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Chief of Equity, Impact, and Belonging- Sundance Institute


New York City, Arizona, United States


As a champion and curator of independent stories, the Sundance Institute provides and preserves the space for artists across storytelling media to create and thrive. Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, the Institute’s signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. Sundance Collab, a digital community platform, brings a global cohort of working artists together to learn from each other and Sundance Advisors and connect in a creative space, developing and sharing works in progress. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences and artists to ignite new ideas, discover original voices, and build a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported and showcased such projects as Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), CODA, Flee, Passing, Clemency, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Zola, On the Record, Boys State, The Farewell, Honeyland, One Child Nation, The Souvenir, The Infiltrators, Sorry to Bother You, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Hereditary, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Big Sick, Mudbound, Fruitvale Station, City So Real, Top of the Lake, Between the World & Me, Wild Goose Dreams, and Fun Home.

Sundance Institute believes that a story driven by an individual, authentic voice can awaken new ideas that have the power to delight and entertain, push creative boundaries, spark new levels of empathy and understanding, and even lead to social change. As it looks toward the future, it is focused on continuing to develop audiences for independent film in the midst of a rapidly changing media landscape, to increasing artist accessibility, representation and sustainability, and to growing its reach to global audiences. The Equity, Impact and Belonging Department builds upon the values and methods established by our historic Indigenous Program and gender-based research of Women at Sundance. Our first diversity initiative launched in 2012 to deepen and expand our connections to racially diverse communities in an effort to increase the diversity of projects submitted for consideration to our Programs. Over the past few years, the focus was broadened to additionally include initiatives to foster inclusion among our staff, volunteers, contractors, audiences, and other key stakeholder communities such as peer organizations, press, and industry.

Sundance Institute has offices in Park City, Los Angeles, and New York City and currently operates remotely in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The 29-member board of trustees is led by President and Founder Robert Redford and Board Chair Ebs Burnough. Joana Vicente serves as Chief Executive Officer and there are 180 year-round employees.

Position Summary

A member of the senior executive team, the Chief of Equity, Impact, and Belonging (CEIB) will work strategically to cultivate Sundance Institute’s commitment to building an inclusive and respectful culture that understands and celebrates the diversity and human nature of its team members and community. The CEIB will be able to establish credibility and build authentic relationships across a complex, decentralized, and diverse organization. They will lead the development and adoption of the organization’s cultural impact strategy by ensuring that equity and belonging are core values to its work: within its workplace, within its programs supporting artists, and within its public programs and partnerships that engage audience and industry partners. Working closely under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer, this individual will partner across the organization to develop policies and practices that embed equity, belonging, and accessibility into every space of the organization to provide employees equal opportunities to do their best work, feel valued, and thrive, as well as for artists and audiences to experience equitable engagement and practices from curation to programmatic work. The CEIB will simultaneously drive and influence the process of deepening Sundance Institute’s cultural impact work both internally and within the industry.

Role and Responsibilities

Strategic Visioning and Impact

▪ Advance a strategic vision that drives impact and expresses the values of equity, belonging, and accessibility while further embedding and operationalizing this work across all systems, processes, and policies.

▪ Translate complex subject matter related to privilege, power, marginalization, and oppression into actionable frameworks to interrogate and dismantle how they manifest personally, interpersonally, structurally, and institutionally.

▪ Develop and execute an equity, impact, and belonging communication strategy that engages internal and external stakeholders on strategy, programs, and progress.

▪ Engage the Board of Trustees’ Racial Equity Task Force as an advisory committee to inform practices and initiatives, in addition to supporting their work in advancing equity, impact, and belonging.

▪ Collaborate with leaders across Human Resources, Artist Programs, Finance, and other departments to set the strategy for and ensure the execution of specific divisional equity, impact, and belonging initiatives and projects from talent acquisition and management to curatorial equity, vendor selection, and more.

▪ Identify trends and leading best practices and benchmarks to inform equity, impact, and belonging strategies and programs.

▪ Embrace other strategic visioning and impact responsibilities, as needed.

