Over the past two months, we have been challenging ourselves to grow, learn and change the way we understand, discuss and act to dismantle racist structures that adversely affect the health and wellbeing of black and brown communities. We were grateful to be selected to participate in the Center for Urban and Racial Equity's Facilitating Racial Equity Organizational Change learning collaborative.
The objectives of this collaborative are to:
- Build shared language and analysis of institutional and structural racism and engage in critical reflection of how race and racism has shaped our culture, strategy, and practices
- Plan and design our change process and align policies, practices, programs and services with a deeper commitment to racial equity and justice
- Apply a racial equity organizational change framework
- Learn and practice equity-rooted facilitation methods we can use to support others in interrogating ideas about race, racism, and organizational behavior
- Identify strategies and next steps for integrating trainings, assessment, and action planning processes in our organization
- Develop relationships, collaborate and practice with peers, and receive coaching and guidance to address specific challenges facing our organization and racial equity team
Team members India Gill, MPH, Tim Ciesielski, ScD, MD, MPH and Rachael Sommer, LISW, MSSA are representing the center in this four-part series and are already applying lessons learned. Our first step was revising the Summer Internship curriculum. It now reflects a more intentional focus on racism and its impact on environmental health equity. With the help of our summer interns, we will also be conducting a listening tour with Swetland Center partners to gain feedback on our community engaged and racial equity practices. This will inform recommendations that will be incorporated in our broader action plan as a center.
We look forward to connecting with you further on this journey and seek your insights on ways we can more deeply commit to racial justice at the Swetland Center.