Hillside Strong: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Hillside is a part of the communities we serve. Deep within our mission is an implicit commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive society. Our agency is dedicated to reversing the multigenerational damage too often caused by poverty, trauma and neglect. Every day, our people see the links between those issues and structural racism and inequity.

Hillside’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

Hillside creates an inclusive environment where we leverage our diversity to build a strong, equitable community.

We support diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in all aspects of our work—for the good of our employees, and the youth and families we serve.

  • Hillside believes that Black lives matter. Our agency strongly opposes acts of racism and violence in any form.
  • Our executives actively engage with government, education and community leaders to explore the nature of structural problems, and how Hillside can make a difference.
  • Our harassment-free workplace policy explicitly supports a working environment that is free of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment.
  • An open door policy ensures that concerns can be brought to leaders without fear of retaliation.

Watch a brief video gallery of the Summer 2020 Black Lives Matter art exhibit featuring artwork created by young people in residential treatment at Hillside.

Hillside’s DE&I Structure

A diverse and inclusive community requires many points of view. Hillside’s DE&I commitment brings employees together at all levels of the organization, to ensure their voices are heard.

  • Ideas and suggestions for agency-wide change are shared with the Executive Council, which also meets monthly.
  • Affinity groups including Hillside Men of Color and Hillside Women of Color meet throughout the year, to share vital thoughts and perspectives.

Because these activities are fundamental to our effectiveness as an organization, staff participate in DE&I meetings as a part of their workday. The shape of the work continues to evolve, but our dedication to DE&I is unwavering—for the benefit of our employees, and the communities we all call home.

September 2022 DE&I Update

From recent progress to upcoming activities, the Hillside community continues to make exciting moves in the vital work of DE&I.

In August, our regional DE&I committees addressed topics including culturally authentic recruiting in corporate America, learning more about LGBTQ+ and the community, and women’s rights and equality.

This month, Hillside will hear from a visiting speaker, Cecily Mitchell-Harper, LMSW, about points that should be considered when working with marginalized youth and families. (You can watch an interview with Cecily here.) Our agency is dedicated to being a strong voice for ongoing improvements to the NYS child welfare system.

We’re thrilled to have been awarded a $2,500 scholarship grant from the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes, for use in providing additional training opportunities in racial equity.

Finally, Hillside is proud to have been chosen to deliver a presentation at the 2022 Interrupt Racism Summit, put on by the Urban League of Rochester. Our presentation will be on the importance of DE&I committees as a way of building awareness and consensus in organizations and the community. The hybrid event will take place September 19-21; find ticket details here.

Proud to partner with Social Current

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the Council on Accreditation have joined to form Social Current. The combined mission is to advocate for and implement equitable solutions to society’s toughest challenges. As a longstanding member of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Hillside is a proud member of this new partnership, supporting the effort to ignite change for an equitable society where all people can thrive.

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