The large-scale racial reckoning and the global pandemic of 2020 have fundamentally altered how people show up to the workplace, with many employees calling on their employers to implement comprehensive and intersectional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies. Ultimately these policies should be aimed at fostering a culture of belonging within the workplace. While there are many ways employers can diversify their workforce, second chance hiring is an often overlooked opportunity – particularly given the criminal legal system’s disproportionate impact on Black communities. At LINK Strategic Partners, a social impact consulting firm, we have embraced the opportunity of upskilling our workforce and leaning into second chance hiring. 

Each year LINK re-ups our commitment to hiring justice-impacted employees and imbedding DEI & Belonging principles and practices into the work we do. For the last four years, LINK has been a proud partner of the Georgetown Pivot Program. We were honored to join as inaugural members of the Second Chance Hiring Alliance, and be invited to speak at the International Town and Gown Association’s panel on second chance hiring. LINK is a proud, and vocal, supporter of second chance hiring for many main reasons. To name a few that are foundation to our mission: 1) it adds new expertise and skill sets to our team and 2) we have a responsibility to the communities in which we serve and second chance hiring makes for a more reflective team and builds stronger, healthier communities.

As LINK’s Chief of Staff, I help lead our executive functions, business development, strategy, and public affairs portfolio and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging work internally and externally. By understanding and respecting the communities in which we operate, LINK helps our clients create and apply the right tools and strategies to translate challenges into opportunities for success. We apply this same framework to our hiring practices. At LINK we believe in the success and growth of all of our employees, and recognize that their diverse life experiences help us better serve the communities in which we partner, in DC at a hyper local level, at a national level, and from a global perspective. In my role, and by working with our dedicated team, I can say with certainty that the LINK team is stronger, more vibrant, and better able to work with and for the DC community and abroad because of our justice-impacted colleagues. 

Jamal Holtz, Chief of Staff
LINK Strategic Partners