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Read the rest of Jennifer's message.


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 biasesand 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

Read the rest of Crystal's message.


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

DEI Vision Statement

Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) has a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion that aims to reduce sexual and reproductive health care disparities and inequity in Illinois and the Midwest.

In order to achieve our vision, we must hold ourselves, our organization, and our communities accountable to pursue continued education, skill-building, and critical and thoughtful dialogue on these disparities and all societal inequities.

We envision a reproductive and sexual health care and advocacy organization where diversity, equity, and inclusion work results in:

We're In This Together

We tend to the team.

We respect and honor all people.

We jump in.

We try and we learn.

We care for our business.

We return to our mission.

PPIL’s yearly objectives are assessed as follows:

  • Accomplished
    Objective met
  • Ongoing
    Substantial work completed, additional work in progress
  • Not yet begun
    Work is planned, but has not yet started

Goal 1

Build a diverse, inclusive, and culturally-competent work environment that aids our intentional efforts to recruit and retain the best talent, who provide our patients with absolutely exceptional sexual and reproductive health care.

Goal 1 Overview

Building, retaining, and individually-developing a diverse and culturally-competent staff is critical to our mission. Over the past 18 months, PPIL’s DEI team has increased its focus on making our hiring and performance management processes more equitable, motivated in part by internal feedback. During this time, we have made significant strides in understanding the experiences of our job candidates, improving our interview guide and selection rubrics, and working to better eliminate implicit bias in hiring. While we acknowledge important strides, we are also cognizant that more work is needed. The heaviest gains in our journey to building a more diverse and inclusive workforce have been concentrated in technological advances.

Strategic Objective: Update talent acquisition practices to attract job candidates that reflect our patient base and who are passionate about our agency’s commitment to equity.


The Human Resources team undertook an agency-wide review of job descriptions to eliminate unnecessary education and experience requirements, and ensure that physical requirements were not overstated. The team launched a candidate experience survey to examine pipeline experience by race, gender, etc. More pointed questions around equity and inclusion values and abortion care were added to position interview guides. Future goals include salary transparency on all job postings by the end of calendar year 2021.



Strategic Objective: Eliminate any racial disparities in hiring, promotions, separations, compensation levels, and/or activation; understand and mitigate barriers to advancement for BIPOC staff.


The DEI team worked with consultants to look closely at hiring, promotion, and separation levels via disaggregated data, and improvement goals were set in each area. To help reduce bias in the background screening process, PPIL selected a new background check vendor highly regarded for its technology that makes hiring more inclusive, more efficient, and helps eliminate unconscious bias. Future goals include a deeper compensation equity audit (general audits have already been performed). Addressing barriers to advancement scheduled to begin in Quarter 4.



Goal 2

Foster an organizational culture where equity is championed.

Goal 2 Overview

PPIL defines equity as providing the necessary tools, support, resources, and access to opportunities to eliminate systemic disparities. We believe an equity focus is the central driver of business success—whether through enhanced patient experience due to excellence in accessibility to care, or through building and sustaining a reputation for being an agency that provides a thoughtful and affirming space to work and to receive care; one that has done the work to educate itself on all of the ways that systemic oppression shows up in our society, and actively works to undo and eliminate inequities.

PPIL knows that respecting and honoring all people is critical to building an equitable, just, and inclusive organizational culture that advances our mission. To that end, over the past 18 months, we have implemented several initiatives to create a more inclusive internal culture and increase employee engagement and satisfaction.

Strategic Objective: Create a Culture of Accountability through shared decision making, transparent tracking, evaluation, and communication of progress at an agency, department, and individual level.


To highlight our commitment to transparency and accountability, PPIL released its first quarterly internal DEI Progress Report to all staff. These quarterly reports updates on our progress and opportunities for improvement. Curated quarterly reports for our Board of Directors are also now being shared with members of the agency’s Leadership Roundtable (Senior Director and Director-level staff).



Strategic Objective: Increase staff Share of Voice to drive empowerment, ownership, and amplify BIPOC voices.


Having a diverse set of perspectives from employees is only valuable if they feel confident contributing and voicing their opinion without anxiety or fear. One way PPIL supports employees is through Employee Groups (DEI Council, TGE Taskforce, Mission Partners, Emerging Leaders, Health Equity Taskforce) and DEI surveys from which PPIL Leadership continues to engage and adopt practices.




Strategic Objective: Take a human-centered approach to policies and practices to support staff work/life balance.


The agency implemented several paid COVID-related flexibility plans that allow staff to customize schedules based on their needs. In 2020, the agency instituted its paid parental leave policy to better support our parenting staff.



Goal 3

Invest time and resources into DEI Education as we journey towards becoming a truly antiracist agency.

Goal 3 Overview

We realize that we cannot positively impact organizational culture unless everyone inside of the agency is on the same page—meaning that we all use the same language, and uphold the same values and commitments to equity and justice-focused decision-making, as a collective. We have created and activated educational modules built for PPIL, by PPIL, so that we can train a laser-focus on how racism, discrimination, and bias show up in our specific lanes of health care, so that we understand the specific needs of the communities of Illinois, and importantly, so that we are better able to address the pain points that have been named as most salient to the stakeholders of our agency.

