Our Commitment to Equity

Equity Statement

The Shadow Project is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in every aspect of the organization’s work. Shadow strives to remove longstanding barriers that block the path to educational success for students with learning challenges such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism who are diverse in race, culture and socio-economic status. We recognize the intersection of race and disability and are intentional in our efforts to address race-based inequities as a root cause of systemic barriers to academic achievement for our students.

The organization works collaboratively with diverse stakeholder groups to increase opportunities that address learning and social emotional needs, including access to a range of materials, sensory tools and techniques tailored for diverse learners, while honoring each child’s history and experience. This model is central to equity because it addresses the whole child, not just the disability. The organization is a partner in strengthening student and family connection to school, normalizing what it means to learn differently.

As part of our commitment to advancing equity for diverse learners, we work to recruit and retain a diverse staff and board—one that welcomes and engages people from every background. We value our employees, volunteers and community partners, and their individual backgrounds. We work each day to create an environment where diversity is treated as a strength to be celebrated.

We Stand with Black Lives Matter

The Shadow Project supports the Black Lives Matter movement and stands in solidarity against systemic racism. We have witnessed the brutal police violence against African-American citizens George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and Breonna Taylor with horror, and we commit to work for justice and equity for Black Americans.  

As an organization dedicated to advancing educational equity for children who learn differently, we have seen how students thrive in classrooms built around dignity and inclusion. We know we must do more to ensure that the beauty and gifts of black and brown children are seen and celebrated in our schools and communities.

For the Shadow Project, that means examining and strengthening our practices as we continue to work at the intersection of disability, race and poverty in our schools. It means talking about race and racism in the trainings we provide for educators and volunteers who work with children affected by learning challenges. Finally, it means engaging in deep organizational learning around racism, bias, and systems of oppression.

The following resources have inspired us to reflect and take action.

Dr. Joy DeGruy, on what white people can do to combat racism

Kali Ladd, a response to Portland protests against police violence

Interview with Robin DiAngelo, on white fragility

Karis Stoudamire-Phillips, On Being Black in Portland, OR

Teaching Tolerance, When Educators Understand Race and Racism


The Shadow Project Staff & Board of Directors