At AID, we believe that all people have inherent worth and dignity, and we see everyone — all clients and their families, all staff, all volunteers, and all interns — as valued members of the AID community. We therefore value and commit to Equity and Inclusion in serving our clients and in our workforce.
What we mean by Equity and Inclusion:
By equity we mean fairness, which often requires not treating everyone equally. Achieving a fair playing field requires going above and beyond to provide different avenues for different individuals, according to the needs of each, and striving to have the best possible outcome for each person. Equity means providing all with true access to safe, high – quality services, supports and opportunities, and recognizing and working to eliminate systemic barriers to such access.
By inclusion we mean welcoming everyone and providing all with genuine opportunities to participate in everything that we do. Inclusion opens a very wide umbrella, under which every difference is welcomed, including differences in race, ethnicity, physical and cognitive abilities, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, language, sexual orientation, body size, documentation status, housing status, economic status, ability to pay for services, job status, religious or spiritual practice, recovery status, substance users, thinking and doing styles, and more. Inclusion means taking action to consider and involve everyone, and enabling all to get involved, actively participate, and be heard. Inclusion also means recognizing and working to eliminate systemic barriers to full participation by all.
We commit to integrating equity and inclusion into all aspects of what we do, into all our functions and processes, into all our departments, and into how we handle every situation. For us, equity and inclusion will simply be the way we do things. Each of us brings different experiences, privileges, and beliefs to AID, but all of us commit to using our differences to create lives of dignity and purpose with the people we serve and the people with whom we work.
We commit to reflecting, in all our service locations and on our board, the diversity and needs of our clients and the communities we serve, especially the needs of historically underserved groups. We value diverse perspectives and commit to including all voices—those of clients and their families, and the staff, volunteers and interns—in every key conversation. At AID, everyone will have a voice, and everyone will be recognized for their individual capacities and efforts. All staff will be treated fairly, given equal consideration, and provided equitable opportunities to grow in knowledge and experience that positions them for advancement.
We know that we are on a journey, one in which this Equity and Inclusion Statement is just one early step. Therefore, we commit to continuous learning and process improvement, and to making changes and correcting course as needed. At every point in our journey, we commit to both talking the talk and walking the walk.