However, we know that inequity based on race and class is inherent in our country’s structures, including the healthcare system. We are strengthened by the collective similarities and differences of our clients and loved ones, staff, and other community partners, in all the ways in which people differ, and all the characteristics that make one individual or group distinct from another. Our actions around diversity include, but are not limited to:
- Working to make sure that those of us who have personally faced inequity are partnering in ongoing efforts to shape the direction of our organization
- Establishing policies and practices that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve
We define equity as recognizing the unique needs of each individual and ensuring that all can access the same opportunities with differentiated supports; removing the predictability of success or failure that is correlated with any financial, social, or cultural factor used to marginalize or oppress individuals or groups. Our actions around equity include, but are not limited to:
- Maintaining a culturally-competent team at all levels of the organization through ongoing training, dialogue, and reflection that demonstrates our awareness, understanding, and commitment
- Interrogating dominant cultural approaches to performing and selecting policies and practices that are equitable and inclusive and align with our Foundations
- Building partnerships with organizations which can support our clients
We believe inclusion means creating spaces that are safe and welcoming for all, with particular care for those who have been traditionally marginalized, such as people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ folx, people with disabilities, religious minorities, and those from low-income backgrounds. Our actions around inclusion include, but are not limited to:
- Fostering an inclusive workplace where bias is examined and respectfully challenged so our community members can bring their most authentic selves each day
- Providing opportunities for shared leadership, to capitalize on our diversity in our decision-making processes
- Ensuring that we include client and student voices in key programmatic decisions
Fundamentally, we do not tolerate discrimination based on identity for any reason. Our core commitment is for people to be comfortable and safe being themselves, but also to be celebrated for their identities and what makes them unique.
In addition, we try to build a culture where we don’t make assumptions or pass judgment on each other. When a person chooses to tell us their pronouns (in their signature line or otherwise), we accept that they are simply letting us know how to refer to them, without having to make any assumptions.
We will engage in these efforts on a daily basis and evolve them as often as needed. We know that each of us brings varied experiences and knowledge to this work. We don’t expect perfection, but hold ourselves and others accountable to deepening our understanding and our commitment. We do so in the service of justice and the spirit of humanity.