Is equality community outreach for you?
Communities that have a vision for equality embrace the fact that race, gender, or sexual orientation should not determine any opportunity that should arise.
Today, some leaders understand equality helps create sustainable communities. Equity creates a cleaner, safer, stronger economy increasing the quality of life for all. Community engagement is a collective mission embracing inclusion, advocacy, awareness, and relationship building.
Think About Starting an Equality Outreach Program
Are you excited about starting up your own outreach program? If so, you have research and homework to complete before you start. You may want to study up on human rights, labor laws, civil rights, and discrimination protection. There are many laws and acts you want to familiarize yourself with to ensure you are doing the right thing. Do you have statistical information showing disparities, gaps, and systemic causes that may exist? Reviewing statistical information will help you discover any duplications or gaps of coverage. Statistics may also reveal you missed a vital component of your program. Have your statistical information handy because cynics are always available and ready to find any weaknesses. Ensure you have the ability to demonstrate impact of why equality matters and the information to prove it.
Starting an Equality Outreach Program
Is your organization looking to start an equity community outreach program? During the planning stage, look at the organization’s mission, vision, and values the plan should be in alignment with the mission. If the plan does not align with the mission of your organization, it needs to go back to the planning stage.
The objectives of your equality engagement program should be feasible and attainable. Include all levels of management in the plan, if your management team from top to bottom are not on board, your plan will suffer. Policies, procedures, and practices should be aimed at addressing disparities. Remember to include a responsible person in the plan to ensure objectives are being met. Completion timeframes by month and year should be documented, to keep the team on track.
Brainstorm, partner with coalitions, or other like-minded individuals and find evidenced proven methods and strategies to use for your plan. During the brainstorming session, look for ways to ensure policies, practices, and procedures are being followed and implement it in your plan. Appoint a responsible person or group for continual monitoring, progress reports, communications, and feedback.
Advocate your Equality Outreach Program
Perhaps your organization already developed an equality outreach program. Communicate what programs the organization has to offer by email, social network, and blogs. Get the information out and encourage others to participate. Advocating and building awareness helps your outreach program participants. Don’t forget to tell influential people what your organization is doing as they can become advocates themselves and support your program.
There are several websites that can help a community move to equality engagement such as: Spark Policy Institute, Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race and Equity, and Mutual Responsibility.
Breaking barriers will help promote equality, increase inclusion, and build participation.
Angela Sheppard is a GovLoop Featured Contributor. She started working with the State Attorney’s Office 23 years ago. She first started as the receptionist and then progressed to the Diversion Program Director. While in her current position, she has shown initiative in community outreach activities, advocacy in prevention, and revitalizing programs. While working with the State, she has earned her Public Administration Master Degree, Certification as a Certified Florida Family Mediator, and a Graduate Certificate for Human Resource Policy Management. Angela spends her spare time volunteering as Board Chair with AMIKids, a non-profit school. She enjoys enrichment programs such as GovLoop.com and other educational media.