Following the departure of several people of color in 2016 and early 2017, the National Health Law Program made the decision to examine our internal culture in relation to race and bias. Our first step was to make a commitment in our 2017 Strategic Plan to cultivate an environment that empowers an exceptional and diverse staff and to begin a process of deepening our individual and collective understanding of equity and inclusion so that our interactions, as well as our work, reflect these values. To make good on that commitment, we commissioned a study about how our employees experience our work environment, created a staff-led DEI leadership team, staff-led committees to advance DEI priorities, and have begun to make progress toward our goals.
We are committed to confronting and eliminating institutional racism and other forms of discrimination in our organization. Like other non-profits working for social justice, we are working to dismantle the 350 year legacy of racism that continues to impact our internal structures as well as the structural racism that perpetuates inequalities in our country. We have more work to do and we are committed to doing it. Our internal work will make us stronger in our fight to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to be healthy, and that a person’s characteristics and circumstances – including race and ethnicity, sex, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, income, class, disability, health, immigration status, nationality, religious beliefs, language proficiency, or geographic location – do not predict their health outcomes. This is our goal and our commitment.