We also recognize that DEI work cannot happen in a vacuum. Building an equitable workplace is not the sole responsibility of our DEI team. We seek to embed DEI work into every corner of our organizational structure and processes, with accountability shared across all levels and all teams—from the direct provision of health care services, to building and strengthening relationships across the country.
Over the last couple of years, we have engaged in DEI work more deeply and intentionally, both internally and externally. We’ve begun examining and revamping our hiring practices, made strides toward diversifying the partners with whom we work, increased the diversity of our leadership team, and engaged in complex and sometimes difficult conversations about DEI and our internal culture. We are honestly assessing and working to improve our organizational culture by being more self-reflective and inclusive, aware of power dynamics in the workplace and in the sector more broadly, and by ensuring that all team members are aware of their biases—and actively striving to challenge them.
Importantly, we are instituting transparent, verifiable metrics to hold ourselves accountable and to ensure that our efforts create tangible results. As we continue this journey, we are committed to ongoing reflection and adaptation in order to meaningfully center equity in our work. We’re proud to share this report of our ongoing efforts and we look forward to the work ahead.
In This Together,
Jennifer Welch (she/her)
President and CEO
Planned Parenthood of Illinois
That we consciously identify the ways that white supremacy culture blindly permeates the way that we interact with each other—and the way that we run our business—and dismantle all harmful practices that uphold white supremacy culture, over time. That we examine our hierarchical approaches to our work and consider how those approaches might limit the voices that need to be upfront and centered during times of critical decision-making. That we champion LGBTQIA+ Justice and Disability Advocacy through the offering of progressive, inclusive workplace benefits and policies, and through our continued advocacy work. That we actively and regularly analyze our agency’s practices to scout out bias and equity barriers at every turn, by asking the right questions, and seeking out and applying stakeholder feedback.
And, perhaps most importantly, that we be clear and transparent about what progress we’ve made as an organization, and where we still need to improve.
As you’ll see inside this progress report, at PPIL, we have been intentional about setting strong DEI goals and making very specific commitments to do the work to:
Build a diverse, inclusive, and culturally-competent work environment
Foster an organizational culture where equity is paramount to all else
Invest time and resources into DEI Education as we journey towards becoming a truly antiracist agency
Seek greater equity in philanthropy donors and funders
Forge and uphold partnerships that center the work, the voices, and the needs of the communities we serve
Advance health equity in Illinois
As the Black, cis woman, and LGBTQ leader of this work for PPIL, I wake with a focus, daily, on how PPIL can show up better and stronger for our staff, patients, and communities in all of the ways we have committed to do so, and on what racial justice work and reckoning looks like for an affiliate within a Federation that has roots that are tainted with the eugenicist and ableist beliefs and racist and dehumanizing behaviors of its founder. There is a great deal of work to be done to address our past and engage in reparation, but at PPIL, we are building the infrastructure to ensure that we are ready for that work—the long-term work.
The 5-person, full-time Equity Team at our small nonprofit of about 350 staff (VP of DEI, Director of Health Equity, Equity Program Manager, DEI Specialist, and Engagement & Equity Specialist) is evidence of our commitment to ensuring that the agency’s equity goals remain at the forefront of all that we do, and demonstrates our seriousness about investing in our agency’s ability to learn and improve, with the help of in-house equity experts.
I look forward to keeping you abreast of all of the important work PPIL is doing to advance equity, and inclusion inside of our organization, and in the world around us.
In Deep Solidarity,
Crystal R. Braboy, MA, CDP, SPHR (she/her)
Vice President of Human Resources,
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion