Seattle Community Association Case: Undoing Institutional Racism…
Seattle Community Association Case: Undoing Institutional Racism
May 2003: new hiring process intended to improve the diversity of its staff
specific prior experience a new requirement
weeds out folks with potential
bc of initiative 35.8% of new hires POC
"A lot of it rests with Cheryl.... too much of it rests with Cheryl..."
most of staff did not fully embrace it... struggled to see relevance... why so much attention/resources
many employees viewed the goal as too broad
Cobbs set up cultural competency workshops for employees
revealed far greater level of dissatisfaction and frustration than expected, esp towards SCA leadership's communication, policies, and decision making
few employees knew what the anti-racism committee's function and goal was
SCA earned reputation as a leader in the anti-racism area
Seattle Community Association
Mission Statement: dedicated to achieving a just and caring community, free from
poverty, prejudice and neglect
compassion and respect for all people are SCA's highest values
Anti Racism Committee Work Plan
Goal 1: To increase accountability of SCA to communities of color and lowincome
Increase the diversity of our board through
active recruitment and retention.
Increase the diversity of our staff through
active recruitment and retention
Develop and implement a plan for increasing
client involvement in program
Goal 2: To educate SCA staff about anti-racism principles, history, and concepts,
including identifying and implementing models that we can use to undo racism at
the SCA and in the broader community.
Build a library of materials about anti-racist
work (including the UIR analysis and others) to
provide us with additional tools for carrying out
Ensure that we are publicizing our efforts to
the entire agency by using the FYI and
Interurban to report on our activities and having
committee members report on committee work
at their various staff meetings.
Encourage formal and informal anti-racism
support and education among SCA staff through
discussion groups, brown bag lunches, video
screenings and other forums.
Continue to utilize our DL Anti-Racism
Committee listserve as a way of sharing
information with each other.
Goal 3: To collaborate with and support community-based anti-racism
Develop and maintain ongoing relationships
with other anti-racism groups in the
Determine how SCA can support other UIR
community organizing efforts in our
Goal 4: To make our services and work place more accessible to and
supportive of people of color.
Develop specific strategies for ensuring
that people of color working at the SCA
receive support that encourages them to
retain their employment with the agency.
Determine how to make our headquarters
facility and services more welcoming to
people of color and implement a plan for
Work in collaboration with the SCA People
of Color Group
Goal 5: To ensure that our services are culturally relevant.
Provide cultural competency training for
Conduct an assessment of the SCA’s
cultural competency and develop an action
plan to address any deficiencies.
Goal 6: To work toward changes in government rules and regulations
which are barriers to service for our clients.
Identify major barriers to service delivery
by program; determine priorities and how to
Working with the SCA’s Advocacy
Department, determine how we can support
efforts to make these changes.
Work with local coalitions and other
groups to address common barriers.
Goal 7: To educate public officials, community agencies, and the
public about racism and its relationship to poverty.
Develop a statement of anti-racist
principles for the SCA; update the SCA’s
mission/vision statements to reflect our
commitment to anti-racist work.
Utilize our website as a tool for
educating the public about our anti-racist
work and link to other relevant websites.
Plan additional community forums
around anti-racist issues.
Plan and conduct the Local Heroes
Awards event to recognize local civil rights
Develop a process for awarding future
Local Heroes awards that incorporates
community and client involvement.
Increase awareness among funders of the
need to support anti-racism work.
The People's Institute
Racism has historically been the most critical barrier to unity in the United
Militarism is applied racism.
Culture is the life support system of the community.
History is the guide to the future.
The People's Institute is committed to teaching organizing skills only in
the context of the following principles:
Learning from history
Internal Dynamics of Leadership Development
Internalized Racial Oppression
Internalized Racial Superiority