Step Up named one of 35 Social Innovations in Madison Magazine’s M List!

M List

The cat’s out of the bag! We are excited to announce that Step Up: Equity Matters has been named one of 35 Social Innovations in this year’s M List from Madison Magazine! To top it off, team member Sara Alvarado graces the cover of the print magazine.

Check out our write-up and all of the award winners!

M List Sara M List Haywood M List Amy M List Tania

What is social innovation? 

According to Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, social innovation is a “novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than existing solutions” and benefits primarily society as a whole rather than private individuals.

It includes these elements:

  • Increasing employment, productivity and economic growth
  • Justice, fairness, environmental preservation, improved health, arts and culture and better education

A social innovation:

  • Can be a product, production process or technology (much like innovation in general), but it can also be a principle, an idea, a piece of legislation, a social movement, an intervention or some combination of them.
  • Recognizes the fundamental role of cross-sector dynamics: exchanging ideas and values, shifting roles and relationships and blending public, philanthropic and private resources. Innovation blossoms where the sectors converge.
  • Can’t be understood, let alone solved, without involving the nonprofit, public and private sectors.

Step Up: Equity Matters featured in The Madison Times

“Local Businesses Learn to ‘Step Up,’ Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion”

MadTimes Step Up

July 31, 2015

By L. Malik Anderson

Local organization ‘Step Up: Equity Matters’ aims to create safe spaces for the community to learn how to talk about race. Sara Alvarado, co-creator of Step Up, explained that oftentimes workplaces forget to bring people of color into the conversation of lack of inclusivity in those environments. Alvarado, alongside co-creators Amy Kesling (Sustain Dane), Haywood Simmons (Motivational Expert, Phitness Plus), and Tania Ibarra (Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison) make up their core planning team…

Read the full article in The Madison Times!

Coffee & Conversations Outcomes

Last week, the Step Up community gathered to practice having tough conversations about diversity in the workplace. There are many barriers to interrupting stereotypes, including being able to identify when assumptions are being made and feeling confident enough to say something to someone with whom you have a professional (or personal) relationship. Sometimes we think we don’t “know enough” to say something.

But silence can be even more hurtful for everyone in the long run. Here are a few tips our participants came up with last week:

Continue reading Coffee & Conversations Outcomes

Step Up Team Members on WORT

Gregg Potter, Project Kinect, and positive individual and social change

June 29, 2015

Gregg Potter, founder of Project Kinect, produces a program to illustrate the organization, Kinect, and a hope for positive social change and community engagement. He has invited Sara Alvarado from the Alvarado Group, Amy Kesling from Sustain Dane, and Tariq Saqqaf, from the Mayor’s Office to have an in-depth discussion on, ‘What positive social change looks like on an individual level?’ These change agents discuss different definitions of positive social change and how each of them identify as an agent of change. The goal of this open dialogue is to build capacity to agents of change in Madison in the diverse life roles we play.

In a city like Madison, we must celebrate our social change and always remember how individually, we all make a difference.

Listen to the full conversation on WORT 89.9FM

Step Up Partners with YWCA Madison to Stand Against Racism

Yesterday, dozens of people gathered for a free brown bag lunch discussion, hosted in partnership by the YWCA Madison and Step Up: Equity Matters in honor of the nationwide Stand Against Racism movement. This brown bag discussion focused on uncovering unconscious bias. We explored how the individual, interpersonal and institutional levels of racism work together to perpetuate disparities as well as what tools exist to assist us in working towards racial equity within our organizations, institutions, and spheres of influence in order to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for everyone.

If you weren’t able to make it, you can still watch this amazing TED Talk from Verna Myers and take the Project Implicit test to determine some of your own implicit biases.

If you’re interested in partnering with Step Up: Equity Matters on events like this, please contact us!