Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
AGE+ and our companion organization, the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, stand with our Black/African American community members and share their outrage and heartache over the historic and recent racist tragic events in our nation. We see the long term impacts of systemic racism and inequality, particularly in the daily lives of Black/African American older adults and those in communities of color.
We acknowledge that even while seeking to help, our organization is part of a dominant culture system that has caused injury and harm. We understand the need to continually examine and address our biases, prejudices, and dominant culture assumptions, and improve as an organization by embedding and operationalizing diversity, equity and inclusion.
We understand that actions must also accompany these declarations. Our Board and staff are committed to embedding and operationalizing equity and inclusion in everything we do. We will continue to implement the values and principles of our organizational Equity Policy and Action Plan, approved in 2019. We will hold ourselves accountable to our progress and welcome others to do so as well.
We will remain vigilant and committed far beyond the current events.
Now more than ever, we must listen and elevate Black/African American voices. Please take a moment to read and reflect on these pieces by Oregon Senator Margaret Carter and Marcus Mundy, Executive Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color, just to name a few.
We recognize that inequity is an internal journey for AGE+, and not just an external phenomenon. We acknowledge that even while seeking to help, our organization is part of a dominant culture system that has caused injury and harm. We understand the need to continually examine and address our biases, prejudices, and dominant culture assumptions, and improve as an organization by embedding diversity, equity and inclusion.
We commit to embody equity in our values and principles, including:
- The worth and dignity of every aging person
- The power of communities to decide for themselves
- The importance of relationships, and not just results
- The value of listening and learning, and not just talking and teaching
- The contribution of different ways of thinking, speaking, deciding and acting
OPERATIONALIZING OUR VALUES:
We commit to apply diversity, equity and inclusion operationally across our organization, including in how we:
- govern, advocate and establish policy
- allocate our resources
- operate, including our policies, procedures and practices
- populate, retain and develop our Board, staff and volunteers
- develop, implement and evaluate our programs
- partner, support and learn from communities
- advocate collaboratively against bias and prejudice in the aging system
- communicate about and market ourselves
- lead with age while focusing on intersection with race and other inequities
- evaluate, assess and report on our progress and continued work