Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Here at SOME, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). As a faith-inspired organization, our foundational mission stems from our belief that everyone—regardless of race, sex, gender identity or class—is deserving of dignity, respect and equality.

Our DEI Commitment at a Glance

We have operationalized our DEI commitment, especially when prioritizing diverse representation on our Board of Directors and leadership team. Our equity initiatives are also led by our Chief Inclusion Officer and IDEA Committee (Inclusion Diversity Equity Alliance) and have the full support of senior leadership.

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is currently 42% Black/African American, 8% Hispanic/Latino and 50% White, with an active effort underway to diversify further.

Our Leadership Team

Our leadership team is 60% Black/African American and 40% White.

Our Staff

Our staff is 68% Black/African American, 23% White, 5% other and 4% Hispanic/Latino.

Chief Inclusion Officer

In 2021, we successfully hired and onboarded a Chief Inclusion Officer, Bettina M. Straight.

Employee Affinity Groups

Our Employee Affinity Groups and IDEA Committee—made up of staff members from across the organization—champion our DEI commitment internally through training, networking and community building.

Professional Development

In 2021, we completed a robust survey of SOME staff members,using their feedback to develop our DEI professional development and training plans for 2021-2022.

Intranet Site

We designed and rolled out a new DEI intranet site for employees, highlighting diversity resources, cultural observations and employee celebrations.

Employee Training Program

We are currently building a comprehensive DEI employee training program to develop a culturally competent organization grounded in equity and trust.

Gender Affirming Clothing & Hygiene Packs

We never want anyone to feel confined by assigned gender roles when they’re receiving services, care or resources from SOME. Unfortunately, some transgender, non-binary and gender nonconforming people have a hard time finding places where they can shop comfortably, so in 2021 we began making modifications to our Clothing Room to make it more inclusive. We removed gender-based signage so that customers can shop according to their identity and style. We also invite our clients to choose their own hygiene packs, rather than having volunteers choose for them based on their perceived gender.

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We’re Using Inclusive Language to Foster Equity

Whenever possible, our intake documents use inclusive gender identity language, including options for Male, Female, Non-binary/third gender, Prefer not to say and Prefer to self-describe. For example, many of our programs are currently auditing their forms and adjusting the language to be more inclusive by using “the client” rather than “male resident” or “female resident”.

Additionally, we are rolling out Inclusive Language Training programs across the organization to better educate our staff. in our Single Adult Housing program, for examples, our “Safer Sex” workshop now includes information for clients in same-sex relationships, as well as resources for those that identify with the trans community.

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Learn More About Our DEI Commitment on the Blog

Structural change doesn’t happen overnight, but we are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion for the long-term. We approach this work with humility and open minds, recognizing how much we still have to learn. Head over to our Blog to see our progress in action.

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