Positionality and Equity Training
“In order to create lasting change around diversity and equity in our work we need to create space for ongoing questioning, acting, reflecting and adjusting based on the outcomes.”
This was one of the themes emphasized by participants in PARCEO Positionality and Equity Training hosted for staff, board members, and volunteer leaders at Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon. The training was a continuation of work started by the group’s equity team and provided a space to bring the rest of the staff into the conversation so they all could move forward together.
Participants began the day reflecting on their own identities and what makes them feel a part of a group or community. Building from these ideas, we considered ways the organization can create space to value and welcome different stories and experiences in order to draw from the rich expertise of the staff, volunteers, and clients. From these distinct and shared strengths we considered how to use commonalities to building across differences.
“Certainly there are very real differences between us of race, age, and sex. But it is not those differences between us that are separating us. It is rather our refusal to recognize those differences, and to examine the distortions, which result from our misnaming them and their effects upon human behavior and expectation.”
– Audre Lorde
These reflections formed the foundation to begin examining the structures, language, and history of the organization to identify first steps for establishing an organizational-wide equity lens.
As a framework rooted in reflection and action centered on social justice, PAR provides an ideal ongoing structure for critically evaluating our work and identifying areas for increased equity.