Commitment to Inclusivity
A strongly-held value at Side by Side is to honor and embrace the profound diversity of our clients and employees. A significant majority of both our clients and staff are people of color and/or are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. We strive for our workplace to be a safe place where everyone is respected and valued for who they are, and we make conscious efforts to ensure that our culture and norms do not perpetuate oppressive practices.
One way we do this is to invite Side by Side staff members to share their personal pronouns in both their introductions and email signatures. This helps avoid potential mis-gendering in conversation or other communications and acknowledges our respect for all staff, whether transgender, gender-non-conforming, or cisgender. Language is a powerful tool, and using someone’s chosen pronouns makes them feel valued, included, safe, and respected. Sharing pronouns is encouraged, however, not compulsory, with our intent to maintain a safe space for all.
Over the past several years, Side by Side has elevated our awareness of our implicit biases, both individually and as an organization, and continues to take steps internally to ensure we remove bias from our policies, practices, and culture. We acknowledge that what progress we’ve made for equity and inclusion at all levels of our organization is critical but unfinished work.
We are seriously re-examining our culture and policies to assure that we are meeting all our staff and clients where they are with deep and authentic respect for their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and lived experience. We are committed to diversifying our board and leadership staff so that our clients and the regions that we serve are represented at every level of our organization. We are also examining our alliances and memberships to confirm that we are in positive relationship with organizations that join us in honoring our youth for who they are and creating meaningful change within our local communities and within our country.
We will be reporting on our work here and hope you’ll revisit this page to keep track of our progress.