What does diversity, equity, and inclusion look like at Justice in Aging?
We are committed to addressing the pernicious effects of systemic power and privilege, paying particular attention to how privilege has historically given, and currently gives, advantage to some groups and individuals over others. We believe that building an equitable workplace and recruiting and retaining a staff that is representative and inclusive of race, ability, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion is critical to this effort.
We recognize that fostering an inclusive environment is a continuous process involving reflection, education, and dialogue to make substantive changes. We strive to empower those who experience systemic and historic oppression by building workplace norms that encourage everyone to contribute their ideas, perspectives, and opinions and to ensure those ideas, perspectives, and opinions are built into our systems.
Why is diversity, equity and inclusion important to both our culture and our work?
We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential to our success as an organization, and empowers us to more effectively advance equity in our work. When we better reflect the communities we serve, our ability to identify and understand the needs of those communities grows, and our work has a greater impact. Our diversity gives us different perspectives from which to strategize, plan, and respond to the needs of the communities we serve. It also helps us grow professionally as we add new voices to strengthen our problem-solving toolkit.
We recognize that racism and ageism are only two forms of systemic discrimination older people may face throughout their lives. Older adults who are women, people with disabilities, limited English proficient, immigrants, and part of the LGBTQ community also experience systemic inequities that create and sustain disparities in their health and economic security as they age. For older adults who live at the intersection of more than one of these communities, the compounded effect of the discrimination and inequities they encounter as they age intensifies. Read about our strategic initiative to advance equity in our programmatic work, launched in March 2021.
How do we foster diversity, equity, and inclusion?
We recognize that systemic racism, ableism, homophobia, and white privilege pervades all systems of society and we seek to dismantle these systems through policies, practices, and culture.
To develop our shared commitment, we create opportunities for staff to engage and address biases, misconceptions, and privileges. We acknowledge that social identities impact the way people communicate, whose opinions are respected, and who struggles with misconceptions, judgments, or preconceived notions. We work to foster an environment where those who may otherwise be silenced are included, respected, and encouraged to speak out. We strive to offer a flexible work environment to allow people with differing commitments, needs, and work styles to thrive.
Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, established in 2018, strives to operationalize our internal commitment throughout the organization, including its policies and procedures. The Committee is comprised of staff from all offices and teams. Committee members develop and implement initiatives and activities that spark discussion and reflection on power and privilege, with a specific focus on race equity. The Committee also organizes and leads staff trainings, caucusing, connection activities, and discussion groups to create a culture that encourages us all to actively work to combat power and privilege.