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  •  A part of using this toolkit, organizations are encouraged to create an Accountability Team (or A-Team). A-Teams should include Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) or racialized groups, who have grassroots affiliations, and are based in communities that have experienced a history of harm. Your A-Team members should reflect the perspectives, interests, and experiences of the communities and populations your organization aims to serve. Ask yourselves: Who is most likely to be impacted by the actions (or inactions) and decisions of your organization and the issues you seek to address? Those closest to the issues and impacts will be important A-Team members. 

  • Potential A-Team members are community leaders and/or representatives doing work that overlaps, complements, or is adjacent to that of your organization — whom you can learn from. Also, consider inviting individuals with some level of familiarity with your organization — its mission and work — and/or with whom you have an existing relationship.

  • In establishing your A-Team, there are at least 6 important steps to take: (1) Selection (2) Recruitment, (3) Onboarding, (4) Engagement, (5) Retention, and (6) Compensation. Be intentional about each interaction with your A-Team members — every touchpoint, from an invitation to an onboarding call, is an opportunity to build trust and act in alignment with your values. Be clear about what you are asking for and inviting of them, both in terms of expectations around time and tasks, as well as group agreements for how you will collectively hold space together.

  • Consider compensating A-Team members for their time, insight, and wisdom, ideally in the form of a stipend. At the minimum, offer food at A-Team gatherings and meetings, and when engaging virtually, food delivery gift cards. It is important to recognize that compensating people for their engagement has the potential to fundamentally change the nature of your relationship. Given this, consider inviting a neutral third-party to broker compensation to your A-Team.

  • If your organization currently does not have an A-team, you will still be able to fully complete this assessment, but will need to work on establishing an A-team. One possibility is to view the list of Just Action signers and connect with them as peers to help hold you accountable, while you work to develop an A-team. There is no set number of A-team members that you will need, but generally speaking the larger the organization, the larger the A-team should be. At minimum start with two people and grow from there if you do not already have an A-team.


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