Compass Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Site

At Compass, we're committed to building a community where we are open to ongoing learning, self-evaluation, and self-awareness. Our goal is to create a community where we recognize strengths in all people and respond respectfully to people of all cultures. As a learning organization, we seek to understand how systems of privilege and oppression, including policies and institutional practices, affect opportunities for families in our programs. This online resource offers training and supports to better understand how race and culture impacts our work and how different people experience life through their culture.

Cultural Competence

Compass believes in the importance of fostering awareness of, and responsiveness to, the diverse populations and cultures we serve in our direct services programs and through our national partnerships. Integrating cultural proficiency into our coaching work requires coaches to be aware of, and manage, their own biases, and refrain from judging clients’ decisions. Culturally competent practice also requires that practitioners understand how institutions and history have shaped current financial situations and cultural perspectives. 

Cultural Humility

Cultural humility instills the practice of working with people with a presence of humility, empathy, and non-judgment. It also incorporates a commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique to address power imbalances and build mutually beneficial partnerships based on trust. Coaches demonstrate cultural humility by approach the coaching relationship as a partnership; they ask questions about clients’ experiences, communicate respect, avoid assumptions, and reject stereotypes.

Shared Language

Compass has partnered with Visions In., a non-profit training and consulting organization, specializing in diversity and inclusion to design a DEI staff training to strengthen a culture of trust, support, respect, and inclusion at Compass. The training offers:

  • Common language and framework for cross cultural conversations and the ongoing practice of inclusion at Compass, and

  • Multicultural tools and skills to apply with each other, our clients, our partners, and the broader community

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Plan

Our 2018 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Plan summarizes our strategies and goals for advancing a diverse and inclusive workplace, where all employees have equitable opportunities to succeed.

Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance
— Verna Myers

Cultural Proficiency Training Materials

As part of our new employee on-boarding, we encourage all team members to become familiar with these cultural proficiency materials. These materials provide a cultural proficiency framework specific to Compass' work and the broader financial services industry. They also help to us (1) build a shared language around cultural proficiency, (2) understand the institutional barriers to building wealth, and (3) discern the dimensions of culture.

Harvard Implicit Bias Survey

Part of Project Implicit developed by Harvard, this Implicit Association Test looks at our implicit biases towards race and seeks to measure to measure unconscious bias. 

Race: Power of an Illusion III

This 3-part series questions the very idea of race as innate biology. Part III focuses on housing policy and how systemic racism and discrimination has let to the inequalities we see today.

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Danger of a Single Story

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of finding her authentic cultural voice, and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk misunderstanding.


Under the Affluence

Tim Wise, one of America’s most prolific public intellectuals discusses the roots and ramifications of radical inequality in our nation and the demonization of those in need.

View Tim Wise F.A.Q.s revised for Compass.

Toxic Inequality

Tom Shapiro, a professor of law and sociology at Brandeis University, lays out how policy and systemic racism has created vast gaps in wealth between white and black Americans.

Read the Atlantic interview with Tom Shapiro about the book.

Color of Law

Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels. 

Listen to NPR's Fresh Air interview with Richard Rothstein 

Psychology of Racism

In the summary of the book Beverly Tatum discusses how straight talk about our racial identities is essential to enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.


What Works: Gender Equality By Design

In this HBR interview, Iris Bohnet argues that diversity training doesn't always work and instead, companies need to redesign their processes to prevent biased choices in the first place.


Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap

Understanding the Gender Wealth Gap

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a Business Imperative


Partner organizations for policy, resources and training

America Forward Coalition

A network of more than 70 social innovation organizations that champion innovative, effective, and efficient solutions to our country’s most pressing social problems.

Closing the Women's Wealth Gap

A national forum where advocates, organizers, researchers, practitioners, and funders are coming together to close the gap by building wealth for low-income women and women of color.

Prosperity Now - Racial Wealth Divide Initiative

Prosperity Now leverages its connections, partners, and our core competencies to aggressively address racial economic inequality.

FRB of Boston Working Group

A cross-sector working group of regional leaders to identify shared priorities and build a shared agenda to reduce racial wealth inequalities in Boston and in Massachusetts.

Calendar of Community Events & DEI Trainings