Last year, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC) presented the Board of County Commissioners with their annual overview of work product and future goals. This year, the Office of County Administration, where the DEIC program is housed, completed their Performance Clackamas strategic plan. In that plan, ambitious and exciting goals were created for the county. One change was another revision to the name of the program and of the council. In keeping with current national trends in conversations surrounding equity and diversity, the council will now (and into the future) be called the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDIC). Placing "Equity" at the forefront is designed to mark the importance of creating an equitable workplace as we prepare for the future. This better aligns us with our regional and national partners working in this arena.
On Feb. 11, 2016, the EDIC met to discuss past accomplishments and plans, addressing challenges for the year ahead. This report serves as a review of the efforts during Fiscal Year 2015-2016 and to list follow-up recommendations in step with "building public trust through good government" within a dynamic multicultural county.
The EDIC promotes the mission of Clackamas County by serving as a resource for inclusivity, diversity, and cultural sensitivity. The EDIC serves the Board of County Commissioners, county departments and employees.
- We view diversity broadly, allowing people to define for themselves what does and does not make them diverse.
- We seek to assure that everyone has a voice, creating a culture and climate of respect and inclusion.
- We humbly recognize that each of us has something to learn, and that developing cultural competence and a multicultural workplace is an ongoing process.
- We promote equity in the workplace, whereby resources are distributed and processes designed in ways that empower everyone to maximize their potential while promoting inclusion by eliminating barriers.
Advancing on the Resolution Valuing Diversity passed by the Board in 2012, this year, Emmett Wheatfall, former Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was promoted to Assistant County Administrator for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). In this new role, he will be working to ensure that by 2019 100% of a department's line of business will establish performance measures and set targets for the provision of equitable access to services for diverse populations. The EDIC will assist County Administration in meeting its equity goals of providing equitable access, workforce character, reputation and relationship services to county employees and the public at large so they can enjoy a welcoming and inclusive place to live, work and do business.
EDIC will work as directed by the Assistant County Administrator for EDI to help facilitate the establishment of equity goals and applicable performance measures as specified within Performance Clackamas.
Integration of our equity goals in the hiring process remains a key priority for the county. To indicate support for EDI as a core value of the Clackamas County work force, EDIC looks forward to working with the Human Resources Director and team to see what kind of assistance we may provide in regard to recruitment, hiring, on-boarding, orientation, training, professional development, and retention.
EDIC members continue to participate in "Say Hey" which has become Oregon's largest multiethnic networking/recruitment event to honor and connect new professional persons of color relocating to the region.
Recommend volunteer EDIC members as potential candidates for hiring panels to support equitable recruitment practices.
Recommend a Human Resources representative to volunteer on the EDIC, bringing HR experience to the table.
Recommend training and networking opportunities for employees on matters relating to equity in the workplace.
In making visible the county's commitment equity, EDIC volunteers organized the 5th annual Community Festival on September 17th, 2015. On a beautiful fall day, the Red Soils Campus hosted a variety of food, music and information booths addressing a wide-range of diverse county and community services. The Community Festival continues to grow and inspire, providing an opportunity to highlight the vibrancy of our growing and diverse county. This signature event provides employees and local citizens the opportunity to obtain information on a wide-array of services and programs.
EDIC is looking forward to partnering with the county's community based representatives, the Leadership for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council (LEDIC), to help facilitate additional community involvement and participation in the upcoming 2016 Community Festival.
Employee Networking Groups
EDIC members worked with the Office of County Administration and Public and Government Affairs (PGA) to establish the first formal Employee Networking Groups (ENGs) in the county. ENGs are employee led volunteer networks that address the needs of employees in exploring workforce development, networking, mentoring, and a forum for personal and professional awareness.
There are two active ENGs, Queers and Allies: an LGBTQ ENG, and the Language Equity Team, which works on ensuring access to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) community members, and assists staff on working with interpreters, translators, and other issues concerning language differences. With help from PGA, EDIC has created a communications plan which included outreach to staff throughout the year, along with "lunch and learns" facilitated by County Administrator Don Krupp, and events that drew attention to these budding groups, including presence at the annual Community Festival.
EDIC will focus on supporting the development of new ENGs throughout the year and the facilitation of ENG lunch and learn events to help with their promotion and awareness among county employees.
EDIC goal by year-end 2017 is to have three more active ENGs.
In 2016, EDIC will continue outreach to establish and solidify more ENGs. Furthermore, development of an ENG intranet page is in the works that will help serve as an information portal for all employees regarding the work of ENGs in the county. We propose an increase to the EDIC's budget to facilitate training and guest speakers for future ENGs.
In 2015, EDIC moved the county's diversity webpage to a stand-alone position within the county website. This gives the page more search relevance and highlights the activities of the program. We are working with Clackamas County Cable to develop a short video that will "tell the story" of EDI in Clackamas County.
In addition, the EDIC will be revamping the EDI paper tri-fold, adding web content, and strengthening the intranet pages attached to the program. EDIC maintains an employee intranet web-page to assist in the provision of clear, concise and attractive public relations materials relating to the projects and activities.
EDIC will continue to use the intranet to promote outreach activities of the council among county employees.
EDIC operating principles will be reviewed and updated to reflect current goals and strategic plan initiatives.
Helping to Build the Future - EDIC Performance Goals for FY 2016-2017
EDIC, through support and guidance from the Assistant County Administrator for EDI, will endeavor to support the following listed goals and evaluate their effectiveness.
In Fiscal Year 2016-2017, EDIC will endeavor to:
- Continue to improve EDIC web-page and outreach activity.
- Continue to advance county ENGs.
- Continue to facilitate Lunch and Learns (aligning with ENGs when possible).
- Work with the Assistant County Administrator for EDI in support of ongoing efforts of Performance Clackamas in meeting the county's equity goals.