DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION
At Community Progress Council, we are committed to making progress to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization and community. CPC will ensure all staff have the knowledge, values, and skills to empower clients and one another, respecting each person’s unique experiences and cultural differences.
CPC recognizes that progress is more than empowering individuals and families to become financially stable. As an organization, CPC commits to actively work to develop a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization that supports and advocates for public policy that promotes equity for all.
The team at Community Progress Council realizes that this work is just the beginning – that creating a welcoming and inclusive organization for all is a continuing effort that needs to include many voices. We are committed to this journey.
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
HOW WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS
EXPANDING OUR EXPERTISE IN DE&I
Building an inclusive workplace environment takes consistent and ongoing effort toward building our collective expertise.
Chief Human Resource Officer Linda Spoon recently completed the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for HR Certificate from Cornell ILR School, a program designed to help HR professionals make their organizations more supportive and engaging places to work by understanding how perceived and institutional processes impact the ways people interact with each other.
Starting with a look at employee engagement, then identifying interventions surrounding unconscious bias and specific diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies, this program was a perfect fit for Linda in her commitment to going beyond mere compliance to build a truly aware and inclusive work culture.
SERVING YOU IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE
As part of our grant awarded from the York County Community Foundation Racial Equity Fund, Community Progress Council is pleased to share our recently revamped organizational brochure, available in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Arabic.
Ensuring we can share the programs and resources that CPC provides to families and individuals in their native language has been a critical priority for our language access work. These brochures will be used for outreach through our WIC CIAO grant work, as well as general community outreach events, to key partners, and for all participants who reach out in search of resources.
This printed resource mirrors the ability for our entire website to also be translated into key languages as supported by the data of most-used languages of those we serve.
WIC CIAO GRANT TO TARGET LIMITED-ENGLISH PROFICIENCY POPULATIONS
Community Progress Council been awarded a $549,999 grant to implement a WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project (WIC CIAO). WIC CIAO is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and aims to support efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative outreach strategies to increase awareness, participation, and benefit redemption in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and reduce disparities in program delivery.
Recognizing barriers that exist in building trust and serving participants in their native languages, the WIC CIAO project will prioritize hiring bilingual community outreach navigators and translating all materials into Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Arabic to meet the growing needs of participants with limited English proficiency.
RACIAL EQUITY FUND GRANT
Building on the commitment and progress made through our Language Access Policy, CPC is pleased to receive a grant from the York County Community Foundation Racial Equity Fund. This $10,000 grant was awarded for CPC’s Language Access and Equity Project, which provides translation and interpretation services to CPC clients who identify a language other than English as their primary language.
The 2017 York County Hispanic and Latinx Community Assessment indicated that 88% of survey respondents speak Spanish as their primary language, and over 80% earn less than $35,000 year. Recommendations from the assessment include increased language training opportunities and language access services in York County.
Thanks to YCCF’s generous support, our team will expand Language Access at CPC to include written translation of commonly used documents and program information, and continue to reduce barriers for non-native English speakers. CPC seeks to provide translation of documents into Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Arabic, as supported by the data of most-used languages of those we serve.
LANGUAGE ACCESS POLICY
In 2021, CPC implemented a Language Access Policy, aimed at serving program participants in their native language and using bilingual and bicultural staff to support this effort whenever possible. Bilingual positions were created and caseloads were assigned by primary language to best support our families. Bilingual staff are assessed for fluency in the alternative language and are provided a pay differential for their use of this skill. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, 30 team members had been tested and approved to deliver bilingual services in Spanish, Arabic, and Haitian Creole.
Additionally, CPC uses third-party language services to provide on-demand interpretation for clients in over 200 languages. All staff are trained on how to access these services to support in-person, virtual or phone meetings with clients. Information is displayed in our buildings to inform clients of their ability to access interpretation services at no cost. In addition to providing on-demand interpretation, CPC also translates client information in house or through a third-party local translation service.
