Fort Worth, Texas (May 4, 2022) – With support from ToolBox Grants at North Texas Community Foundation, Camp Fire First Texas will initiate the next phase of advancing racial equity training and implementation. 

The grant will partially fund a DEI consultant to guide the council to understand and apply a racial equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to all programs, projects, and initiatives. The process will also intentionally cultivate opportunities for new learning and authentic connections that foster an atmosphere of trust, accountability, and transformation to build an organization where all children and adults thrive. 

“Our intention is to break down established processes, functional silos, and leadership habits to open up and more proactively share stories of what life is really like for historically marginalized people. We realize that while DEI programs may check a box, they don’t always result in behavior change, cultural transformation, or system rethinking,” explained Lauren Richard, President/CEO of Camp Fire First Texas.  

Advancing DEI values makes Camp Fire’s work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those the organization works with and for. It is incumbent upon team members within the organization to question and act upon—instead of reproducing—the structural inequities present in society. The goal of this funding is to make an impact that is equitable for, empowering, and driven by people living in the neighborhoods where programs operate. 

In order to translate intention to action, it was vital for Camp Fire to secure Racial Equity Coach and Consultant, Caazena P. Hunter, to guide, with the support of a staff group, the ongoing work of: 

  1. Radically including people of color that have historically been treated inequitably.
  2. Ensuring equity in the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources within the council while understanding the root causes of the disparities in our society.
  3. Fostering an inclusive culture in which everyone is welcomed, heard and included in the decision-making process.

Richard added, “In this next phase, our organizational impact goals that will be reached thanks to the ToolBox funding include: 

  1. Develop shared language and principles around equity needed to navigate multiple systems of power, privilege, and dominance.
  2. Develop knowledge and understanding of messaging: how to avoid cues that detract from the purpose.
  3. Learn how to use values cues instead of assuming that equity explains itself. In addition to having a shared definition of equity, learn to center equity by explaining why it matters. The equity concept acknowledges unequal starting places and the need to correct imbalances between individuals or groups.
  4. Amplify other equity-minded advocates’ work. Make DEI more top-of-mind and connect our work to other fields centering on equity.”

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About Camp Fire First Texas 

Camp Fire First Texas is one of the largest Camp Fire councils in the country and invests in North Texas communities by providing out-of-school time and outdoor learning programs for children and youth while also offering workforce development programs for the educators who care for them. 

Camp Fire programs stand out from others as they are uniquely focused on the two periods of greatest brain growth and development: early childhood and early adolescence; they leverage the impact of the outdoor environment on the brain to educate and connect children to each other and the world around them and maintain a continuous improvement loop to maximize community impact. 

We envision a community in which every child has equitable access to quality learning opportunities that cultivate the skills they need to succeed and thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

About North Texas Community Foundation 

North Texas Community Foundation drives meaningful change through charitable investment. The Foundation helps donors meet the needs of our community by providing tax-efficient strategies to support the causes they care about most. At the core of everything we do is a network of generous individuals, families and businesses intent on shaping the future of North Texas for good, forever. The Foundation has $519 million in assets and made grants totaling approximately $30 million in 2021. Learn more at northtexascf.org. 

About Caazena P. Hunter 

Caazena P. Hunter holds a dual B.A. in Spanish and Sociology, with an International Studies Certificate, from the University of Tulsa, and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of North Texas. She co-authored Race and Reciprocity: Inter-household Exchanges in a Multiracial Neighborhood. 

Caazena began her career as a teaching fellow at the University of North Texas, which led to her teaching Sociology at colleges and universities throughout the DFW Metroplex including UNT, UNT Dallas, and Tarleton. She has a passion for learning, as well as educating. Caazena only works with organizations that speak to personally held passions. She once taught elementary Spanish, served as a Research Analyst, and worked for the census. She later transitioned into providing financial coaching services, leading a small family financial center, and assisting with the development and implementation of a Financial Coaching Institute. Currently, Caazena works as a Racial Equity coach for Dallas, Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation, which has afforded her the opportunity to work towards racial equity with Dallas nonprofit organizations. Caazena also works as the Assistant Director of Community Engagement for Change Machine which assists organizations focused on financial security and mobility of individuals that are working and experiencing poverty. Finally, she works as Director of Program Design for Young Leaders Strong City which educates, equips and activates a community of youth leaders prepared to realize their visions for racial justice and equity. 

Lastly and most importantly, Caazena is a lover of art, music, family and fun. She has always considered herself an aunt extraordinaire and most recently has a new canine niece named FREE.