Belonging, Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Working Draft of Organizational Commitment to Racial Equity:
The NWRA is vested in strengthening social justice and accelerating racial equity for our staff, members, and those they serve. To us, Equity Accountability hinges on Data Accountability; we believe every member of the workforce counts and underrepresented members hold valuable insight. We strive to elevate the voices of the workforce and of those adversely affected by policy, action, or exclusion.
History & Action
Board formation of the first JEDI Committee in the Fall of 2020.
In early 2021, the NWRA invited a strategic team of representatives to develop the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee. After the W.K. Kellogg grant award (Who’s Missing) , we developed an understanding of the new level of work that would be required to accomplish the objectives of our vision/grant, we asked DEI members to recommit to the process and elected to change the Committee’s name to Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI). In the fall of 2021, the JEDI further considered the importance of Belonging and added the (B) to their name, as a visible and prominent reminder of the primary purpose of keeping “Belonging” central to the vision and outputs of our collective work. Hence they are also called by the nickname (B)JEDI.
Actions steps taken by the JEDI Committee (activities approved or engaged in) include:
- In the Summer, the Board’s Executive team hired Pilar Torres (EdD candidate and co-founder of LUNA, Latinas Unidas por los Ninos de America) as a consultant to manage lines of effort and inform/guide us through this process. Pilar was selected for this position as she brings extensive expertise in equity as well as Appreciative Inquiry (AI) training, and an organizational change framework that we felt was well-aligned to our community values. AI resonated as a guiding tool to aid us through this reflective process and used a strengths-based approach designed to engage, inspire and transform organizations through relationships. By paying close attention to how we formulate the questions that lead towards a specific common goal we felt this approach was right for our membership and organizational readiness.
- A number of tracking and assessment tools were created by Pilar to support our engagement and capture our collective learning that would surface.
- Over the Fall, our JEDI, Board Members, and Community leadership jointly read and discussed Appreciative Leadership, a highly praised leadership book that introduces the fundamental principles of AI.
- Pilar Torress then presented the outline of AI and NWRA Leadership’s reflection process at our annual conference in November.
- We jointly read and discussed Racial Equity resources and tools that were readily accessible and at our disposal, examining them for the goodness of fit.
- We developed and distributed two surveys from our perspective as JEDI members and state registry leaders
- Appreciative Inquiry Interview
- This supports the process of identifying strengths, stories that lay the foundation for an AI process
- Racial Equity organizational self Assessment (more here)
- Appreciative Inquiry Interview
- Our JEDI collectively rewrote mission and visions statements so they aligned with a strong equity lens and presented to NWRA Executive Leaders for approval
- The JEDI Collectively wrote a public statement on NWRA’s renewed commitment to equity.
- Working with our Standards & Data Committee, the JEDI revised our PER data elements with an equity lens.
- Some items were identified for immediate revision.
- Other parts surfaced that would require more resources/experts to weigh in, missing voices to contribute to the dialogue and deeper facilitation to make recommendations
- May 2022, we scheduled an in-person Leadership Summitt to support states in identifying our community needs, priorities, and required investments for our proposed road map
2021-2022: Who's Missing Grant
Make a Public Commitment to Racial Equity
This is our long-term, public commitment to embedding and operationalizing Racial Equity as a core part of our vision, efforts, and goals.
Publish an Equity Toolkit for Registries
State Self-Assessment Tool
Develop an Organizational Road Map
After we complete the reflection and visioning components of this effort, we will enlist member support to collectively identify what we want to accomplish and where we are headed together next.
Operationalizing Racial Equity
Attract & Retain BIPOC & LGBTQ colleagues in our efforts.
Deep our awareness
Reflecting on internal policies and practices,
Cultivate courage, honor vulnerability
Create a culture of safety and accountability
Seed spaces for listening to what's not working
Provide opportunities for growth and development
Endorse best practices for inclusion, diversity, and equity
Leverage external partners who can strengthen, validate, and guide our efforts.
Using the principles of Appreciative Inquiry, we remain focused on our strengths and how we leverage them to have more of what we want to see in the world.
State Registry Equity Toolkit
Coming soon for download ..