Creating a community committed to courageously leaving a legacy of belonging.
To be vulnerable risk-takers who will apologize courageously; to pursue innovative and sustainable best practices that create an inclusive culture that drives systems change and empowered all board, staff teams, partners, and clients.
In 2019, the Ed & Nancy Hanenburg Children's Advocacy Center officially launched its' first ever internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team. The team includes self-selected staff and board members that seek to ensure we provide a space that is welcoming, safe, respectful, equitable, and inclusive for all clients and staff.
Recently, we added the "J" for "Justice" to our team name to convey that we work towards justice for our clients along with our multidisciplinary team. The CAC is dedicated to working for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion through a three-tiered approach; the head, the heart, and the hands.
The Head involves having the knowledge necessary to understand the historical and current contexts of diverse human experiences. It also leads towards solutions for a better future, in which we are all connected. Learning about different experiences and reflecting upon one's own experiences is a lifelong process.
With the understanding that we are lifelong learners, The Heart involves having the passion and dedication to dismantling barriers and reconstructing equitable, inclusive, and justice-oriented ways of living.
The Hands are where the action takes place; where we use our knowledge and passion for justice to become allies, advocates, and agents of change. This is where we take tangible steps to dismantle barriers and create equitable opportunities not just for our clients, but for our staff, board, MDT, and the community as a whole.
Every other month, the CAC staff gathers together for a Brave Space conversation. These conversations, usually facilitated by a staff member, are an opportunity for staff to learn more about specific topics, reflect on their own experiences with those topics, and have an honest conversation with their peers.
Staff can continue their learning independently or in a book club using the resources provided in our internal JEDI library consisting of books and other materials written by diverse voices and advocates.
WE DO NOT DO J.E.D.I WORK ALONE
We are proud members of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, supporters and attendees of the Holland and Grand Haven Hispanic Heritage Fiesta, and PRIDE Festival.
We have participated in excellent training through Hope College, the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, Out On the Lakeshore, and participated in the United Way 21-Day Equity Challenge. Robyn Afrik, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director for Ottawa County has also been instrumental in our work.
The development of the J.E.D.I Team was made possible thanks to generous grant funding provided by Herman Miller Cares and an additional private donation.