Equity Commitment

SCB is Dedicated to Advancing Equity in Everything We Do

Equity Commitment

South Coast Business envisions communities where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive – where we lead by example in celebrating diversity, values inclusion, and centers equity across all aspects of our work. Making this vision a reality requires resilience and ongoing commitment within and beyond our agency.

SCB pledges itself fully to this work and understands that it must start, and remain centered, within our own organization. We must reflect on our own role in the perpetuation of inequitable systems and outcomes. We will make mistakes and must seek to learn from them. Our vision of thriving individuals and vibrant communities compels us on this journey and we commit to our internal work with humility, intention, transparency, and hope.

Advancing equity requires a dedication to self-reflection, a willingness to respectfully listen to others’ perspectives without interruption or defensiveness, and a commitment to continuous learning to improve practice. Members of the South Coast Business Community will

1. Build awareness and understanding of our culture, personal beliefs, values, and biases.

We recognize that everyone holds some types of bias based on their personal background and experiences. Even if we think of ourselves as unbiased, we must objectively reflect on the impacts of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression affecting both ourselves and the people around us. We identify where our varied social identities have provided strengths and understandings based on our experiences of both injustice and privilege.

2. Recognize the power and benefits of diversity and inclusivity.

We carefully observe and listen to others (children, families, colleagues). We expand our knowledge by considering diverse experiences and perspectives without generalizing or stereotyping.

3. Take responsibility for biased actions, even if unintended, and actively work to repair the harm.

When we commit a biased action, we are ready and willing to be held accountable. We resist the urge to become defensive, especially as a member of a privileged group. Before making judgments, we take responsibility for recognizing what we don’t know or understand and we use the opportunity to learn and reflect. We are willing to constructively share feedback and discuss alternative approaches when observing potentially biased actions by others.

4. Acknowledge and seek to understand structural inequities and their impact over time.

We recognize that outcomes can and often do vary significantly by social identities (e.g., lopsided achievement test scores, number and frequency of suspensions or expulsions that disproportionately target African American and Latino boys, or engagement with certain materials and activities by gender). We commit to look deeply at how our expectations, practices, curriculum, and/or policies may contribute (perhaps unwittingly) to inequitable outcomes for individuals and take steps to change them.

5. View our commitment to cultural responsiveness as an ongoing process.

It is not a one-time matter of mastering knowledge of customs and practices, but an enduring responsibility to learn and reflect based on direct experiences with children, their families, and others.

6. Recognize that the professional knowledge base is changing.

There is growing awareness of the limitations of human development theories and research primarily based upon a normative perspective of White, middle-class without disabilities educated in predominantly English-language schools. We will keep up to date professionally as more strengths-based approaches to research and practice are articulated and as narrowly defined normative approaches to human development and learning are questioned. We are willing to challenge the use of outdated or narrowly defined approaches—for example, in curriculum, assessment policies and practices, or early learning standards. We will seek information from families and communities about their social and cultural beliefs and practices to supplement our knowledge.

Definitions

DIVERSITY – Diversity is all of our varied identities and differences, as individuals and collectively, inclusive of beliefs, perspectives, and values.

EQUITY – Equity recognizes that each person has experienced differing circumstances and allocates the resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

INCLUSION – Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individuals or groups are and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate and affect decisions and actions at all levels of an organization.