Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Warren Village released a new strategy as of October 1st, 2020, to build and advance a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) environment within the organization. We brought in a local DEI consulting agency, to help us better understand how to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization in 1) Employee Recruitment, Engagement, Development, and Advancement 2) Developing Awareness and Empowerment of Diverse Groups 3) Creating a Supportive and Welcoming Environment and 4) Strengthening Community Partnerships. We acknowledge that striving for genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion is a lifelong journey. Our work is ongoing and ever evolving; but we are committed to this work for the long haul. Following is a recap of these efforts.
Warren Village has a role to play in building a society that is just and more inclusive. We can see the problems in front of us. By addressing these problems, we are making a long-term commitment to our organization, our team members, and the well-being of our residents. We look forward to working with every WV member to build an organization that thrives because of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and provides the highest level of care to residents because we best represent the communities and the people we serve.
Over the past three months, Praxis LLC has been conducting a three-month organizational assessment and Equity Audit involving all staff and 87 resident families. It was designed to get more detailed information about the existing gaps in learning and practice, developing relevant skill-building plans and interventions.
Our staff, senior leadership, and board has been participating in an active and intensive phase of equity workshops, identity caucusing, individualized coaching, personal readings, and discussions designed to help develop and hone an equity analysis (e.g., topics such as understanding the social construction and history of the race; color-blind racism; universal vs. targeted policy-making) and interpersonal skills (e.g., understanding and facing white privilege and white fragility; racial anxiety and stereotype threat; and gaining skills in direct communication and feedback). In addition, to our work with Praxis LLC, our staff-led Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity and Culture Committee has been meeting monthly since August to discuss and apply the lessons we are learning along this journey.
This intensive phase is just the beginning; the work of learning is ongoing at Warren Village, and always will be. Please check back for more updates.
Read more about our journey to achieve racial equity and inclusion in our winter newsletter.
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee began meeting monthly with a solid group of members dedicated to making change internally and promoting equity among our programs. The group is made up of staff from all departments as well as residents and alumni (schedule-permitting).
The DEI Committee has two new co-leaders who are committed to making tangible changes towards justice. The DEI Committee is focusing its efforts on two different subcommittees, an Outreach subcommittee and a Policies & Procedures subcommittee. The new co-leaders are also taking the recommendations from our consultant, Praxis LLC, and creating an implementation plan to create goals and measures for this complex, intensive work. An upcoming Board vote will solidify these goals as essential to the agency’s growth.
The DEI Committee establishes “Our Voices,” a newsletter for staff focused on DEI education and resources. Read Newsletter.
We are excited to welcome our new Emerson Hunger Fellow, Alex Wilson, who comes to us from the Congressional Hunger Center. Alex is supporting our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) efforts. She will be helping to integrate feedback from residents, alumni and Learning Center parents into our program design and creating a deliverable that will help guide future DE&I efforts around meaningful resident and alumni involvement. Read more in our fall newsletter.
From October 2021 – February 2022, Alexandrea Wilson, MSW, Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow conducted a series of qualitative interviews to understand current Warren Village DEI efforts. During embedded participant observations the need for (a) gaining an understanding of current efforts to incorporate resident and alumni participation in programming design and change and (b) evaluating current mechanisms for engaging resident and alumni for feedback and participation emerged. The data collected also informed a strategy for increasing meaningful resident and alumni involvement. Read report