On May 21, the Sunlight Foundation’s Board of Directors shared our plan for reviewing Sunlight’s history, as part of our effort to address our history and build a staff culture that prioritizes inclusion and respect.
The first step of that plan was to interview current staff, and that step is now complete. The second step was to interview former staff and stakeholders. That’s why we’re writing today.
In our original plan, we had set a date of June 15 to complete the interviews with former staff and stakeholders. Unfortunately, both of us had unforeseen and serious family events in early June that required significant attention. We have since regrouped, and in discussion, have recognized that it would be best for us to bring aboard an external partner to help us complete the review. We believe this is a critical process, and as volunteer board members, we want to ensure that our individual capacity is not a barrier to completing this review in a timely fashion. As such, we are currently working to identify an external partner.
In the meantime, we would like to ensure we are moving this process forward by beginning to schedule conversations as part of this process. Former staff, contractors, or collaborators of the Sunlight Foundation are now invited to provide feedback about your time working with Sunlight. Our goal is to understand any organizational deficits in policy and practice related to harassment and exclusion. In this capacity, we are looking for how you experienced working with the organization, its policies, people, and practices, as related to harassment, exclusion, or discrimination.
Our plan is to collect this feedback through a series of phone interviews over the next few weeks. Fill out this form to let us know you are interested in participating and we will work to set up an interview at a time of your convenience.
We understand that some former staffers were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) when they left the organization. We are assessing what, if any, impact this would have on participation in this review. In the meantime, if you did sign an NDA and would like to participate, please still let us know your interest in participating. We will let you know about the best way forward.
Addressing our legacy will take trust, empathy, and shared understanding, and we hope you will take the time to talk with us about your experiences. Thank you for your work in this field, and for your time and consideration.
Katherine Maher and Zoe Reiter
Members, Sunlight Foundation Board of Directors