Equity & Justice

Moving forward together

At CSSP, we recognize the long and devastating history of racism and discrimination in our country. Despite advances in civil rights, public policies and institutions often reflect or repeat this history, contributing in large and small ways to perpetuating a system of unfair advantages for some and disadvantages for others.

For the past 15 years, CSSP has intensified our focus on racial equity, LGBTQ+ rights, and the rights of immigrants, including strengthening our organizational capacity around issues of racial equity and justice. We are committed to holding equity as a core value—a value which has kept us on an active journey towards becoming an anti-racist organization. That journey has required us to prioritize internal work to challenge our own implicit biases and to actively educate ourselves on what anti-racism requires of us as individuals and as an organization. This challenging internal work is mirrored in our external work, which includes resources, tailored technical assistance, and a variety of outreach efforts designed to share knowledge and build capacity throughout the country.

As we move forward on our journey, we continually recommit ourselves to challenging racist policies and practices, to closing equity gaps, and to naming and exposing the root causes of disparate outcomes for children and families. We promote an anti-racist intersectional frame—an action-oriented frame—that critiques society’s structures and its treatment of people and communities while providing a guiding approach for how to work towards a more just and equitable society. We work in partnership with communities and systems to ensure that equitable policies and practices are in place that allow full access to the opportunities and supports needed so all children, youth, and families can thrive.

We would love to work with you. Learn more about our journey towards becoming an anti-racist, equity-centered organization in our publication, Moving Forward Together or in this brief video:

To learn more about any of our work, or to schedule time for a conversation with someone at CSSP, please email us at equity@CSSP.org.

Since our founding in 1978, CSSP has focused on social justice issues and supported improvement and transformation efforts in many public systems, including income support, health care, child welfare, juvenile justice, education, housing, and early care and education. We collaborate with community leaders, advocates, parents, and young people who interact with these systems and, as a result, we have been able to positively influence new ideas, policies, strategies, interventions, and results. For the past 15 years, CSSP has intensified our focus on racial equity, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigration rights, including strengthening our organizational capacity around issues of racial equity and justice.

To achieve a just and equitable society, it is critical that we have a robust national conversation about equity and work together to change systems and policies for the better. We invite you to explore this section of our website to see some of the resources, technical assistance, and tools that we offer as well as to better understand our equity journey and how we work to apply an anti-racist intersectional frame to all that we do.

Want to learn more? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at equity@CSSP.org to schedule a time to speak with someone about our work.

The following interactive feature presents CSSP’s equity journey, internal progress towards better centering equity and anti-racism across all of our work, and plans for our future. Click through the presentation to see where where we are, where we’ve been, where we’re going, and we will move forward together to advance equity. Want to work together? Email us at equity@CSSP.org for more information.

Click on the image below to view this interactive presentation. Note: there is an accessible version of this presentation available via the menu; once the presentation opens in a new tab, click the menu bar on the top right-hand area of the screen to access this feature.


Our Work In The FieldCSSP works with a broad range of partners and on a variety of projects, including short and long-term strategic engagements, workshops, coaching, meeting design and facilitation, and developing written briefs and policy solutions. We use our expertise to provide assistance on racial equity, becoming an anti-racist organization, and improving organizational capacity to address racial inequity.

Some of our offerings include:

To learn more about any of this work, or to schedule time for a conversation with someone at CSSP, please email us at equity@CSSP.org.

As part of our internal equity journey, CSSP has developed a list of 10 competencies that we believe are core to all staff knowledge and learning. Each core competency involves the development and application of one or a combination of knowledge, skill, and attitude.

  1. Staff will understand and actively apply CSSP’s four core strategies for embodying equity in their work
  2. Staff will understand and apply an anti-racist intersectional analysis to all bodies of work. This analysis includes identifying the effects of anti-Blackness, and how race-based and gender-based power and privilege have contributed to the range of barriers to equal access that are reinforced and maintained in the “othering” of people–including Black, Native, Latinx, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, disabled people, and people of low-income. 
  3. Staff will consistently explore and actively address structural and systemic factors that serve as barriers to achieving equity, inclusion, and justice. 
  4. Staff will understand, practice, and hold each other accountable to the organization’s values, including creating an environment of belonging.
  5. Staff will know, seek, and use data about the scope, extent of, and the economic and human costs of racial inequities, with particular attention to the communities with whom we work to inform our analysis and strategies.
  6. Staff will critically examine social issues, data, and messaging for damage imagery that perpetuates racial and other biases and inequities and reinforce negative stereotypes about people and communities. Staff will assess the impact of this imagery on their own and others’ thinking, emotions, and behaviors and work to reduce damage imagery when writing and speaking about their work. 
  7. Staff will contribute to the process of anti-racism and social justice, which (1) seeks fair (re)distribution of resources, opportunities, and responsibilities; (2) challenges the roots of oppression and injustice; (3) empowers all people to exercise self-determination and realize their full potential; (4) and builds social solidarity and community capacity for collaborative action. 
  8. Staff will facilitate and/or actively participate in discussions as appropriate about equity, inclusion, and justice and foster a brave space that encourages dialogue, recognizes difference, and holds their another accountable to do the work of sharing experiences and coming to new understandings. 
  9. Staff will actively reflect on how White Supremacy operates within and outside of our organization and work to reduce harm caused by White supremacy. 
  10. Staff will examine and reflect on their own racial/ ethnic biases/ prejudices/ privilege that may affect their work through acknowledging their racial or cultural “blind spots” and working to address them and being receptive to feedback about their missteps, microaggressions, and/or harm done to others. 

Want to learn more about our process for developing these core competencies? Email us at equity@CSSP.org for more information.

Equity Glossary CoverDeveloping a shared language for thoughtful discussion about equity is critical for all of our work. This glossary of key terms includes many words and concepts that are foundational and relevant to CSSP’s work.

This is a living document. Just as our work has evolved over our history, so too does language and thinking on race, equity, and justice evolve over time. We will update this document as our thinking and thinking in the field changes, and will note any time that we have made changes.

Note: This glossary is in the public domain; we invite and encourage organizations to make use of this glossary whenever and wherever it is useful to them. Permission to reproduce is not necessary provided proper citation of CSSP is made. Initial publication date: September 2019.

Download CSSP’s glossary of key equity terms.

Want to learn more about our process for developing this glossary? Email us at equity@CSSP.org for more information.