Dear ProLiteracy member programs, customers, partners, and supporters:
The death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, 2020, sparked outrage throughout the country. ProLiteracy released the following statement on June 3, 2020: “At ProLiteracy we believe not only in the right to education but also equal opportunities, liberties, and protection under the law. We stand in solidarity against bigotry, racism, and hatred.”
As the nation continues to grapple with the topic of racial justice and inclusion, ProLiteracy has started to discuss ways in which, as an organization, we can make a meaningful difference in diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond putting out a statement. While in no way complete, the following list is an initial plan to follow up our words with action:
1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy – ProLiteracy does not currently have a diversity, equity, and inclusion policy. We have started with an internal dialogue among our staff, board, and stakeholders about what diversity, equity, and inclusion means to them. Our goal is to capture this in a policy by September 1, 2020, to build the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into ProLiteracy’s operations and model those values to advance our mission.
2. Board/Staff Recruitment – ProLiteracy’s current staff and board who are black, indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC) is approximately 14%. We are dedicated to increasing BIPOC representation of both our board and staff to better reflect the diversity of adult basic education students and the programs that serve them.
3. Staff Training – Understanding our own implicit/unconscious biases is the key to opening doors to equity. ProLiteracy will add training on understanding unconscious bias in the workplace to its annual list of required professional development courses for all current staff members as well as new employees.
4. Educational Content – Where possible in the content and resources that we create and distribute, we will continue to promote inclusion and awareness of diversity to enrich learning. This includes seeking out BIPOC authors and vendors. Unique diversity dimensions can include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic status, age, ability, or other ideologies.
5. Measurement – We will measure the results of our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to track our success and to identify areas for improvement.
This moment provides us with an opportunity for our organization to look inward and decide where, when, and how we will prioritize and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in a consistent way. We will implement the initiatives outlined above and provide ongoing updates on our progress as we pursue our mission to change lives and communities through the power of adult literacy education.
President & CEO
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