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Walking the Walk: Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Organizational Culture & Programming to Support People

A New Results in Systems Excellence (RISE) Peer Action eLearning Community Open to Centers for Independent Living, specifically for CIL Executive Leaders  


Co-Facilitators: Hasan Davis, Chisa O’Quinn, Kim Gibson


SPACE IS LIMITED, SO APPLY NOW at: https://forms.gle/8YvLPD5vQr8ado7s8


APPLICATIONS DUE: August 30, 2021


LAUNCH MEETING: September 7, 2021, 12:00-1:30/EST


Leading for equity and engaging in equity work requires us to move away from the historical manners in which we provide services and build capacity towards a model which understands and prioritizes needs, particularly those most affected by inequity.


What possibly could be the most challenging but most essential element needed to change is that engaging and leading for equity requires the acknowledgement in the need to shift our own perceptions and practices to support more equitable outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Applying the equity lens requires both self and organizational reflection with recognition of how the existing systems preserve the vicious cycle of inequality and disparity.


As grantees, you have been called upon to create and apply innovative models when serving individuals with unique backgrounds most of which do not identify with the predominant population. This additional effort requires thoughtfulness, extra funding, and strategic planning, especially for Centers for Independent Living. The AoD Grantee Network can provide significant contributions in building and applying the equity framework to build organizational capacity and focus on the person-centered approach to creating equity. 


The Equity Conversation is a capacity building approach to organizational change focused on advancing employment opportunities for staff as well as job seekers in competitive, integrated employment. Equity has become the new buzzword in many communities. For this RISE eLearning Community, Equity is framed as the intentional action(s) to create inclusion, belonging and community. This is a change process which gives everyone access, a voice and a seat at the table.


If your organization is ready to make changes, build community and apply the equity model through service delivery then this RISE eLearning Community is for you!


We have designed a community of practice that will engage and challenge you to:


  • Take intentional steps as an organization towards capacity building by applying the equity lens (staff/clients)
  • Have inclusive and person-centered conversations in a safe & productive way.
  • Define how you will make equity the framework in strategic planning and community services, with a particular focus on helping youth and young adults avoid the school-to-institutional pipeline and move people with disabilities of color into the generic workforce and economic mainstream.


We will hold ten 90-minute sessions between September and December 2021. At each session, there will be content, conversation and the expectation to engage in equity practices needed to ensure that everyone can develop framework for organizational change.  Each participating entity will also receive two 1:1 consults to supplement the ongoing group coaching for bringing a concept related to employment to reality within their organization. Participants should include senior level executive leaders who are responsible for teams/staff that have advancement of employment of people with disabilities in meaningful competitive, integrated employment as part of their portfolio. For more details, you may review the tentative schedule and outline of the RISE community here.


We are excited to launch this Peer eLearning Community and start to listen, learn and practice engaging the crucial capacity building work from an equity lens framework. We look forward to engaging with CIL Executive Leaders through this Peer eLearning Community!

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This website was created by The Lewin Group/TASH under the Administration for Community Living (Administration on Disabilities) . Contract HHSP233201500088I / 75P00120F37007.