JOIN Equity Initiative

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. 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 pursed to date include:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Feedback

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

  • Dedicated Capacity

    We have a committed and passionate committee of staff who meet monthly to shape, guide, and champion our various efforts toward equity and inclusion. 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.