Always Aiming to Do and Be Better
In recent months, our society has experienced a powerful reckoning on the issue of racial justice, including the injustices and inequities within the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement. While they are difficult and often painful to have, conversations about equity are critically important and we are committed to having them inside and outside of our organization.
But conversations on their own are not enough. As a white-led organization in a large, diverse reproductive health movement, we understand our particular obligation to demonstrate leadership in addressing systemic racial barriers that exist within our organization, in the movement, and throughout our broader society. We also understand the need to hold ourselves accountable and truly listen to the communities affected by these barriers to ensure that we are centering their needs and priorities.
At the National Abortion Federation (NAF), we have recently embarked on an 18-month initiative to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across our organization. This DEI work stems from a broader effort to improve NAF’s organizational culture and ensure that we are a workplace where everyone feels safe, supported, and able to show up as their authentic selves. We have also expanded this work to ensure that we are as accommodating and flexible as possible in response to new challenges and obstacles created by the pandemic.
While we know there is much more to do, we are proud of the work we have done so far to ensure that everyone at NAF feels heard and to start on the journey to become a truly antiracist organization. Among our actions taken to date, we have:
- Launched an extensive and comprehensive DEI process, including:
- Creating a staff DEI task force.
- Engaging a DEI consultant to work with the leadership team and task force over the next 18 months to map out a strategy toward achieving internal diversity, equity, and inclusion at NAF and supporting members who are making similar commitments.
- Securing funding to hire a DEI Manager to work with key stakeholders on implementing the DEI strategy identified by the consultant and task force.
- Changed our hiring practices to center DEI, including expanding our outreach and prioritizing recruitment efforts in geographic areas that have a larger pool of diverse candidates.
- Conducted a salary survey to determine our competitiveness in the nonprofit sector, used the data to demonstrate a need for salary increases at our entry and mid-level positions, acquired necessary funding, and implemented pay raises at those levels.
- Developed a new paid time off structure to allow staff flexibility to use leave however they choose.
- Changed our workplace policies and practices to maximize flexibility and staff support amid the pandemic, including:
- Allowing flex work time to meet childcare and caregiver needs.
- Supporting staff who temporarily relocated to where they feel safe.
- Launching a CEO task force to give employees a voice on returning to in-person work, including the potential impact on home life and caregiver needs.
We recognize that these efforts, while important, are only the beginning of a long process. We feel it is important to share this information publicly to hold ourselves accountable and acknowledge the need for ongoing action and improvements to achieve our vision of true diversity, equity, and inclusion at NAF. We welcome continued conversation from within and beyond the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement about how we can make continued progress in these areas together.