equity and inclusivity
Bridges to Change recognizes and fosters cultural diversity and respect throughout our organization and the communities we serve. Our vision is that Bridges to Change will be sought out as an organization that truly fosters an atmosphere of cultural equity and that we make every effort to acknowledge, understand and embrace cultural differences.
We strive for everyone to be represented, feel safe and trust that this would be a place with less barriers to achieving success.
As we humbly navigate this profound work, we are committed to having dignity and respect in all of our interactions. We believe that improving outcomes for communities of color will unify us and allow all communities to heal. Our hope is that we role model these values inside and outside of our organization and that our work will improve outcomes and bridge the gap toward greater social justice in the community.
Bridges to Change launched this limited series podcast. Through this we aimed to share stories of recovery and community through conversations with BTC about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Equity and Inclusivity Committee Progress
- Inception of the Diversity Committee at Bridges to Change
- Committee changes language in policies from “cultural competency” to “cultural awareness”, adopting the philosophy that there is not a point where we become completely competent in matters of culture, however, we can continue to grow and evolve in our awareness
- Committee implements first Diversity Committee Training to the organization on Diversity and Cultural Awareness
- Through a generous grant provided by Meyer Memorial Trust, Bridges to Change advances its efforts with an organizational assessment to help guide strategy planning. Includes creation of our racial equity policy to ensure accountability.
- Began consultant work leading to stronger, more focused development plans
- Annual training was a success! Topics included micro-aggressions, intersectionality, implicit bias and house manager mini-version this year
- Equitable Advancement Policy implemented
- Training budget approved for Equity Committee to utilize
- Racial Equity Policy implemented throughout organization
- 3rd annual training on equity and inclusivity!\
- DEI Leadership Committee was formed to work in collaboration with Equity and Inclusivity
- Affinity groups established for staff to connect
- DEI Leadership begins evaluating organization based on Protocols for Culturally Responsive Organizations.
- DEI Leadership completes assessment for Protocols for Culturally Responsive Organizations
Subject Matter Expert teams established and begin focused efforts of taking on responsibilities of committees with actionable steps
Anti racist statement
Bridges to Change has established an anti-racist statement to frame the work that we are doing, as it is essential to any positive changes in racial equity. Please take a moment to read through it here.
As an organization, we recognize that our mission is to strengthen individuals and families affected by addictions, mental health, poverty, and homelessness is driven and compounded by systemic and institutional racism. We also recognize that, as an organization with the majority of employees and board members not representing communities of color, that we are part of the systemic problems we wish to change.
In order to change injustices, we must acknowledge our own contributions to injustice, and work diligently to improve our organizations impact on the community.
Bridges to Change is determined to utilize an anti-racist approach in all things we do. We know that communities of color are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, impacted by health disparities, police brutality, chronic lack of resources, and interpersonal and systemic violence. As a result, we are determined to continue working against all forms of racism, discrimination, and injustice. We will not stand with the status quo and enable continuations of oppression to impact the communities we are part of. We are actively pursuing action against overt and covert displays of racism, injustices in the way resources are distributed, and negative outcomes for the most-impacted communities. We stand in partnership with black, indigenous, multicultural people of color. Bridges to Change will not waver in our fight for equity. We stand for justice and actively seek guidance from and in partnership with our most-impacted allies. We stand and demand action for positive change from systems of power.
Bridges to Change will not stand silent, we will not be complicit with the status quo, and we will not be complicit to the current structures that create and continue racism and injustice. We will stand with the most-impacted communities and we will be accountable to the community, our program participants, and to our mission.
Bridges to Change is determined to take action in the following ways:
- Bridges to Change will hold our funders and community partners accountable to equitable practices, openly addressing systemic barriers they and we contribute to and decline funding from entities that do not support our anti-racist and equity values.
- Bridges to Change will deepen our commitment to internal organizational action for equity by seeking mentorship from our allies and holding our leadership, board, and staff accountable to our anti-racist and equity organizational statements and values.
- Bridges to Change will create and sustain partnerships with organizations, businesses, and community leaders to support and receive guidance on how we can improve our impact and be better allies.
- Bridges to Change will make ongoing investments in community organizations supporting the most-impacted communities of systemic racism and injustice.