Central to All Healing is Equity
Without equity, no amount of services can bring healing and true opportunity to the people we serve. We feel a responsibility to not only deliver high-quality, accessible services, but to remedy inequities in our systems and communities.
More than a decade ago, as we began our commitment to providing care that is trauma-informed and based in the neuroscience of adversity, it became clear that many in our community have endured significant historical trauma.
Equity Honors Every One of Our Stories
For the people in our care, injustices are at the center of much of their adversity and trauma. In order to give them the building blocks to thrive, we need to create opportunities, starting with equal access to support systems and resources. More than that, we need to make right the inequities baked into the systems intended to provide care and healing.
We need to facilitate fair treatment and fight against implicit biases that have led to overrepresentation of some communities in child welfare, as well as criminal and juvenile justice systems.
Healing starts with us, so at Wellpoint Care Network, we begin this work with ourselves through education and exploration of the behaviors, decisions and resources within our control. When our employees are able to be their authentic selves, participate fully and feel seen and heard, the result is a diverse workforce with much broader perspectives. We seek to bring together the talents of those from all races, ages, genders and sexual identities, religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as those with lived experiences that reflect the individuals and families in our care.
True Diversity Relies on Inclusion and Equity
Wellpoint works to promote a diverse and caregiving environment to ensure that those we serve and employ are valued, accepted, respected and treated equitably.
- Equity means we work tirelessly toward fair and just treatment, systems and policies. At Wellpoint, we believe that we are accountable – individually and collectively – when inequity or injustice replaces equity and inclusion.
- Inclusivity means that we consciously build groups that welcome and celebrate differences in age, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, gender expression, education, socio-economic background, personal history, geographical location, marital status, parental status and work experiences.
Inclusion is a Conscious Practice
Wellpoint believes that, while inclusion is a concept and a practice which will grow and change, its core principle is one that rejects hateful speech, hateful ideologies or hateful behavior. Wellpoint believes that “inclusion” is a conscious practice that involves:
- Practicing respect for all cultures, behaviors, and beliefs; the promotion of humble curiosity of differences of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
- An understanding and recognition that internalized, interpersonal and institutional racism creates privileges for some and limitations for others. An awareness of the dynamic that privilege, especially white privilege, creates in engaging clients and in developing healthy relationships with coworkers and colleagues. In addition, a commitment from those who benefit from white privilege to actively participate in activities that create an equitable and inclusive workplace for staff and equitable services for clients.
- An awareness that we cannot speak for others and that we cannot speak from anyone’s perspectives but our own.
- Eliminating inequity, injustice, discrimination, and exclusion in our practice and in our workplace.
- A commitment to dismantle systemic inequities by working to advance societal and community priorities through advocacy and outreach, as defined by people of color and other marginalized populations, which align with the services provided by Wellpoint.
- Ongoing work to strengthen and expand our understanding of historical and current dynamics affecting equity and inclusion, including acknowledging the impact that internalized privilege has on systemic change.
- Promoting self-reflection and accountability for how our biases impact others.
- Understanding that we, as a society, do not live in a post-racial society. We recognize historical trauma, and that present day racism exists and has implications for our staff and clients.
- Creating an atmosphere of reconciliation, growth, justice, and healing when clients or staff experience exclusion.
- Individual and group collaborative support of and participation in local communities.
Five Equity and Inclusivity Priorities
At Wellpoint, we believe we are better together – and that means all of us. Whether staff, service providers, board members, donors and volunteers or engaged citizens, we invite you to review our priorities.
- Increase inclusivity amongst staff in all programs and in leadership; strive for a diverse pool of candidates, and ensure that new hires reflect the children and families we serve.
- Increase inclusivity and diversity within the Wellpoint Board of Directors; strive for a diverse group of individuals who share in our vision that every child and family can thrive.
- Provide an open and inclusive environment for staff and the families we serve; increase humility and awareness of cultural differences.
- Enhance vendor/supplier diversity; conduct an ongoing analysis of all vendors and suppliers used by the organization to grow our business partnerships with local, minority-owned businesses.
- Advance community engagement and reconciliation efforts on issues that disproportionately affect historically-traumatized populations with specific focus on the Five Pillars of Stability identified within our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work; focus on issues that disproportionately affect historically-traumatized populations.