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Equity & Inclusion at Morrison

Morrison’s mission states its commitment to providing "culturally responsive, anti-oppressive mental health services to children, youth, and families who are working through the effects of systemic racism." That commitment also includes supporting our communities to move beyond disparity and oppression and work with compassion, integrity, and dedication to social justice through the implementation of policies, best practices, and advocacy. To sustain our commitment to equity and inclusion, all staff are asked to: Demonstrate the initiative to learn and practice skills that promote anti-oppressive, anti-racist and culturally responsive practices and participate in trainings, events, consultations, and other experiential learnings related to understanding and supporting equity, inclusion, and dismantling systemic institutional racism. We are using the tools, commitments and pillars of the Sanctuary Model to help support our antiracist work.

Equity Policy

The purpose of Morrison’s Equity Policy is to provide “a course or method to guide and determine” how Morrison will best show its commitment to equity initiatives. Its objective is to:

  • Create an inclusive and anti-racist organization by ensuring that racial identity will not determine or predict the quality of trauma-informed care a child receives.
  • Demonstrate leadership in race equity by ensuring that Morrison’s strategic goals, outcomes, programs, and initiatives are implemented with an equity lens.

Review the entire Equity Policy here.

Equity, Inclusion & Sanctuary Department

The Equity, Inclusion and Sanctuary Department (EI&S) is the equity, inclusion, antiracism and Sanctuary resource for all staff. It provides learning experiences and trainings, guidance, expertise and technical assistance to the Equity Advisory Council (EAC) and Morrison department/program directors, vice-presidents and executive leadership.  

Equity & Inclusion Training

“White Fragility I & II” is Morrison’s current staff-wide training and learning experience. In 2024, the E&I Department will launch a foundational curriculum: “Equity & Inclusion at Morrison: Cultivating an Anti-Racist Organization” as an onboarding for new staff and others. This learning will offer a progressive overview of structural and systemic racism and will include racial history, explore cultural differences and responsiveness and navigate the impact of dominant  culture, coded communication (i.e. microaggressions, implicit bias, etc.) and liberation strategies. This learning opportunity will occur as soon as feasible after an employee’s 90-day anniversary date. 

These trainings are supplemented by requested E&I consultations as well as ‘Reflective Consultation and Race Equity’ sessions which explore in depth a topic or circumstance introduced during the Equity & Inclusion at Morrison or White Fragility I&II and provides space for reflection and support. 

Equity Advisory Council

Morrison’s Equity Policy authorizes the Equity Advisory Council (EAC) to hold the organization accountable for achieving its objectives. The EAC consists of approximately 15-20 Morrison employees. The EAC strives to have members who represent a wide range of organizational roles and skills. The EAC works to:

  • Identify systemic, institutional racism and cultural barriers that impact equitable access to Morrison services and career opportunities.
  • Make recommendations to dismantle systemic institutional racism and to improve diversity and cultural responsiveness.
  • Initiate and champion courageous conversations that increase employee awareness and sensitivity to issues of race, privilege, and inequity.

Review the EAC Milestones. 

EAC ONE-YEAR ACTION PLAN WITH STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS

The EAC’s Practical Vision is what the Council would like to see in place at Morrison as a result of its actions. In order to accomplish this objective, the EAC created Strategic Directions that are innovative, substantial actions that will deal with any underlying contradictions and move us towards our vision.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION I: The primary goal of this strategic direction is to Create an Antiracist Culture Through Coaching and Training at Morrison Child & Family Services.

All Morrison staff are expected to ‘unlearn biases’ and expand their skills in cultural responsiveness. This strategic direction provides content and consultation for the curricula and learning sessions offered by the E&I department. SDI is collaborating with the Human Resources Department to support the development and implementation of a training and coaching program which reinforces the importance of critical self-learning for supervisors and managers. In 2022, Reflective Consultation and Race Equity for Supervisors and Managers was launched as a pilot program to provide structured time, space and support for supervisors and managers to integrate antiracist practices into their work at Morrison.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION II: Telling Our Story: Communications, Branding and Outreach

We identified the main languages spoken in areas we are currently serving and translated our website into the most commonly spoken languages identified. We hope this provides a more equitable experience for our clients whose native language is not English. We also launched our Racial History series, a learning platform that we create and share with our agency. This helps us unlearn whitewashed history and learn about historical events and individuals from communities of color to truly understand how our country was shaped. This learning felt important to us to prioritize as we work towards our race-first equity initiative.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION III: Institutionalizing Antiracist Staff Development

Strategic Direction III is tasked with institutionalizing antiracist staff development in several ways. These include coordinating with the agency’s human resources department to support hiring practices that align with community priorities and ensure that there are internal agency policies that address issues of discrimination, micro-aggressions, and patterns of exclusion/inclusion. Strategic Direction III also works with organizational leadership to establish and appropriately fund membership in the agency’s Community Advisory Board, and to include work being done to support antiracist efforts in annual reports.

STRATEGIC DIRECTION IV: Implementing & Measures

The Equity Advisory Council’s Strategic Directions IV and V collaborate around the exciting work of measuring the concrete characteristics of our agency that bring us closer to our whole community (IV), as well as creating the infrastructure for ongoing feedback, dialogue, and meaningful connection between clients, partners, and staff (V). SDIV  is also responsible for implementation of the Protocol for Culturally Responsive Organizations at Morrison

STRATEGIC DIRECTION V: Ensuring Service-Based Equity for Clients and Community

SDV is responsible for creating an infrastructure for ongoing feedback, dialogue and meaningful connection between clients, partners and staff in the form of a Community Advisory Group (CAG). This group will help guide the work of the EAC. We have facilitated six large dialogues for all of Morrison staff to explore and identify what we want this CAG to look like and feel like and share considerations, experiences, challenges and successes with similar Community Advisory Groups.

Equity Advisory Council

staff Patricia Weekley
staff Delin Ruhl
staff Kat Jimenez
staff Dipita Thapa
staff Jess Smith
staff Jessica Montoya
staff Caroline Goldstone
staff Belinda Kjensrud
staff Shelley Battaglia
staff Nick Gallo

Ask the Equity Advisory Council