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UW Dream Project

May 9, 2017

Dream Project Gets a New Mission Statement

By Bryan Elsea, Public Relations Lead

DP values

Dream Project’s core programmatic values

Dream Project has a new mission statement! Since its inception a decade ago, one of Dream Project’s primary goals has been to support first-generation and low-income high school students in their pursuit of equitable access to higher education in the most sustainable and culturally relevant way possible. Thus, in order to better reflect these goals, Dream Project staff and student leaders reflected on how our values have evolved over time and what we strive for to further advance social justice and racial equity, especially in the context of our work with minoritized and marginalized youth. We kicked off the process with the racial equity training last February, and then with the guidance of UW faculty member Scott Winn, collaborated with representatives from Dream Project’s student leadership bodies over a series of discussions to solidify a new mission statement.

What racial equity means

What racial equity means for Dream Project

As we worked on revising our mission statement, we identified many of our organization’s core values and what “racial equity” means in the context of our work. Using this knowledge, we moved to start brainstorming ways to better articulate the social justice issues that Dream Project seeks to address, the strategies that we employ for addressing these challenges, and our vision for what it means to succeed in our efforts.

After about a month of collaboration, we finalized a new mission statement that we feel truly reflects all three of these aspects. We are excited that we are able to put into words exactly what we are striving for every day in the program, as can be seen in the following new mission statement:

“Due to historical and institutional racism, the U.S. education system does not support every student equally. Students of color and low-income students are less likely to receive the support and resources to prepare for their futures. Neither race nor socioeconomic status should predict any outcome. Through mentorship, we support students in navigating complex systems such as the workforce, financial aid, and college admissions. Our goal is to empower students with the tools and information to make and enact a plan for their futures.”