Equity Policy

Equity Systems and Structures

  • Maintain an equity committee made up of staff, board and community members.
    • The demographics of the equity committee will reflect those of the community we serve.
    • This committee will be responsible for development of the organization’s equity policy and equity action plan, and oversee the organization’s adherence to these documents.
    • The recruitment and onboarding process for new equity committee members will include establishing expectations of a shared commitment to our equity statement.
  • Adopt and implement an equity policy that is reviewed by the equity committee no less than once every 3 years.
  • Adopt and implement an equity action plan spanning 12–18 months and develop a new one at the end of that time span. Upon completion of each equity action plan, the equity committee will conduct a review of organizational adherence to the equity policy, and create a plan for improvement to be incorporated into the next equity action plan.
  • Conduct a research-supported, organization-wide equity assessment no less than once every 2 years.
  • Adopt an equity review framework to be utilized in the development and implementation of all policies, programs, plans and communications.
  • Include a variety of Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington (YAOW) stakeholders in the process of reviewing the organization’s equity policy, equity action plan, equity assessment, and equity framework as they are developed, such as teaching artists, educators and school administrators, and students and families. Stakeholders involved should reflect the diversity of the community we serve, including people of color, and with knowledge of the issues under consideration. YAOW values multiple sources of knowledge, such as lived experience, academic or professional training, etc.
  • Maintain accountability in upholding the equity policy via governing bodies such as the board of directors, the equity committee, staff Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) positions, etc. All policy-level changes will be examined utilizing an equity review framework and adopted by the board of directors.

Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention

  • Recruit staff, board and artists that share our organization’s commitment to equity.
  • Include discussion of YAOW’s equity commitment in onboarding and annual individual planning processes with board and staff.
  • Develop and maintain research-supported recruitment, hiring, and retention practices that help to cultivate a staff and board that reflect the demographics of the communities we serve.
  • Recruit a diverse variety of stakeholders to serve on YAOW committees.
  • Utilize equity and accessibility frameworks when developing and updating board procedures and expectations, and when reviewing and updating the staff handbook.
  • Develop and maintain equity training requirements and opportunities for all staff and board on a regular basis.

Resources and Budget

  • Allocate organizational resources equitably (not equally).
  • Designate a portion of the organization’s annual operating budget for equity-specific expenses.
  • Designate a portion of annual discretionary funds to be directed toward specific underserved student demographics (e.g. 60% of subsidized programs to majority-students-of-color schools).
  • Offer pay or other compensation to any consultants related to our organizational equity work.

Demographic Data and Analysis

  • Track and analyze demographics of the students we serve and how that compares to school, district, and regional demographics, as well as how it compares to our own work over time. This information will be made publicly accessible.
  • Create annual demographic goals with regard to students served, artists contracted and retained, and staff and board recruited and retained.
  • Collect staff and board demographic data annually, and share the aggregate results with the staff and board. All surveyed staff and board members will be offered ways of opting out of sharing particular categories of demographic information and protecting their privacy.
  • Collect and analyze artist demographic data annually.

Accessibility and Inclusion

  • Utilize an accessibility framework when reviewing current programs, developing new programs, planning events, and selecting venues.
  • Involve and offer compensation to individuals with disabilities when developing and reviewing the organizational accessibility framework.
  • Communicate accessibility information and provide channels to request additional accommodations for events and meetings.
  • Keep an organization-wide record of disability/accessibility compliance efforts. This record will be consulted alongside the accessibility framework when reviewing and developing programs and events.

Teaching Artists

  • Develop short- and long-term goals toward cultivating and supporting a culturally, racially and artistically diverse roster of teaching artists that meets the needs of the students we serve and the artists with whom we collaborate, that reflects the demographics of the communities we serve, and that provides students with opportunities to engage with new cultural and artistic experiences beyond their own communities.
  • Develop and maintain recruitment and retention practices that support our goals toward cultivating and supporting a culturally, racially and artistically diverse roster of teaching artists.
  • Support teaching artists as independent contractors in the systems in which we and they work.
  • Provide scholarship and subsidy opportunities to teaching artists for applicable programs and events.
  • Share opportunities with teaching artists to participate in equity- and accessibility-specific professional development.

Students, Educators, and Schools

  • Provide arts education programming to schools and students who cannot reasonably afford to access our services without assistance.
  • Provide scholarship opportunities to students for applicable programs and events.
  • Engage our historically underrepresented service users and work with them to meet their programming needs.
  • Collect feedback from schools so we are up-to-date on their needs, including equity- and accessibility-specific needs.
  • Provide programming that is accessible to all students (i.e. students with a wide range of learning support needs).

Communication and Community

  • Make our equity policy and plan publicly accessible.
  • Share our equity commitment with all prospective new organizational relationships.
  • Partner and collaborate with organizations that reflect the diversity of the communities we serve, with special focus on historically underrepresented communities.
  • Advocate for public- and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity in arts and education.
  • Participate in DEI conversations and action in networks and communities of which YAOW is a member, such as the Young Audiences national network.
  • Create organizational policies and participate in programs that foster diverse leadership reflective of the communities we serve, with special focus on historically underrepresented communities.
  • Curate representation at events that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve (e.g. speakers, panelists, performers, etc.).
  • Prioritize historically underrepresented communities when selecting and building relationships with contractors and vendors.
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