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Q&A with Dr. Reo Pruiett, CFT’s chief DEI officer

March 1, 2023

Pictured: Dr. Reo Pruiett with a portrait of Pearl C. Anderson

Q: What compelled you to take on CFT’s DEI role after 15 years with CFT’s Educate Texas?

A: I have worked in the DEI space my entire life—as an educator, school leader, district administrator, through my church, and as a community engagement volunteer. I have witnessed firsthand the immense need for healthy communities that address the needs of all people, striving for equity in all decisions that impact people. I am a problem solver, strategic thinker, and implementer of change management. This position embodies the opportunity to effect positive change and support outcomes to strengthen the trajectory of communities that may not have always had a seat or a voice at the table. This work brings education, economics, health, and safety to the forefront of how we can change the future legacies of our communities moving forward.

Q: What does it mean that CFT has named “advancing equity” as an organizational priority?

A: Being explicit about this goal means that CFT will model and demonstrate this priority through our actions and decision making. CFT is committed to aligning our equity goals internally and externally, and to being a catalyst for change. By modeling ‘advancing equity,’ we hold ourselves accountable and enable others to forge ahead in this journey together. My role in this work is to build capacity, engage others, and build and expand relationships and partnerships.

Q: What are you proud of that has been accomplished?

A: We’ve listened and learned so much. We have built our internal capacity and engaged expert consultants to grow and focus our strategy. We have a dedicated internal DEI committee, and our staff has collectively participated in 5,000 hours of DEI and anti-racism trainings. We’ve begun to share our history in honoring Pearl C. Anderson and Dr. Marcellus Cooper. We’ve defined and are working toward measurable outcomes, including increasing funding for nonprofits led by leaders of color and nonprofits serving communities of color, as well as increasing support and partnership with donors of color.

Q: What do you hope to achieve?

A: I hope that CFT will be known as a leader in the DEI space that is driving change for all communities. I hope that our employees and decisions will continue to be guided by our One-CFT DEI Strategic Framework that’s been developed collaboratively by our staff and board. I hope that our stakeholders and partners will embrace DEI strategies, aligning their giving and decisionmaking in ways that advance equity. We have much work ahead, and we welcome your partnership.
Learn more about our entire executive leadership team

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