PLATINUM2022

NorthStar of GIS

A Racially-Just GIS for a More Racially-Just Society

aka NorthStar of GIS: People of Black / African Descent in GIS   |   Philadelphia, PA   |  https://gisNorthStar.org

Mission

Advance intersectional racial justice, equity, and belonging for people of the Black and Black African diaspora in GIS, geography, and STEM

Ruling year info

2021

Principal Officer

Clinton Johnson

Main address

1202 Marlyn Rd

Philadelphia, PA 19151 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

87-1840772

NTEE code info

Engineering and Technology Research, Services (U40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Policy decisions in all sectors and areas of society are informed by information products produced by GIS and geography professionals who too often lack: • familiarity with positive practices for intersectional racial justice, • equitably represent people of Black or Black African descent, and • effective engagement with marginalized communities. As a result, racial inequities persist or are increased and people of Black and Black African descent lack access to the benefits of GIS.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

NorthStar Guides

Leading the way to racial justice and belonging thru a GIS lens

We are excited to offer NorthStar Guides, Positive practices for advancing justice, equity, and belonging at the intersection of all systems of oppression.
Get early and exclusive access to content and experiences that teach foundational concepts, explore barriers, and provide strategies to advance intersection racial justice, equity, and belonging.
• Library of Practices
• Live Q&A's
• Training programs
• Consulting Services

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Sexual identity
Religious groups
Academics

Connecting Black students with Opportunities in GIS
• Technology Grants for HBCUs
• Cash Grants for Black GIS Students
• Program Development Support for HBCUs
• Melanated & Mapping Community, a global interdisciplinary community of Black geographers, GISers, and our allies

Population(s) Served
People of African descent

Showcasing Black GIS Talent and Tech for Justice

Annual events to engage, support, and promote Black GIS, geography, and geospatial students, professionals, and entrepreneurs.
• Homecoming Week (November, Geography Week)
• Black History Series (February)

Population(s) Served
People of African descent
People of African descent

Magnifying Black GIS stars

Blog series to highlight the scholarship, professional, and business progress of Black students, educators, professionals, and entrepreneurs in GIS

Population(s) Served
People of African descent

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Attendance of NorthStar events, sessions, workshops, etc

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People of African descent

Related Program

NorthStar Bridge

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People of African descent

Related Program

NorthStar Bridge

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

• Increase GIS, geography, and geospatial scholarship at HBCUs
• Increase awareness of opportunities in GIS among people of the Black and Black African diaspora
• Increase racial equity and belonging for Black people in the leading GIS membership organizations
• Increase awareness of positive practices for intersectional racial justice, equity, and belonging

• Partner with educators at a select group of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to support annual cohorts of Black students in GIS
• Partner with educators and administrators at a select group of HBCUs to advance post-secondary certificate and masters programs in GIS at HBCUs
• Partner with two (2) of the leading GIS membership organizations in the US to offer scholarships to Black GIS students
• Partner with two (2) of the leading GIS membership organizations in the US to introduce antiracist and pro-equity practices
• Compile and share a library of positive practices for advancing intersectional racial justice, equity, & belonging

• NorthStar Guides Platform
• Education Team
• Event Management
• Volunteer Management
• Web & Social Media Management

• Partnered with a leading GIS institution to provide cash grants to the first annual cohort of NorthStar Bridge scholars (11 students)
• Partnered with educators at four (4) Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to support the first annual cohort of NorthStar Bridge scholars (11 students)
• Begun collaborating with educators and administrators at an HBCUs to advance post-secondary GIS programming
• Partnered with two (2) of the leading GIS membership organizations in the US to offer scholarships to the first annual cohort of NorthStar Bridge scholars (11 students)
• Partner with one (1) of the leading GIS membership organizations in the US to introduce antiracist and pro-equity practices
• Compiled and began sharing NorthStar Guides, a library of positive practices for advancing intersectional racial justice, equity, & belonging

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS), geography, and STEM students, educators, professionals, and entrepreneurs of the Black and Black African Diaspora and their allies

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We've heard that the term "GIS" is fairly unknown, including by key stakeholders at organizations that actually employ GIS staff. We also heard that people view NorthStar of GIS spaces as havens for belonging where Black people can feel comfortable being themselves. So, we adjusted some of our messaging for clarity and authenticity. We've heard that there is a need to provide resources to help HBCUs develop and maintain GIS programs. Therefore, we are evolving one of our programs to include the capacity to help. We've also heard that our messaging regarding racial equity and racial justice did not resonate with our partners and the communities we served in Africa last year. Therefore, we are leaning more toward collaborating with partners focusing on Africa to adjust messaging as needed.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our board, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have always sought feedback from the people we serve and community partners to center the perspectives and needs of the traditionally most marginalized.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

NorthStar of GIS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

NorthStar of GIS

Board of directors
as of 01/08/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Clinton Johnson

Esri


Board co-chair

Aisha Jenkins

Esri

Aisha Jenkins

Esri

Leslie Fountain

Spotify

Yolanda Richards

Esri

Jacqueline Scott

Esri

Erica Phillips

Gartner

Falon Williams

TikTok

Resha Moreau

Esri

Clinton Johnson

Esri

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/20/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.