Parrott Creek is committed to pursuing policies, institutional strategies and program development that promote equity and inclusion in all our work: with our youth and their families; within the organization as a whole; and with our stakeholders and community partners.
Our ethos and work has always been founded on the principle that youth and their families are the experts in their own lives and should be supported to develop individualized goals for themselves that best meet their needs. However, we recognize that, while the aim of our work is to support individuals to develop skills and resiliency, and repair harm within and against communities, much of this work is largely dominated by a white, middle-class professional sector. So, even as Parrott Creek works with an intentional focus on reducing bias and disproportionality, we can still fail to root elements of this work in a family or child’s own culture, language, faith, identity and/or belief systems.
While we feel that we have a good foundation of diversity to build from, we are firmly committed to meeting three overriding objectives:
- Ensuring that our programs, services and “how we work” are culturally responsive
- Recruiting, retaining and promoting staff and board members who reflect the communities and backgrounds of our client population
- Developing strong community partnerships where we enter the relationship asking, “What can we do for you?”
Over the last year we have strengthened our outreach and partnerships with communities of color which saw a dramatic increase in the number of African American youth successfully transitioning from our care back to their families and communities. We have also spent time getting to know the Native American community and inviting them to get to know us. Through that trust building exercise, we are now partnering to develop traditional indigenous healing practices that involve healing youth alongside the land, to ultimately stabilize healthy families and build ecosystem resilience for future generations. This project will bring healing to the community and the 80 acres of Clackamas ancestral forest landscape.
- Approximately 60% of our staff comes from diverse backgrounds: 27% represent a community of color or are bi-cultural; 33% represent the LBGTQI community; 1% live with a disability; 15% care for a disabled child or parent in their home and 66% are first generation college graduates.
- This compares to a client demographic that is approximately 62% Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 11% African American, 2% Native American and 2% Multi-racial.
- The vast majority of our participants come from low-income families and communities, have high levels of trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences, face substance misuse and/or mental health challenges and increasingly struggle with housing insecurity and homelessness.
- Our Trustee and Advisory boards are comprised of approximately 30% women, 10% people of color and we have two individuals with lived-experience of the issues we focus on, including a former service user.
Our Equity & Inclusion Strategy (please download here) outlines our more detailed goals and targets. We were recently asked if we thought these were too ambitious, to which our response was: we would rather achieve 75% of a stretch target than 100% of an easy one! We invite you to dig deep in to our hopes for achieving equity within our work, our organization and the community we serve. We welcome your active involvement, support and guidance. We ask that you hold us accountable.