Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Orchard Place is committed to embracing and building a culture where diversity is valued, while creating a more equitable and inclusive environment for clients, families, employees, and community members. We know that establishing an environment that supports clients and families who receive mental health services is critical to their well-being, and Orchard Place strives to place diversity, equity, and inclusion practices at the forefront of our daily work. Establishing the DEI Committee was a significant charge in bringing the experiences to the table. Learn more about the committee below.
Keesha Ward, MBA
Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Educational Resources for Youth - Campus
A team member has created educational activities for the youth and staff at Orchard Place Campus.
Pride Month Workgroup Established - Campus
Team members are leading a Pride Month Workgroup to plan Orchard Place Campus' Pride Month activities with youth and staff. They will be celebrating on Campus with a week's worth of creativity, education, support, and of course, fun!
Creative and Inclusive Activities Being Organized - PACE
PACE team members have been organizing creative and inclusive activities to give their teammates a mental health break as part of building a fun and healthy workplace culture. Here are a few ways PACE employees coordinated lunch hour breaks for one another:
- The Latinx Cohort organized a Love and Friendship event that took place at PACE in February. Delicious treats were provided as well as friendship related activities, such as staff helping create cards for their clients that expressed words of affirmation and appreciation. It was well attended and well appreciated by all.
- A Valentine's Day Tea Party was organized by one of the IHP care teams. Staff brought items to share, such as tea varieties and/or a confection such as cookies, sandwiches, fruit, and other delicious treats associated with tea parties. Staff from across programs attended and expressed appreciation for the cross-program and cultural fellowship that included all.
- BHIS staff worked together to host an all staff Pickleball Tournament that showed off the athletic prowess of everyone involved!
- IHP staff organized noon hour dodgeball games in the gym as a fun early afternoon break.
Group Watch Parties of DEI Trainings - PACE
We're working to build structure around creating staff affinity groups at OP, so be on the look-out for more info!
DEI trainings videos were made available in the for staff to watch together. These topics then become part of the Diversity Huddle discussion topic for that month.
Purpose: The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee works to encourage diversity, achieve equity, and foster inclusion for the Orchard Place community, including clients, families, employees, and community members throughout Iowa and surrounding areas. The committee promotes Orchard Place’s mission, while holding the organization accountable and ensuring this DEI work remains a priority.
- Connect with clients, families, employees, and community members – gathering feedback regarding experiences to be discussed during meetings (feedback loops)
- Bring the DEI lens to the forefront of ongoing issues
- Review DEI performance indicators
- Provide recommendations for how Orchard Place aligns its DEI plans with the needs of clients, families, employees, and community members
- Call immediate attention to issues related to risk and safety
Commitment: Members of the Committee embrace our Orchard Place values and commit to the following statements:
- Champion DEI work daily
- Value diversity of experiences, perspectives, and worldviews
- Be an agent for change within the Orchard Place community
- Examine one’s own biases and beliefs and embrace the discomfort of this important work. Be open to receiving feedback when one’s own biases and beliefs are not in alignment with value of promoting respect for others
- Promote dialogue and have critical conversations
- Listen first, acknowledge one’s peers, and be empathetic to viewpoints different from one’s own
- In the face of adversity, be willing to confront and challenge controversial issues
Client Engagement Committee: Creates resources that acknowledge, celebrate, and provide information regarding cultural opportunities for staff to use with clients and families
HR Committee: Reviews existing and, as appropriate, creates new HR practices to recruit and retain diverse employees
Social Media Committee: Promotes how Orchard Place supports diversity, equity, and inclusion through a variety of online formats
Training Committee: Examines the training needs of the organization, seeks out resources/speakers to train, and coordinates the onboarding trainings for Sanctuary and DEI work