Community Partners in Action is proud of the diversity of our organization. Over 80% of our participants, three-fourths of our employees, and close to half of our board are people of color. Women represent over half of our organization. Our staff and board members include people with lived experience in the criminal justice system and people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
We have a 145-year history of advocating for criminal justice reform in a system disproportionately impacting people of color. Yet, it took Community Partners in Action until the 1960s and 70s to begin transforming to a diverse staff and board that reflects the people in our programs.
Today, we are facing the reality that diversity does not always mean equity and inclusion. Therefore, we launched our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative in June 2020. The initiative is led by a board-level task force that also includes our executive team, program managers, and staff.
Community Partners in Action is committed to continuing our transformation. We want to move from an organization that is culturally diverse to one that actively identifies and removes unconscious racist and bias practices embedded in our beliefs, policies, and infrastructure.
We work in the criminal justice system, a system built on white supremacy, systemic racism, implicit bias, and exclusion. We can’t assume that we are entirely different. We must examine ourselves through the DEI lens to truly impact the people we serve. The time is now for us to make this change.
Our DEI commitment is to:
- Examine our culture, objectives, and practices for bias, with our initial focus on the cultural and racial bias;
- Identify the current state of the organization as it relates to DEI;
- Pinpoint our blind spots and learn to navigate difficult conversations;
- Identify resources to assist us and support this work;
- Develop a strategy to address our biases and build a more inclusive environment;
- Create a dynamic process that is continuously monitored and evaluated to ensure that our strategy will be useful as CPA and society’s cultures evolve.
This will be a journey, not a sprint, and we are engaging a DEI consultant to be our guide. We are committed to remaining transparent throughout our DEI journey.
Just like our guiding belief that “People Can Change,” we will show that Community Partners in Action can change, too.