Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Statement
Disability is universal and exists across race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation and identity, and socio-economic status. At FACT Oregon, our work is to empower Oregon families experiencing disability by expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families in their pursuit of a whole life.
To do this work effectively, the organization must first acknowledge the historic and contemporary marginalization of people of color experiencing disability in the disability rights movement. Disability advocacy has been framed as an almost exclusively white, middle-class endeavor, which has undermined the broad history of the disability rights movement, minimizing the self-determination of people experiencing disability, and erasing the ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity of people experiencing disability.
The pronounced inequities for people experiencing disability from communities that experience additional, interconnected disparities based on race, ethnicity, economic status, language, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and geographic location is at the center of our commitment to integrating the principles and values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into our internal culture, systems, and practices. The systemic barriers caused by prejudice and bias affect equitable access to education and public spaces, and the resources, services, and information which directly affect quality of life. When we center people experiencing disability who come from backgrounds and identities that have been historically under-represented and underserved, FACT Oregon will be better able to fulfill its mission.
This is the beginning of a journey for FACT Oregon. We know that building and sustaining an inclusive, equity centered organization requires individual and organizational work.
What do we mean by diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Through the work of our DEI workgroup of stakeholders and staff, we have developed working definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion that will guide our thinking and action. Integrating DEI is a practice and way of working that will challenge the organization to reflect, grow, and change.
Diversity: The representation of all our varied identities and differences (individual and collective)- race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, geographic location, language, socio-economic status, and religion.
Equity: Both the process and the result of meaningfully reducing the predictability of success that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor or identity and creating the conditions in which one’s identity cannot predict life outcomes (educational, health, socioeconomic).
Inclusion: Authentically creating a culture of belonging and respect, in which barriers to access and opportunity are acknowledged and dismantled and traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups are brought into processes, activities, and decision making in a way that share power.
Diversity without equity and inclusion will not move us toward building an organization that welcomes families who are currently underserved and experience disparate outcomes. Equity in practice means families who experience disability from communities impacted by systemic and institutional oppression and the compounding effects of prejudice get the support they need to meaningfully access the supports and services they want and need.