The Coordinating Center Takes a Stand on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging in the Workplace and to Improve Access to Care and address inequities in healthcare for people with disabilities and complex medical and social needs.
Millersville, Maryland – The Coordinating Center, Maryland’s statewide, premier nonprofit care coordination organization for children and adults with disabilities and complex needs is actively taking a stand to address diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) in the workplace and to improve access to care and address inequities in healthcare for our clients. “In the midst of a global pandemic and as racial injustice continues to permeate through society—both in the United States and globally, it is clear that each of us must play an active role in fighting to eradicate systemic racism and standing up for equality in all its forms. Focusing on DEI&B, isn’t just the right thing to do, it drives innovation, and it establishes an environment where everyone feels welcome, irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, ability, and any other characteristics that make a person unique,” said Dr. Teresa Titus-Howard, PhD, MHA, MSW, President/CEO, The Coordinating Center.
The following efforts have been put in place at The Coordinating Center:
- Launch of new DEI&B Statement and Our Culture page: here;
- Zero Tolerance Policy on bullying, harassment, and discrimination;
- Reasonable accommodations in the workplace and for clients to ensure equal access to services;
- Recognition of Juneteenth, recognizing the full emancipation of slaves on June 19, 1865, the first true day of freedom for all Americans;
- Pursuit of cultural competency throughout the organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal transparent policies;
- Required DEI&B training provided, inclusive of unconscious bias annually for all coworkers;
- Deliberate focus on combatting inequalities in the workplace by sourcing diverse talent and promoting a culturally diverse pipeline in coworker and board leadership;
- Intentional and conscious of personal bias during the hiring, promoting and evaluation process of coworkers;
- Grievance policy and process to ensure a fair and objective system for raising issues without bias; and,
- Continuous improvement, including periodic surveys of coworkers to ensure best practices in DEI&B are met and exceeded.
“It is important to engage leadership in these efforts. Leaders need to show commitment through proactive communication and collaborative goal setting with teams. This is why here at The Coordinating Center, our Corporate Development Team serves on our long-standing, coworker led DEI&B Committee, Co-Chaired by Octavia Peterson, Director, Community First Programs (CFP) and Dianne Edwards-Barnes, Supports Planner, CFP. In addition, our Board Chair, James Karpook, Principal with The Chartis Group, attends our coworker led DEIB Committee and serves as Chair of our new Board of Directors DEI&B Committee,” said Dr. Titus-Howard.
“I’m so proud to work for a company that encourages me to bring my entire, authentic self to work each day and am valued for what makes me unique. Co-chairing the DEI&B committee provides me the opportunity to utilize my passion for social and racial equity and to engage with coworkers in hopes of providing them the same feeling of belonging,” said Ms. Edwards-Barnes.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging:
At The Coordinating Center we aim to dismantle inequalities within our policies, systems, programs and services by embracing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI&B) and leading with respect, acceptance and compassion. It’s what makes us exceptional in achieving our mission and drives us to deliver culturally competent and effective care coordination services. We believe we are stronger together.
- We are passionate about embedding DEI&B into everything we do for our coworkers, community and the people we are privileged to serve;
- We respect all individuals irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, ability, and any other characteristics that make a person unique;
- We value individual identities and unique perspectives by creating safe spaces that invite courageous dialogue and embrace authenticity.
- We recognize that equity must take centerstage by creating a culture that promotes understanding that people have different needs and wants.
- We acknowledge unconscious bias; and,
- We take an active stance against racism and social injustice. Being non-racist and impartial is not enough.
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Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Millersville, Maryland, The Coordinating Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to partner with people of all ages and abilities and those who support them in the community to achieve their aspirations for independence, health and meaningful community life. To learn more about The Coordinating Center and our DEI&B efforts to date, check out our webpage.