Leadership Development, Resource Building, and Training

▪ Devise and guide the implementation of iterative learning and development initiatives that address equity, impact, and belonging needs and deepens these values throughout the organization.

▪ Cultivate and nurture strong relationships internally and externally to align equity, impact, and belonging efforts and associated education and training programs.

▪ Develop key metrics, tools, and analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of resources and programs for employees and artists.

▪ Present reports and make recommendations that increase organizational equity, impact, and belonging.

▪ Identify trends and leading best practices and benchmarks to inform equity, impact, and belonging strategies and programs.

▪ Recruit, mentor and develop employees, providing opportunities for their growth and fostering a positive team dynamic.

▪ Provide leadership and coaching, as appropriate, to an array of stakeholders both one-on-one and in groups.

▪ Oversee and develop annual budgets for the Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging department and related initiatives.

▪ Embrace other leadership development, resource building and training responsibilities, as needed.

Community Engagement and Resource Development

▪ Establish departmental and Institute-wide artist support and identify gaps and interventions for underserved communities.

▪ Support the cultivation of fundraising and granting opportunities that advance equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility programming, including partnering with and supporting corporate teams.

▪ Develop partnerships and build coalitions by attending partner festivals, summits, and events to introduce underrepresented and traditionally marginalized communities of artists and audiences in and beyond the Sundance Institute community.

▪ Access, amplify, and expand previous Resources for Antiracism Work, Inclusion Resource Map, Black Lives Matter research, and others.

▪ Function as a public spokesperson and advocate for Sundance Institute, speaking on diversity issues pertaining to its programs and teams.

▪ Establish and maintain an industry impact assessment that engages external stakeholders, allied organizations, and community partners to advance diversity and business goals through industry collaboration.

▪ Cultivate and nurture strong relationships that align equity, impact, and belonging efforts and education.

▪ Embrace other community engagement and resource development responsibilities, as needed


Traits and Characteristics

The CEIB will be an empathetic communicator, who listens effectively and can see, hear, feel, and adapt to different points of view. With a collaborative and transparent style, they will have strong people skills and be able to build consensus with all staff members of the Sundance Institute community. This individual will maintain strong analytical and critical thinking skills, while managing multiple initiatives simultaneously. Demonstrating resiliency and an ability to help others learn from individual mistakes and systemic issues, the CEIB will understand the hurdles yet to be overcome in equity, diversity, inclusion, and access nationally. Outgoing and dynamic, the CEIB will be energized to embed these values throughout the organization and with the communities it serves.

Other key competencies include:

▪ Diplomacy and Personal Accountability – The ability to handle difficult or sensitive issues and situations effectively and tactfully, while being answerable for personal and professional actions.

▪ Leadership and Teamwork – The capacity to organize, gather, and influence people to support a vision and bring them together while creating a sense of unified purpose and direction.

▪ Understanding and Appreciating Others – The integrity to value and understand the uniqueness and contributions of others, while identifying with and caring about them.

▪ Time and Priority Management – The capability to identify, prioritize and complete tasks to deliver desired outcomes within mutually agreed upon time frames.


While no specific educational credentials are required, candidates should have a minimum of 10 years of relevant leadership experience with at least five years as a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging practitioner. Extensive experience building and managing relationships with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, as well as a commitment to inclusion and anti-racism efforts, are required. A track record of demonstrated experience as an executive leader in the creative industries, the arts, higher education, or nonprofit work, will be required. Although there are ample opportunities to work remotely, being within community distance of the Los Angeles office is preferred.

Compensation and Benefits

Sundance Institute provides a competitive and equitable compensation package. Benefits include but are not limited to health, vision, and dental insurances; medial and dependent care flexible spending accounts; monthly cell phone and telework allowance; life, accident, and short- and long-term disability insurances; retirement savings plan with an automatic 3% employer contribution after one year; and paid vacation time holidays, sick time, family, and medical leave. Staff also enjoy access to the world-class Sundance Film Festival with complimentary advance tickets, a staff credential, and an official staff jacket.

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