To build collective understanding around diversity and inclusion, we must participate, as a collective-in-training, education and discussions around inequities and injustices, and how power, privilege, and oppression has shaped the world that we live in. Through this important work and dialogue we hope to develop a culture of storytelling, of truth-telling, and of true racial healing and progress. As an agency, we must also uphold the importance and normalcy of naming—and continuing to name—all of the ways that white supremacy culture shows up in the way that we do business, so that we become skilled at consciously choosing better and more equitable ways to approach our work.

Strategic Objective: Help dismantle white supremacy culture across the agency, by training on the foundations of DEI and anti-racism and investing time in reinforcing the learning.


In April 2021, PPIL’s DEI Team launched its DEI Learning Lab. Each full time staff member will receive a minimum of 6 hours of DEI education between April and the end of the calendar year, on a variety of topics relevant to our work and our culture. PPIL leaders will receive additional training hours on Equitable and Trauma-Informed Leadership via multiple leadership convenings. PPIL has facilitated multiple Education and DEI gatherings in the form of Lunch & Learns, Racial Healing Circles, and Workshops since 2019 and the agency has made investments to expand the agency’s DEI Team in order to facilitate learning sessions.



Strategic Objective: Continuously identify inequities at the agency, department, and individual level, and determine appropriate course correction.


The agency conducts DEI Surveys regularly to gauge on-the-job experiences and progress. The HR team also studies exit interview data, which asks specific questions regarding equity and inclusion. The newly-formed DEI Council will conduct Policy Reviews and provide feedback. All data is disaggregated and examined for disparate impact by race and gender.



Goal 4

Seek greater equity in philanthropy donors and funders.

Goal 4 Overview

PPIL recognizes that our DEI commitments must be integrated into all of our work, including our fundraising. This includes working to diversify our donor base, as well as ensuring that our communications to potential donors are thoughtful and inclusive. Our vision is to lift up the ways that DEI permeates all that we do and continuously educating donors through our conversations, communications, programming, and events that DEI is integral to our mission and therefore integral to our fundraising. Learnings from research, including focus groups, drives our understanding of the concerns and motivations of donors and informs our strategies to attain the support of a diverse group of donors. Well-informed and engaged donors from diverse backgrounds will build and propel our ability to serve patients with care—no matter what.

Strategic Objective: Assess outreach strategies to all donors at all giving levels.


The Development team has reviewed its outreach strategies, and each team member is in the process of implementing changes to advance our DEI goals. For example, finding ways to integrate DEI into every detail of event planning, event programming, and participation.



Goal 5

Forge and uphold equitable partnerships that center the work, the voices, and the needs of the communities we serve.

Goal 5 Overview

We are aware that Planned Parenthood’s brand recognition allows us privileged access to larger stages and audiences. It is through this privilege that we embrace the privilege to cede power, de-center whiteness, and amplify the voices of the diverse base of partners that we’ve fostered relationships with, throughout the communities that we center and serve.

Strategic Objective: Address partnership power dynamics with intentionality.


In 2021 we will create an enterprise-wide “Equitable Partnerships and Guidance” document specific to PPIL’s partnership goals, formalizing a process to ensure inclusion of diverse partners at all levels, “flattening” organizational structures to empower partners regardless of their role, and diffusing decision-making authority so that those with the most perceived power are not by default the sole decision maker, thereby perpetuating inequality in decision-making and maintaining the status quo.


Not yet begun

Strategic Objective: Utilize DEI criteria to make informed decisions when evaluating external partnerships.


PPIL uses an established Race Equity Impact (REI) tool. In 2021, the agency plans to refine a broader partnership assessment tool to help determine the desired result of potential partnerships, who is impacted by the partnerships, and the advantages and disadvantages embedded within the partnerships.



Goal 6

Advance health equity in Illinois.

Goal 6 Overview

We have made a full commitment as an agency to prioritize and allot resources for effective health equity initiatives that measurably help move the needle on health outcomes for Illinoisans who have been underserved for generations due to their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc., or a combination of any or all of these identity points.

Strategic Objective: Assess and refine PPIL’s policies, systems, and practices to prioritize health equity by actively naming and removing the barriers to achieving optimal health.


PPIL is continuing to make progress in addressing health equity in our internal operations, as well as in our external-facing services. With the 2020 hiring of a Director of Health Equity and Impact, we now have a dedicated two-person team—with the support of a cross-functional taskforce—to lead the organization in removing barriers to care and in supporting current and potential patients in achieving their highest level of health. Barriers include, but are not limited to: racism, bias, discrimination, and oppressive policies and systems that lead to inequitable access, affordability, and experience within the health care system, as well as diminished quality of life, overall.

PPIL is also part of an initiative with the Institute for  health care Improvement (IHI) called Pursuing Equity, an 18-month structured cohort of health care organizations across the globe whose work is to identify, define, and address the advancement of health equity in the communities they serve.



Strategic Objective: Broaden and enhance our services to include prenatal care, to more comprehensively address disparities in Black Maternal Health.


PPIL plays an important role in supporting maternal health through providing equitable access to contraception and abortion care, and through its education and policy initiatives. To expand our reach in addressing disparities in Black Maternal Health specifically, we are examining where and how we can expand services to make a significant impact. Working through a Reproductive Justice lens, we will construct a clinical program, aligned with our policy priorities and led by clinical evidence, to provide a “bridge” to robust prenatal and obstetric care. While we update our internal practices, we will also work closely with adjacent health care providers and community organizations to build a patient-centered support network to address historic and current disparities in access to care, treatment, and outcomes. 




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