Redstone Rodolfo Serna created the above mural in collaboration with JOIN staff and community.

JOIN has been committed to actively targeting and addressing equity, inclusion, and racial disparities for our service users, staff, and community since 2013. Our commitment and efforts were strengthened when we identified working toward becoming an anti-racist organization as one of our main objectives in our new strategic plan in the fall of 2016.

JOIN recognizes that anti-racism is a process more than a destination and are committed to continuous improvement and *learning. As an organization, we are committed to the long-term work of moving toward anti-racism and reducing disparities. To that end, some of the strategies we have pursued to date include the following:


**CAC (Community Advisory Committee)

**CACC (Community Advisor Coordinating Committee)

**Equity Committee

**JOINt Caucasus

Data Analysis And Evaluation

By monitoring our placement and retention numbers, adjusting our services and strategies to be more culturally relevant, and partnering with culturally specific agencies, we hope to address racial disparities on the street as well as the unique ways in which communities of color experience homelessness.

Dedicated Capacity

We have re-committed and are passionate about our **committee’s featuring staff and community members who meet monthly to shape, guide, and champion our various efforts toward equity and inclusion. Our equity commitments include our Board of Directors. In January of 2017 we created a full-time Equity Coordinator position to organize and actualize the equity work driven by staff and direct organizational capacity and resources toward our equity efforts and goals. Our re-commitment is led by our new Director of Equity and Inclusion, DiJonnette Montgomery-Thompson.

Evaluating And Updating Our Hiring Process

In an effort to diversify our staff and more accurately reflect the communities we serve, JOIN applied an equity lens to the qualities and qualifications we looked for in candidates, where we posted our job openings, what questions we asked in our interviews, and how we evaluated candidates. We then updated these processes to eliminate opportunities for unintended bias or unintentional exclusion.


We actively solicit feedback from the people we serve as well as agencies we partner with on the cultural relevance of our services.

Training And Support

We continue to bring in training opportunities to increase staff knowledge of institutional racism and oppression, as well as how to recognize and interrupt racism, oppression, and microaggressions in the workplace. We participate in monthly affinity groups to hold space for conversations and create opportunities for staff to share their backgrounds and cultures with one another, and include commitments to JOIN’s organizational equity and inclusion work in our professional development with staff. We also hold space at staff and board meetings for equity activities and questions on a regular basis.

Policy Creation And Review

We review our existing policies and practices with an equity lens and update them to include our organizational commitments to equity and inclusion and expectations for staff. We have also written new policy to address issues of discrimination, prejudice, and oppression in the workplace and the disparate impact of oppression on staff from marginalized populations.

Learning: Definitions

Is the policy or practice of actively and consciously opposing racism and promoting racial equity.

Is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. People of color (POC) is used primarily in the United States to describe individuals who are not White.

Is an inclination or preference that interferes with impartial judgment.

Refers to a people whose assigned sex at birth aligns with their gender identity.

Diversity is the practice or quality of creating a community comprising people of different ages, cultural backgrounds, geographies, physical abilities and disabilities, religions, sexes, gender identities, sexual orientations, etc.

Equity means that resources are distributed based on the tailored needs of a specific audience. Equity recognizes that some communities will need more—or different—access compared to other communities.

Inclusion is the act or practice of behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome. In the workplace, inclusion isthe achievement of a work environment in which all individuals are treated fairly and respectfully, have equal access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute fully to the organization’s success.

A food desert is an area that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food.

Is an official term from the USDA. It's when people don't have enough to eat and don't know where their next meal will come from. It's a big problem in the United States, where over 44 million people, including 13 million children, experience food insecurity annually.

Is behavior that shows favoritism toward one gender over another. Most often, gender bias is the act of favoring men and/or boys over women and/or girls.

Homelessness or houselessness – also known as a state of being unhoused or unsheltered – is the condition of lacking stable, safe, and functional housing.

Is the complex, cumulative intertwining of social identities which result in unique experiences, opportunities, and barriers. People may use “intersectionality” to refer to the many facets of our identities, and how those facets intersect. Some use the term to refer to the compound nature of multiple systemic oppressions.

LGBTQ+ can also refer to individuals who are non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Two-spirit is used by some Native Americans to refer to Native Americans who have both a male and a female spirit, or qualities of both genders. While the term was coined in 1990, it is an umbrella term to encompass various terms used for generations in some Native American tribes to identify people who embodied two or more, or alternate, genders. Not all Native Americans or Native American tribes use or recognize the term.

Refers to a person whose gender is neither only male nor only female.

Are everyday verbal, physical, and symbolic insults and slights, whether intentional or unintentional.

Is the idea that neurological differences, such as autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are the result of normal, natural variation among humans.

(Why they matter): https://pronouns.org/what-and-why

Is a complex system of beliefs and behaviors that result in the oppression of people of color and benefit the dominant group

Is a vision of a society that distributes equal resources to all individuals.

Is a form of racism that is embedded into the complex system and structures of an organization, society, etc., and institutionalized procedures or processes that disadvantage people of color, perpetuating racial inequality

Transgender refers to individuals whose gender identity differs from the gender they were thought to be when they were born. Use the name and personal pronouns transgender people use for themselves. If you aren't sure which pronouns to use, ask politely.

Refers to populations that are underrepresented in relation to their numbers in the general population.

Is used todescribepeople who have limited or no access to acceptable and affordable resources or services, including disaster behavioral health services. The term should be used carefully and, where possible, specifics should be provided (e.g., people who are medically underserved, people living in Health Professional Shortage Areas)