A Journey Towards Inclusive, Innovative Workplaces and Happier Workers

Our Collective Responsibility to Health

At a time when discussions about racial justice are potentially starting to wane, being pushed out of the limited space in our social consciousness by a looming presidential election, issues with national liquidity, and the enormous noise generated by AI, Reach out is committed to ensuring we don’t lose focus on this critical issue. 

Reach Out believes that these conversations are crucial – both in our communities and our homes, and also in our workplaces. We are all responsible for fostering healthy, safe, and peaceful communities, a belief that inspired the creation of our Center for Civic Policy and Leadership and the Healing Communities through Racial Justice (HCRJ) fellowship program.

The Power of Diverse Collaboration: Boosting Innovation and Creativity

Collaboration between individuals of varied cultural backgrounds and levels of expertise enhances innovation and creativity within an organization. The unique experiences, perspectives, and knowledge that diverse teams bring can lead to groundbreaking ideas. A study by Boston Consulting Group demonstrated that companies with above-average diversity in their leadership teams reported innovation revenue rates 19% higher than those with less diverse management, demonstrating the tangible benefits of fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The Happiness Factor: The Impact of DEI on Workers

According to the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Happiness Index, employees are happier and more satisfied when their organizations prioritize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts. 

The survey found that one-third of workers indicate that their organization is doing “a lot” of work on DEI issues, with another 37% stating that their companies are doing “some” work. Interestingly, industries such as finance, advertising & marketing, technology, and insurance are among those that report the highest DEI activity.

A significant 78% of the workforce agrees with the importance of working for organizations that prioritize DEI, with more than half (53%) considering it to be “very important” to them. This satisfaction and the commitment of organizations towards DEI play a crucial role in fostering happier workplaces.

An article published by the University of Pennsylvania points out how critical DEI initiatives are becoming as the next generation rises through the ranks of the workforce–a generation that considers this factor on par with pay, work/life balance and development opportunities. 

Healing Communities through Racial Justice (HCRJ) Fellowship

Our HCRJ fellowship program aims to:

  • Advocate, promote, and encourage racial justice in the Inland Empire for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
  • Develop allies and advocates for the racial justice movement.
  • Cultivate racially responsive and inclusive environments within participating agencies over a period of 15 months.

A Participant’s Experience: Michele’s Journey

Michele Brewer, Director of Operations at Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center, provides a heartfelt account of her experience during her time in the program. In her words, “Our decision to participate in the HCRJ fellowship wasn’t even a thought. Given the climate of our country, we just wanted to make sure we were doing our part.”

The Three-Part Journey of the Fellowship

The fellowship involves a journey of understanding, divided into three sections:

  1. Understanding Where We’re Starting as Individuals
    • Understanding the basics of racial justice and racial equity work.
    • Defining key terms and foundational frameworks.
    • Self-reflection on our implicit biases.
  2. Understanding Where We’re Starting as an Organization
    • Evaluating current operations of participating organizations.
    • Highlighting five dimensions of race equity work within organizations.
  3. How Your Organization Is Supporting Policy & Systems Work that Addresses Structural Racism
    • Identifying and confronting structural racism.
    • Advocating for a more just and equitable society.

Michele’s participation led to tangible change – the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policy for her organization. This policy opened the ability to have more honest conversations within the organization, and to approach those outside of it with more understanding and acceptance. Additionally, Michele pointed out that connections she made with other participants within the fellowship unlocked resources and expanded the services Michelle’s Place could provide to a broader group of people in need.

The Fellowship’s Transformative Impact

The fellowship program promotes both organizational and personal growth. For Michele, the program was transformative, equipping her with a stronger voice to act as an ally and advocate for racial justice. “I feel like it made me closer to my co-workers,” Michele shared. “I felt like we could have more open, honest conversations about anything.”

The Healing Communities through Racial Justice fellowship is more than a program – it’s an enlightening journey towards happier and inclusive workplaces. It encourages personal and professional growth and nurtures individuals to become advocates for racial justice. By supporting initiatives like this, we can foster healthier, happier, and more innovative workplaces.