SOME’s IDEA Committee 2021 Achievements, 2022 Plans

SOME’s IDEA (Inclusion Diversity Equity Alliance) Committee Helps Create Inclusive Culture for Clients and Employees

In line with SOME’s commitment to provide comprehensive, whole person care, January 2021, SOME expanded its race equity initiatives to include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). With the full support of senior leadership, this work is led by the Chief Inclusion Officer and the IDEA committee (Inclusion Diversity Equity Alliance). Together, SOME staff is working to operationalize SOME’s DEI initiatives internally and externally and do their part in creating an inclusive culture for clients and employees.

IDEA’s key 2021 accomplishments include:

-        The successful hiring and onboarding of a Chief Inclusion Officer.

-        Surveyed staff and used their feedback to develop DEI professional development and training topics for 2021-2022

-        Contributed to the development of SOME’s strategic plan, ensuring that a commitment to DEI is embedded within all areas of the initiative.

-        Removed barriers to gender-based shopping procedures in the clothing room. Gender signage was removed, and guests are able to select clothing based on their identity and style

-        Created a new DEI/IDEA intranet site for employees, highlighting diversity resources, cultural observations, and employee celebrations.

In 2022, SOME’s IDEA team plans to expand programmatic efforts in SOME and provide new opportunities for employee and client engagement.  Their goal is to weave DEI into the SOME culture in such a way that staff, clients, donors, and volunteers understand its importance and the ways in which we all contribute to a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization.  The future plans include:

-        The creation of Employee Affinity Groups, offering networking, support, and community building opportunities.

-        A comprehensive employee training program that includes topics such as Working in a Diverse Environment, Gender Identity and Pronoun Use, Improving Cultural          Competency, Leading a Multigenerational Team, and more.

-        Conduct a DEI Pulse Check survey annually to assess progress toward our goals and gauge specific employee interest areas of DEI. 

The IDEA committee, in tandem with SOME’s executive leadership, created SOME’s new Culture and Inclusion Statement:

As a faith inspired organization, SOME was founded and built upon the belief in the dignity and respect for all people. We all are worthy of it, and responsible for it. Appreciation for our shared humanity and sense of community has been a central feature of our mission for over 50 years. This is the call to action that SOME represents: to serve, empower and elevate all members of our community.    

As champions of our mission, we commit to creating an environment that welcomes and celebrates the diverse array of employees and clients we engage with every day. We strive to be bold in our work, knowing that to drive meaningful change, we must not shy away from discomfort. We reject all forms of individual and systemic discrimination, work actively to eliminate the abuse of privilege and power, and seek justice and equity for all we encounter.