Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update
Rocky Mountain Human Services, with the guidance of a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, has engaged in an in-depth assessment process to better understand how our staff thinks about DEI issues and chart a course forward in our commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization.
Last summer, RMHS pledged to become an anti-racist organization, an effort that aligns with RMHS values and who we are as an organization.
RMHS has been working with Angela Whitenhill-Shields, head facilitator and founder of Root Cause Collective, a collective of health and wellness professionals who specialize in an array of issues, including stigma reduction and racial equity issues.
Since late July, Angela and RMHS staff have:
Conducted 16 motivational interviews with 132 members of leadership, management and employee council
Conducted six BIPOC conversation groups
Conducted 13 two-hour trainings involving 350 employees or three-quarters of staff
Created an online training for 25 percent who couldn’t attend live, and for new hires going forward
Conducted employee survey on DEI issues
Conducted four continuing conversation groups
Created a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council, composed of 14 employees
Created an organization-wide initial assessment of needs and opportunities
Began recruiting for full-time DEI manager
Angela found that most staff are positive and receptive to the work needed to become an anti-racist company and engage in DEI work. She also noted most staff have strong faith in company values and intentions for diversity equity and inclusion work. It was also heartening to find that we had a solid group of staff interested in developing and participating in the DEI Advisory Council and serving as RMHS’ core conduit for staff buy-in and engagement.
The next step of the process involves presenting the results of Angela’s assessment to employees, an effort that has started and is ongoing. Angela has presented her findings to the Employee Council and the DEI Advisory Council. Along with the presentations will come an opportunity for all employees to offer feedback so that we adjust our goals and aims based on that input.