Empower is a social enterprise with a strong social commitment. Current and former workers own our shares. We distribute the majority of our profits annually as philanthropic contributions to non-governmental, non-profit partners. This innovative model provides sufficient resources so that we can offer services that strengthen civil society and improve corporate accountability. Our Social Commitment demands that both Empower and our clients and partners comply with fundamental social responsibility guidelines, as follows:
We are committed to human rights, economic, political, and social justice, economic equality, social equity, and civic participation. We were founded to meet the needs of civil society organizations, such as NGOs, trade unions, worker and community-based movements, universities, philanthropic organizations, and other groups affected by the unchecked expansion of financial capital and corporations. By bridging the knowledge gap between civil society and business, civil society stakeholders of corporations can build long-term power through the defense of human rights, the strengthening of democratic and representative institutions, and the construction of democratic economies.
We seek to advance the following principles within and across all of our work:
– Human rights and justice
– Solidarity and dignity of all work
– Equity, fairness, and inclusion of all communities and workers no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability
– Greater participation and representation for communities and workers in their local, workplace, and political institutions.
Our work and vision of change are not limited to a single country, issue, employer, or community. Transnational capital and its logic of unchecked economic and environmental exploitation are the culprits of the most pressing issues facing communities and workers today, such as economic inequality, precarious employment, exclusion from political processes, human rights violations, environmental degradation, and the climate crisis.
We will not work for corporations or governments unless their interests specifically align with our Social Commitment immediatly and in the long-term. We will abstain from internecine fights or raids within or between civil society organizations. Our mission is to reshape economic and social relations at their roots by promoting organizational solidarity and not by contributing to opportunism or sectarian conflict.
We pledge to hold ourselves to act according to the following standards of ethical conduct:
– Organizational transparency and compliance with all applicable legal regulations
– Accountability to our clients, Board, and worker-owners
– Respect for clients’ information and privacy
– Duty to consult and inform clients of the findings of the research
– Work with a human rights perspective both externally and internally
– Engagement and participation of worker-owners in organizational decision-making.
We choose to only work with staff, service providers, clients, partners, and purveyors of capital that we determine also advance this Social Commitment.