CULTURAL CELEBRATION COMMITTEE
Learning about important holidays and cultural celebrations of our team members and community members is one easy way to honor the diversity of our team and participants. It also helps our team broaden their awareness and contributes to our team members’ sense of belonging.
The Cultural Celebration Committee, reignited in February 2022, is a volunteer group of CPC team members formed to recognize diverse cultural celebrations throughout the year. The group provides opportunities, primarily through email and resource sharing, to learn together about different holidays and recognition days or months and their cultural significance: From Hispanic Heritage Month to Yom Kippur to International Pronouns Day. We welcome new members and everyone’s input on where to focus each month.
Community Progress Council has put measures in place to ensure that diverse candidates are being properly considered for employment within the organization. As well, it is our hope that these measures will help create a pipeline for people of color to advance within the agency.
As CPC hires for open positions, the candidate pool must now include at least two diverse applicants in the pool of considered candidates. As well, among an interview group of 2-3 current employees, at least one must be a diverse employee to be part of that process.
PILLARS TO PROGRESS – OUR DEI STRATEGIC GOALS
Community Progress Council is several months into a one-year “bridge plan” that will help the organization prepare for an upcoming five-year strategic plan to begin on July 1, 2021.
As part of this bridge plan, CPC has included a strategic goal focused on creating an inclusive and representative agency that fosters employee engagement, provides culturally appropriate services and promotes the hiring retention and advancement of a diverse workforce. A DEI workgroup of employees and board members has been working diligently over the past five months to help shape the scope and activities needed to achieve this goal, including identifying five priority areas – client service delivery; partnerships; communication; professional development; and recruitment, hiring and advancement.
This work will position the organization to outline an aggressive strategy as part of its five-year strategic plan and ultimately take crucial steps toward becoming a stronger organization that empowers its clients and one another, respecting each person’s unique experiences and cultural differences.
SHARING OUR STORY
Luisa Olivo-Wolf, CPC’s Family and Community Engagement Manager, was among a handful of presenters on Wednesday, November 18, as part of the York Revolution’s “A Welcoming Place, Diversity and Inclusion” event aimed at creating an open dialogue for the Revolution staff and members of the community to better understand the racial issues that exist and the local resources available to all organizations and businesses.
Luisa spoke about CPC’s recent journey to become a more diverse and welcoming organization for both staff and program participants – with emphasis on increasing diversity among CPC’s management and improving the agency’s recruitment efforts to attract and advance people of color.
ADOPTING A LANGUAGE ACCESS POLICY
Progress is a universal language.
No matter your race, your culture, your language, your story – everyone deserves to an opportunity to take steps toward financial stability and live life to the fullest potential.
Community Progress Council is taking critical steps toward developing a language access policy that would include the integration of an interpretation service to cover more than 200 languages. This service would ensure that the staff at CPC can help lead anyone, speaking any language, to progress.
DIVERSIFYING OUR BOARD LEADERSHIP
Community Progress Council’s Board of Directors unanimously approved a change to the organization’s bylaws. The change ensures that the board’s executive committee will always include diverse representation.
The bylaws now read: “To ensure full board commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion the Executive Committee will have representation from Black, Indigenous Persons of Color (BIPOC) or Latinx population.”
The change is just one step in CPC’s commitment toward making progress to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization and community.
BUILDING THE FOUNDATION FOR PROGRESS
In June 2020, Community Progress Council created a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Group” to address the cultural and systematic changes that need to occur within the organization in order to best serve the York County community. The group – comprised of four board members and 23 employees – will self-reflect on current culture and re-examine ways in which we can growth and establish an agency inclusive of all.
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK
In early 2020, Community Progress Council partnered with Dr. Shawn Best of Architects for Restorative Communities (ARC) to initiate a year-long plan for creating a strong internal culture to promote inclusivity, increase diversity in recruitment and advancement of staff, and to become an agency that could better service residents of York County by empowering the diverse population of our community.
Dr. Best began his work with CPC through trainings for both management level staff and a full body of employees during the agency’s semi-annual in-service meeting. That work continued throughout the year to include additional trainings, consultations and an analysis of CPC practices.