Building an Equitable Institution
YWCA Evanston/North Shore is committed to building equity in our community and in our own workplace. To ensure that we are meeting our equity standards internally, we embarked on a multi-phase equity assessment.
The Equity Institute defines equity as the process and outcome of redistributing power and resources to those people that have historically been marginalized or kept from making decisions about their own lives. Becoming an Equitable Institution (BEI) means that an organization has begun the process of providing what is necessary to enable success for all. It requires identifying and removing barriers, as well as accommodating differences. Differing solutions, based on what an employee or department need, may be necessary to provide access and/or obtain results. Institutions must begin to do foundational work to seek to advance racial equity. They must create the conditions that help to adopt anti-racist mindsets and actions to become more committed, more knowledgeable, and more skilled in analyzing race, racism, and race equity, and in placing these issues at the forefront of organizational and operational strategy.
An Equitable Institution…
- Intrinsically values people, both employees and those they serve.
- Recognizes that all stakeholders come to the organization having had different access to opportunities and resources, a direct result of systemic inequities and historical oppression, and works to level the playing the field by distributing resources and opportunities so that all stakeholders can contribute to organizational success.
- Commits to continuously exploring and addressing how its own internal culture mirrors the systemic inequities of the outside world.
- Empowers its stakeholders, especially those who have been historically disadvantaged, to help identify problems and create solutions.
- Implements and measures strategies to disrupt the dominant culture and enhance organizational success.
We recognize that there are myriad ways that structures and systems disadvantages certain groups, and often the intersections of identities amplify that disadvantage. Our focus is primarily around creating equity strategies to eliminate racism and promote gender inclusion.