GatherDC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice Update – Sept. 2021

by GatherDC Staff / September 14, 2021

As we shared in our Anti-Racist Accountability Statement, GatherDC has committed to sharing timely updates with our community around the work we are doing to more fully integrate a racial equity and justice lens into our leadership and staff structure, organizational policies, communications and marketing, and community engagement.

This is our first update since actively embarking on this work, and it covers the last year+ of our internal work, action steps, and conversations we’ve engaged in since June 2020. We know that it feels like a lot has been shared all at once, and at the same time that it’s been a long time coming; we are excited to share these updates on a more regular quarterly basis going forward and hope that in sharing these updates, you can join us in keeping ourselves accountable to our public pledge and enduring commitment to becoming a fully anti-racist organization that recognizes the full diversity, breadth, and depth of Jewish life, in both our policies and practices.

 

JUN. 2020

Rapid response to George Floyd + BLM

GatherDC expresses unequivocal support and solidarity with ongoing protests. Creates a solidarity guide for the community, facilitates mutual aid for grassroots activist groups, opens office as a safe space for night-time protestors.

AUG. 2020

Internal staff learning

Staff reads and discusses How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi as the kick-off to a fuller implementation of ongoing internal antiracist learning. Gather builds in time for anti-racist reading/learning and discussion for how these concepts intersect with GatherDC’s work and can be used to improve Gather’s service to the community.

SEPT. 2020

External organizational audit

GatherDC engages with a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging coach to identify and define organizational anti-racist values and how to more fully incorporate these values into GatherDC’s work, practices, and policies.

NOV. 2020

Receive audit results, begin implementation

GatherDC receives recommendations on how to better infuse more equitable and just practices in the areas of GatherDC’s communications, engagement, operations/HR, and leadership based on the autumn audit; GatherDC’s senior team begins strategizing how best to begin sharing out with the staff and diving into addressing the recommendations.

DEC. 2020

Implement more equitable hiring processes

GatherDC restructures our hiring process to share more inclusive job descriptions, examine and redirect where and how GatherDC sources candidates, and evaluate candidates using more equitable metrics while eliminating bias wherever possible. Restructuring results in a larger and vastly more diverse candidate pool than previous hiring cycles.

JAN. 2020

Racial Justice Launchpad

Several GatherDC staff and a member of our board join 9 other DC area Jewish organizations to participate in Joyous Justice’s Racial Justice Launch Pad, an eight month regional cohort experience building the capacity of leaders and staff to take collaborative ownership of authentically and systematically advancing racial justice within their institution and community they serve. 

FEB. 2021

Anti-racist manager training

All managers undergo a multi-day management course on effective management practices and how to apply them specifically through an equity lens; going forward, all GatherDC managers joining the team will take this course upon hiring before taking on any supervisees, and will undergo ongoing training and learning.

MAR. 2021

Passover class on reparations 

Gather’s Community Rabbi offers our community a 4-session class on reparations for Black Americans and their implications, connecting the lessons of reparations to the holiday of Passover and Jewish tradition and inviting guest speakers to teach and talk about their on-the-ground reparations work. 

APR. 2021

Accountability team formation

GatherDC assembles a cross-functional team of four staff members to strategize on what DEIJ goals (as outlined in the audit) should live with which team member in order to best move them forward, and to ensure that DEIJ goals are embedded in GatherDC’s work rather than parallel side goals.

MAY 2021

Audit goals assignment and integration

Full set of DEIJ goals are taken on by team members best equipped to integrate each recommendation into their work; each staff member meets with members of GatherDC’s Anti-Racist Accountability Group to talk through each recommendation and set SMARTIE goals to ensure timely, active, achievable action and follow-through.

AUG. 2021

Anti-racist onboarding 

GatherDC integrates anti-racist training component into onboarding for all new staff members consisting of orientation with Anti-Racist Accountability Group, private reading, 1:1 conversations with manager, and ongoing staff-wide training and learning.

SEPT. 2021

Public accountability statement

GatherDC publishes its Racial Justice Accountability Statement – a permanent, public commitment outlining our commitment to racial justice, inclusion, and equity as they pertain to every element of our work. We share our commitment to DEIJ work, why it is critical to our work, the steps we have taken thus far, the focuses on the horizon, and a regular schedule for future updates.

 

NEXT STEPS

Restorative justice training; audits of internal communications practices and educational curriculum; asset mapping of community; reviewing & rewriting internal policies/procedures through equity lens; use of organizational resources to promote & advance DEIJ values; regular updates to our community on our work.