Search's Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
The social unrest we experienced throughout the United States in 2020 provided a much needed wakeup call about the importance of diversity and equity within our civic and governmental institutions, and in our workplaces, including here at Search. That is why Search prioritized a goal in our FY 21 Quality Enhancement Plan to build and advance organizational knowledge and understanding of racial healing and racial equity.
We are incredibly excited to share that Search is pursuing a partnership with United Front, an Indiana nonprofit that helps communities have meaningful conversations around race, equity and inclusion.
United Front was founded out of the need to expand diversity outreach in the Fort Wayne Fire Department due to the civil and social unrest in the summer of 2020. Today, the organization offers a program that provides a safe environment for participants to learn a shared humanity, a common language, and philosophy that will change the trajectory of the community for generations to come. This year-long program is offered virtually via an online learning platform allowing people from across the United States to participate in this shared education experience.
Each month, for twelve months, a keynote speaker presents on a monthly learning topic. Learning topics covered will include individual bias, organizational bias, and privilege, power, and position among others.
A week later, small discussion groups will dive deeper into the topic and allow for further analysis and dialogue. Groups will be organized based on organizational roles such as people leaders, front line staff members, diversity and inclusion leaders and the community at large. Discussion groups will also be recorded and can be viewed at a later time, if desired, and will last another 60-90 minutes. Overall, participation in this program calls for a commitment of 2-3 hours per month.
We are extending this opportunity to everyone at Search. So far we have had 23 staff members sign up to participate. Search will cover the cost of any staff member who would like to take part in experience, which will begin in mid-February. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of this program with our stakeholders.