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This series, produced in partnership with Equal Measureaims Rights responsibility lens inspire new and inform current conversations about the role of Rights responsibility lens in the development and evaluation of philanthropic investments.
Some of us from the Brighton Centerwhich provides workforce training, education, housing, and other support services to low-income communities in Northern Kentucky, were at a convening of grantees funded by the W. We came together to discuss Supporting Transitions to Employment for Parents STEPSa program that aims to ensure that more low-income parents have the skills and opportunities to move onto and up the ladder of economic success.
The conversation turned to racial equity. I pulled out the work plan that Brighton Center had so thoughtfully crafted to guide our STEPS project, flipped to the racial equity section—a portion of the plan the foundation asked us to complete as part of our grant planning—and began skimming the words.
The plan I had previously considered strong suddenly seemed inadequate.
I realized I been confusing the concepts of equity, and equality, diversity, and inclusion. Questions came to mind: Had we really addressed disparity? A mother and her children, who are participants in Brighton Center programs. Following this experience, I felt empowered to dig deeper into the underlying causes of disparities the people we aim to help have experienced.
Through data we collect about our programs, I wanted to learn more about racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in employment, in housing access, and in the number of people who access our services.
Through analyzing these data, our understanding of disparities, and how to identify them, has become much sharper. I was truly looking at our work plan through a new lens, and I was energized!
We were ready to set a racial equity strategy in motion. Brighton Center was founded in response to the needs of a large Appalachian population that migrated north, settling in Newport, Kentucky in search of work and a better life in the riverfront economy.
In the spring ofBrighton Center's programs were reconfigured to reflect a family resource center model of service delivery.
Given our mission to create opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency through family support services, education, employment, and leadership, we realized that we must use a racial equity lens that identifies and calls out disparities, and addresses them both within our organization and among the multiple systems our families interact with daily.
We realized that really eliminating disparities requires that we constantly reflect on what we do and how we do it.
We knew these would be tough, uncomfortable conversations about topics such as race and privilege, and how our organization should define equity. It became apparent that the more we learned, the more we needed to learn.
We began by asking several questions: Are our core values aligned with our racial equity commitment? Is our commitment formalized into our strategic plan? Do we have an infrastructure that will sustain our commitment to racial equity?
What training should we provide our staff to prepare them for equity work? Are we equipped to collect and report data that identifies where disparities exists?This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The digit and digit formats both work.
Our commitment to diversity reaches beyond Starbucks to the extended network of suppliers we work with. By actively seeking out women- and minority-owned businesses to purchase from, we help build prosperity and community in diverse neighborhoods. LENS ICONS Rights/Responsibility Lens Telescopes look for the permanent ideals of life Take the long view and do what is right, even if no-one is looking Relationship Lens Binoculars look at the organization or community Take the middle view and live in harmony with.
Social Services Embracing an Equity Lens in the Organization and Community. How a social service organization defined equity and made it a core of its programs for low-income families in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati, Ohio region.
Applying the Rights/Responsibility Lens Read an opinion piece in your local newspaper, or a well-known newspaper you regularly read (like the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post). Find an example of the rights/responsibility lens being applied.
LENS ICONS Rights/Responsibility Lens Telescopes look for the permanent ideals of life Take the long view and do what is right, even if no-one is looking Relationship Lens Binoculars look at the organization or community Take the .