One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Share Five Equity Plan Goals

One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Share Five Equity Plan Goals

By Guimel DeCarvalho
Vice President of People & Culture


Wayside is a child welfare and behavioral health agency committed to anti-racism, social justice and advocacy.

We have five goals to guide us in fulfilling our mission. We are transparent about our expectations across the agency and we hold ourselves accountable for providing tools, education and resources to achieve our goals. It is a constant work in progress. We make mistakes and then we course correct.

1) Creating trust: ​Before engaging in the deep work of anti-racism, a community must trust that you won’t stop when it gets hard. At Wayside we work to establish this trust by being clear in our purpose of why we engage in anti-racist, social justice, and advocacy work as something that is intertwined with the services we provide the community. These are the values of our organization and it is central to the lives of those we seek to support. We are consistent in communicating this to our staff and clients, not just with our words, but with our actions.

2) Having courageous conversations: ​There are many techniques one can use to engage in a courageous conversation. The foundation of all of them is a common language and the permission to have them.  We use techniques from Motivational Interviewing, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, and Validate, Challenge, Request (the work of Dr. Kenneth Hardy) to help our teams hold conversations and space to grow as an anti-racist, anti-oppression agency. We understand that change often means to sit with emotion, to be uncomfortable, and learn how to slow down the conversation long enough to connect with the reality and totality of racism/systems of oppression.

3) Increasing social capital: ​For Wayside, this refers to increasing resources, filling in gaps of knowledge and access, and establishing trust-based networks of people to foster a culture of trust and reciprocity. There is a value to these networks (i.e. jobs, information, support, etc.), and Wayside supports the building of this social capital between our staff and our clients. Our goal is to build bridges between people and providing the tools to get across them.

4) Applying an equity lens: ​Wayside aims to evaluate our strategy and all our day-to-day activities through an equity lens. Are our forms in all our clients’ languages? Does our leave policy work for all of our staff? Do our performance evaluations guard against implicit bias? Does our Board of Directors reflect our clients and our staff? Who participates in decision-making? Are we willing to continuously do this work? Wayside’s goal is to work towards answering the above questions with equity always in mind.

5) Measuring data and holding ourselves accountable: What gets measured gets done. Wayside believes this to our core. That is why we have set accountability measures for our anti-racist work and then we share them transparently. From turnover of staff of color, number of managers of color, to client outcomes by race, gender, language and age we measure whether our systems are contributing to oppression and make changes when they do.

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Betsy Freedman Doherty
Director of Communications & Development
[email protected]
Office: 508-469-3231

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