Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Trellis for Tomorrow staff and board are committed to starting change from within. We will settle for nothing less than for Trellis to become an anti-racist organization. We work daily for greater social, environmental, and economic justice. Each of these areas is deeply and inextricably tied to racial justice, and we cannot solve one without addressing the others.
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Over the course of 2020, we saw people across the country demanding justice for the lives lost due to the racism that plagues our nation. The pain we feel now is not new for Black Americans. It simply reflects a heightened level of anguish resulting from decades of racial injustice that includes false promises, broken social contracts, and the propagation of a narrative that the racial divide in our nation is perceived but not real. Our black friends are understandably angry, exhausted, and out of options.
In the words of Van Jones, “where there is common pain, there should be common purpose.” Yet, despite this common pain, we continue to find ways to divide and blame instead of seeking answers, finding unity, and recognizing our oneness. As White Americans who have benefitted from systemic racism for so long now, we need to dig in and do the real work.
The Trellis for Tomorrow staff and board are committed to starting change from within. We will settle for nothing less than for Trellis to become an anti-racist organization. This opportunity is at the doorstep of all organizations and individuals, but we feel it particularly critical for an organization such as ours that works daily for greater social, environmental, and economic justice. Each of these areas is deeply and inextricably tied to racial justice and we cannot solve one without addressing the others.
Based on our own internal reflection and guidance of stakeholders, we determined that our first step on this journey was to educate ourselves and address our own shortcomings. Trellis staff initiated a bi-weekly professional development program where we jointly explore the subject of systemic racism and reflect on thought leadership in this area. We share takeaways and perspectives from podcasts, webinars, books and articles, but more importantly we discuss how we can apply what we have learned to our work on resilience, compassion, and building sustainable communities. We also push ourselves to dig into areas that are uncomfortable and challenge us, hopefully preparing us to engage in more of the same outside of Trellis as well. This regular work will continue as long as is necessary for us to reflect internally our external commitment.
Moving forward, we will incorporate elements of external engagement and collaboration with the communities we serve into our educational agenda. We will also ramp up our efforts to intentionally and consciously create a diverse workplace that honors all voices, fosters creativity, and celebrates diversity.
We will continue to keep you updated on our learning and growth. In the meantime, we welcome your input and feedback on these efforts as we continue to learn, grow, and evolve to be a contributing member of the racial justice movement and a true ally to communities of color. Please send any questions, comments, or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trellis for Tomorrow Staff and Board