Equity in healthcare and equity in the workplace are both core values of SWACH as an accountable community for health (ACH). In keeping with our core values, SWACH made a public commitment to stand against racism in the summer of 2020. We continue to work toward an environment that supports honest and difficult conversations, and we recognize that there’s no better place to advance the goal of equity than by modeling it in our own workplace. In fact, we are obliged to lead by example if we are to improve and promote equity in our larger communities.
Only then can we expect real progress toward more equitable workplaces and healthy communities for all.
Enter JEDIS at SWACH
Last July, SWACH formed an internal Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Squad (JEDIS). Members include Kim Lepin, Dominique Horn, Brette Greenwood-Wing, Jim Jensen, and Jason Burton. JEDIS aims to guide SWACH’s continued growth towards realizing our mission, health equity, and equity as a team value. JEDIS offers strategic advice to SWACH leadership, based on best practices, and brings an equity lens to SWACH’s internal operations and external activities.
Equity Self-Assessment Findings
SWACH continues to both facilitate and participate in the Equity Collaborative. As part of this cohort model, SWACH has completed our internal Equity Assessment.
Using tools from the Coalition of Communities of Color, and the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative, JEDIS played a key role in this assessment work. Findings will be used to inform SWACH’s Equity Growth Plan, which then be integrated into the larger strategic plan.
Because transparency is essential to equity work, SWACH — and JEDIS – want to share our results with our community.
Here’s what the Equity Assessment data collection process entailed:
- SWACH fielded an online equity survey of 13 SWACH staff. CORE analyzed the data, focusing on the domains SWACH prioritized
- CORE facilitated an online focus group with SWACH staff. Seven of eight staff participated
- CORE facilitated an online focus group with SWACH’s Board of Trustees. Five out of twelve board members participated
- CORE facilitated one-on-one interviews with all five SWACH program directors and the Executive Director
- CORE conducted a sub-analysis of equity indicators in the SWACH partner survey. Fifty-two partners participated
- The SWACH JEDIS team conducted a review of SWACH policies and other organizational documents
Being Resilient Learners…Together
Every organization that cares about its community is reckoning with difficult truths and important realities. Our data indicates that our staff, partners, and community will benefit from better alignment between policy, leadership, and internal efforts to improve equity in SWACH’s internal culture.
Like many organizations, we know there is more learning (and unlearning) ahead. We’ll continue to share our experiences and progress as we do the necessary work to improve equity within our organization. We would love to hear about your experiences and learning, too. Please consider sharing what you’ve learned about your organization, and what is working for you as you improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels. You may contact Kim at: Kim.firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute to this discussion.
SWACH’s Equity Journey – January 2021
We continue to place Equity and Inclusion at the center of our work at SWACH. As an organization, we supported the Board of Health declaring racism a public health crisis in Clark County. We hope that by acknowledging the issue of racism and its impact on public health, we can begin to immediately reduce and eventually eliminate the grave inequities that exist.
Additionally, we completed our internal equity assessment in October. The results are highlighted above, but here is the full report.
The JEDIS are leading SWACH through its equity growth plan process and look forward to engaging our community in developing our priorities for the next two years. Opportunities to become involved will be highlighted soon.
Building our Capacity
SWACH staff will be participating in a series of trainings and facilitated conversations over the next several months. Some of the topics include:
- Power and Privilege
- White Supremacy Culture
Our all-staff book club finished How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. Our monthly all-staff book club discussions will take a deeper dive into the training topics listed above. Stay tuned for additional resources!
Resources for Improving Education about Equity
- Inslee announces Washington’s historic commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
- The American Medical Association declares racism as public health threat, and related article
- Developing Community Agreements
- What are personal pronouns and why do they matter?
- Land acknowledgements: A way to respect the first peoples of the land