Anti-Racism Request for Proposals

Rock to the Future seeks an experienced practitioner to guide the organization through anti-racism and anti-implicit bias training at the programmatic, leadership, and board levels. We wish for our organizational leadership, team, and youth to examine their own attitudes and behaviors, become more self-aware of unconscious biases, change behaviors where needed, in order to create a more inclusive and equitable organization where people feel safe, can bring their authentic selves, and thrive.

Rock to the Future provides student-driven music programs in a safe and supportive environment at no cost for Philadelphia youth. We prepare the next generation for every stage.

Rock to the Future (RTTF) was founded in 2010 as a volunteer organization to combat the effects of poverty and violence through community based music programs in neighborhoods that have been deprived of funding and resources. RTTF began in Kensington (North Philadelphia) with 13 students in MusiCore After School.  The enrollment rapidly grew and the observed impact was immediate as students continued to return day-after-day. In 2012, RTTF received a gift of $214,000, which allowed for significant expansion including the hiring of staff, improving program design, and the creation of a three-year strategic plan. Demand has continued to grow which had a profound impact on the need for additional  physical locations such as North, Northwest, and West Philadelphia. Thousands of community members enjoy free concerts annually and celebrate the accomplishments and growth of youth. In 2019, board members, staff, volunteers, students, and guardians created a third strategic plan with our first external facilitator Fernando Chang-Muy. Our strategic plan is available on our website .

Rock to the Future serves 400+ students annually in grades 1 - 12 in-school, after school, and during the summer, both in-person and virtually. Of our current students, 70% identify as Black, 15% identify as Latin, 10% identify as White, and 5% as Asian. We have 5 full-time staff members, 7 part-time staff members, and 15 board members, plus a core group of 7 volunteers. Our team members are racially diverse and most of the program instructors are from the communities we serve. Our CEO and founder of the organization is White. Over the past 2 years, our Board of Directors has focused on becoming  more inclusive. Many of our instructors include social and racial justice in their lessons. Our board and team members have varying degrees of knowledge around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Rock to the Future just turned 10 years old. We made a formal promise to improve our culture, practices, and approaches to acknowledge, respect, and uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our organization. In addition, we are committed to improve the way we evaluate and discuss opportunities by reducing the implicit biases we may be currently bringing with us to our work. We may not have a clear idea of what our needs are, but we are ready and willing to learn in order to create an infrastructure that will support our growth within anti-racism, inclusion, and equity.

As we continue to grow, we want to review and assess our practices by taking stock of where we are now, and create a pathway for continued growth as we move forward into the future.

Specifically, we would like to:
- Provide learning opportunities for our Board of Directors and team members around diversity, equity, inclusion, and implicit bias
- Develop a common vocabulary and understanding

- Review of our current board, human resources, and program practices to identify implicit bias and inequity
- Create a safe space for youth and adults to discuss racial justice
- Bring anti-racism and racial justice more intentionally into our student-driven program model and involve our youth in this opportunity
- Ensure that board and team members are able to bring these practices to their work within and outside of Rock to the Future and empower board, team, and youth with the knowledge and skills to take actions to promote racial justice
Develop and embrace a culture that aligns with this vision

- An assessment at the board, team, and programmatic level to determine where we are now and create a pathway moving forward into the future
- Learning opportunities for youth, team, and board of directors and continued consultative guidance
- Development of shared understanding, language, and framework to support dialogue and constructive conversations about race and intentionally creating space to help address the feelings and concerns that the training incites in them
- A plan and training for how to bring anti-racism and anti-implicit bias practices into our programs and policies and how to include this within our student-driven program model

- Strong experience in anti-racism and anti-implicit bias work applicable to youth serving non-profits
- Ability to create honest and safe spaces to support open dialogue and learning
- Experience working directly with youth and program design within the scope of racial justice
- Small firms/individuals/team representing the student population preferred

This will take place in-person in Philadelphia and remotely.

- Proposal deadline June 15, 2021
- Interviews in June 2021
- Practitioner selection in July 2021
- Engagement start anticipated late-summer 2021
- Engagement end: Dependent on practitioner’s recommendations and the scope of work mutually agree upon within the contract

To apply, please send the following to

- Submit a no more than 3 page summary of how you would approach this project, your experience, and a brief work plan including time-line and deliverables
- Resumes or biographies of the team members that would be involved
- Project budget including hourly rate and number of expected hours
- Optional: Relevant work samples
- Our budget range is approximately between $10,000 - $30,000