Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
At Kids Included Together, we recognize effective inclusion work must take place across and within a broad spectrum of identities and social categories – disability, cultural background, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, sexual orientation and others. We strive to use an intersectional framework, acknowledging that disability and other identities intersect with each other and that many people therefore experience multiple forms of oppression and struggle, in our mission of teaching inclusive practices.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Kids Included Together stands firmly in solidarity with the Black community in the fight for racial equity and justice. We recognize the ongoing and historical injustices against the Black community in every aspect of life – criminal justice, housing, and employment, and in child development and education, where KIT is working to affect positive change. We know that working to stop racism in all its forms is crucial to realizing our vision that every child can achieve their full potential. We commit to fighting injustice with our words and actions.
As an organization that builds cultures of inclusion for youth with disabilities from all backgrounds, we recognize we cannot effectively work toward full inclusion without acknowledging the racism that many face each day. At Kids Included Together we are learners first and teachers second. Our work must be done with a look inward as we seek to affect change outward. We commit to these initial steps, which will lead us to further exploration and action as we learn together.
OUR COMMITMENT TO LEARNING
- Forming a racial equity task force with representation from our staff and board of directors to understand and act on meaningful racial justice issues within the disability community by September 2020.
- Update 12/20 – Our KIT Diversity Task Force (DTF) has been formed and includes six staff members and one board member. The committee met four times between September and December 2020.
- All staff will participate in racial equity professional development by December 2020.
- Update 12/20 – As a federal contractor, we are subject to the September 22, 2020 Executive Order (EO) 13950 on Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping, which places restrictions on diversity and inclusion training. This EO prevented us from completing staff-wide training by December 2020.
- Update 1/21 – KIT Staff and BOD members began a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge designed with curated content from the KIT Diversity Task Force (DTF). See our syllabus and links to the resources here.
- Providing our inclusion trainers and specialists with information and resources to help our clients on their own journey to greater racial equity.
- Gathering demographic data wherever possible on our clients and partners to ensure we are providing racially and culturally appropriate trainers and training settings.
- Listening to and implementing feedback and steps from Black staff and clients we serve on making changes where KIT is best positioned to do so to advance racial equity.
OUR COMMITMENT TO ACTION
- Publicizing data about race and other demographic information of our staff and board on our website.
- Holding ourselves responsible to diversify our board and staff in race, gender, age and other categories.
- Creating and updating our training curriculum to address racism and bias.
- Ensuring that the resources we share with clients and families reflect our commitment to anti-racism.
- Placing equity at the center of our strategic planning processes, including a re-examination of our mission with a lens of intersectionality.
- Sharing regular, publicly available updates on KIT’s progress on these action steps and this journey to hold ourselves accountable.