This is part 1 of a 4 part series.
To focus on becoming a more antiracist firm and workplace on July 1, 2020, we announced our Equity and Justice Action Plan. This series will share resources and documents we developed to Be Just. Do Right. by bringing social justice into our office through culture, work, recruiting, and spending.
The goal of this post is to share how we are making progress on our commitment a year later. This is not intended to be a report on best practices because we are still learning and evolving. Rather, we want to offer our work as a resource to be built upon.
To be more intentional with our conversations and actions of social justice we invested in creating different spaces and groups for information sharing, learning, and empathy.
Recognizing the need to have dedicated leaders that push forward our initial commitment, the Social Justice Practice was established. While everyone at I&CO could contribute to our commitment, this group is structured to run as a working team that identifies room for growth and prepares the briefs for DEI internal projects. The mission statement is as follows:
Another priority was to establish common knowledge among teammates through group workshops. This past year we have worked with the following diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners:
- Kenya Crawford: led a two-part anti-racism workshop that unpacked White privilege and how it shows up at work
- Derek Lipscomb: worked with us to create a strategy on sustaining and making ongoing progress with our social justice work
- Bold Culture: both through consulting and a workshop led by Ahmad Barber, unpacked how cultural appropriation and appreciation can show up in our work and personal lives
- She+ Geeks Out: led us through a workshop taught by Jacquis Watters and focused on unconscious bias in the workplace
Putting into action the learnings from these workshops, we have implemented the following practices:
- Mental health days: always available to those who need it
- Holding time: optional all-staff meetings to create space to discuss. We’ve had meetings to process events such as the murder of Adam Toledo. We have also organized more structured conversations around embracing diversity in opinions (political and otherwise). To view an example of the agenda for a structured meeting: Click Here
- Pronoun transparency: to create a more inclusive space for the team we utilized Slack’s new pronoun field
- Information sharing: to encourage more cross-office knowledge sharing in the virtual space, we have dedicated a social justice channel to share current events and continuous social justice learnings. We have also used our work-from-home channel to uplift the history and voices of different communities throughout the year. These prompts were a catalyst that sparked conversation and awareness.
Next, we will share how our working process has evolved to incorporate social justice.