Our Restructuring Journey

In 2021 The Barr Foundation engaged One Square World to consult with Transportation for Massachusetts and guide a year’s long restructuring process that started in December 2021. The restructuring process was motivated by a desire to better align with the needs of Black, Indigenous, Working-Class, and community members of color. And to ensure that the voices of those most affected by transit injustice are heard by the organization's leadership, staff, and partners.

The restructuring process included several phases during 2022:

  • Training sessions on Racial Equity/Structural Oppression and Transportation Justice, including the members of the restructuring committee, core team, T4MA Executive Committee and other members;
  • Interviews, focus groups, and outreach with T4MA staff and stakeholders;
  • Facilitated work sessions with the restructuring committee to explore and consider alternative models for coalition structure and governance;
  • Recommendation and discussions for future coalition structure, governance and priorities.

As result of this process T4MA developed the following 5 Restructuring Commitments:

  1. T4MA will orient its mission towards an explicit focus on transportation justice for low income, working class, communities of color and residents most impacted by transportation injustice.

  2. T4MA ex com (leadership) will be made up of at least 2/3 organizations led by and accountable to people who are disproportionately impacted by transportation injustice, are transit dependent and/or are underserved by our transportation systems.
    • The governing body will include individuals who:
      • represent critical populations that are disproportionately impacted (transit dependent, underserved by our transportation systems. low-income, working class and communities of color, older adults, people with disabilities)
      • are experts on transportation policy
      • reflect cross-sector collaboration, including housing, planning, and climate
      • reflect equitable regional representation

  3. T4MA will designate 70%+ of their grants to support groups that are accountable to those who are most impacted by transportation injustice OR are in partnership with community-based organizations and advocacy orgs.
    • T4MA will target funding to:
      • Community-based organizations
      • Non community-based members for policy work/organizing/reports working in collaboration or in partnership with community-based orgs or with a sign off by the ex com
      • Developing capacity among CBOs
      • Non-members , to continue to build an inclusive T4MA network
      • Encourage closer partnerships between grassroots/CBOs and policy organizations

  4. T4MA will develop a more transparent and equitable model for decision-making at T4MA.
    • To do this T4Ma will:
      • Analyze the dynamics of the coalition and determine how each organization build on each other’s strengths and how we leverage our voices and collective power to achieve stated goals.
      • Gain clarity on roles of member organizations and their involvement in decision making
      • Create and disseminate to members a clear and consistent decision-making policy.

  5. T4MA's will seek to develop policy through the methods listed below:
    • Use specific equity guidelines to inform all policy decisions
    • Engage in impact survey processes, centering people most impacted by transportation injustice, to identify the top issues to help guide the policy efforts T4MA takes on
    • Prepare policy-makers to center impacted residents priorities
    • Hold regular listening sessions across the state.

With the guidance of the five restructuring commitments, T4MA’s current staff, along with a Transition Director, and a Core Leadership Team, are working to implement and operationalize new bylaws and structures at T4MA that will put community voices and needs first and create new paths for resources to be provided to front-line communities working on transportation justice solutions.


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