Belonging, Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
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 insights. 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 at Johns Hopkins University 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 State Interview
- This supports the process of identifying strengths, stories that lay the foundation for an AI process
- Racial Equity organizational Self-Assessment
- Appreciative Inquiry State 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 Summit to support states in identifying our community needs, priorities, and required investments for our proposed road map
Any member of the NWRA, professional registry staff, or allied party interested in contributing to a more just, inclusive, equitable ECE professional development system is welcome to join the (B)JEDI by contacting email@example.com
We are particularly interested in hearing from underrepresented populations or
people adversely affected by our policy, actions, or systemic efforts.
2021-2022: Who's Missing? Grant
Operationalizing Racial Equity
We treat our staff, public, and members with dignity and cultivate a sense of belonging. We listen thoughtfully and communicate effectively to each other and to the public. We honor fairness and diversity.
We are forthcoming and open in all our internal and external interactions. We are transparent and accountable to our members and the public. We take responsibility for our actions.
We engage with our fellow thought partners and national organizations, non-profits, universities, scholars, and leaders in the field to create a thriving network of mutually beneficial relationships with the common goal of contributing to strengthening the workforce and improving the quality of care and education for children.
We illuminate our staff, partners, and allies and provide the highest quality service to our members and the public. We strengthen our relationships by offering our best efforts to visitors, constituents, colleagues, and collaborators.
We are passionate about our possibilities and our resources. Creative endeavors are tied to outputs and accountability reflected in our Theory of Change.
We collaborate as a team and as partners with diligence and dedication, working toward a common vision for a strong Professional Development System.
We approach our work with energy, enthusiasm, and a desire to create enjoyable experiences for members.