Update on agency Equity Committee work

The agency Equity Committee continues to meet regularly to complete the steps in the audit process. Much of the committee’s work has centered around conducting a root cause analysis to better understand the current status of our equity efforts and identifying “safe to fail” experiments designed to test practices that may move the agency forward toward a desired state. Safe-to-fail experiments are often used when dealing with complex problems (e.g. equity challenges) that often require experimentation to discover promising solutions that cannot be known in advance.

The current working themes from the audit work include:

  • Leadership Communication – Central Rivers AEA leadership has an opportunity to make values and actions more visible that support the organizational priority of equity. Two-way communication (e.g. we all have our roles in working toward equity) must be strengthened. We all have to support and engage in the work together to solve problems. 
  • Courage and Candor – How might we continue to grow our culture and climate to include more understanding, transparency (marketing & hiring processes), learning and building skills sets in culturally responsiveness and build upon the ability to lean into conversations to deepen people’s comfort level to increase our authenticity in being an equitable and brave work space and carry these mindsets into the systems we serve?  (How do we make these terms explicit?)   
  • Professional Learning – We have a current structure for meetings and learning that often creates barriers to deeper learning and progress. There are no structured intentional spaces for discourse that support this learning and the discomfort that comes with growth.  We are lacking clear public articulation of why equity, diversity and inclusion matter to our agency from our leadership. Our focus within the three big rocks does not include much intentional room for diversity, equity and inclusion.   
  • Staff Diversity – We need a system that fosters and develops the recruitment, retention, and support of marginalized groups. We need to ensure that all staff (administrators, Certified, NUSS, and Classified) explore their biases and implement a system to address biases, language used, and microaggressions at all levels. We need to be intentional in our interview process to ask questions that address DEI. Questions that ask about beliefs, experiences, practices. 

Work toward developing an action plan will take place in the near future and updates will continue to be provided through The Channel. We are also working toward an organizational definition of equity.

Questions? Please contact Karl Kurt.

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