough humility to approach our informants as open, honest, and grateful learners. We make accommodations to ensure that participation is as meaningful, respectful, and easy as possible.

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