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Steepletown has been working on further developing its policies and practices as an organization to be more inclusive, diverse, and racially equitable.  Steepletown contracted with the Partners for a Racism-Free Community earlier this year and have been guided through its assessments and coaching.  Specifically there are six standards or areas that are assessed using what is referred to as the ICARE Essentials Assessment Tool. The purpose of this assessment process is to:

  • Help Steepletown build a racism-free workplace
  • Guide the development of an organizational plan focused on achieving racial equity
  • Help increase organizational effectiveness
  • Support staff retention.

The PRFC’s definition of “racism-free” is the following: “The individual and systemic condition achieved when all persons, regardless of skin color, feel welcomed and wanted in all places and treat others the same way.”  Steepletown’s Staff have also been greatly influenced by the work of John Powell in his book, Racing to Justice.  Mr. Powell speaks about “targeted universalism”, which basically identifies the disparate realities of urban core communities and the need to implement specific strategies that can impact these disparities, whether they be educational attainment, household income, or employment rates.

Last week all of the Steepletown Staff participated in focus groups to discuss their own experiences of racism and to identify any barriers that exist at Steepletown to achieving a racism-free environment.  These were very powerful conversations which will continue to shape the policies and practices of Steepletown.

If you are interested in learning more about Steepletown’s efforts, send an email to Nathan Beals:  nathan@steepletown.org.