A Commitment to Belonging

Increasing the impact of Literacy Pittsburgh’s work depends on including and welcoming diverse perspectives and backgrounds among staff, board, volunteers, and students. We are committed to working with urgency, patience, and humility to integrate DEI into our organizational fabric. We recognize this work is not easy, nor is it quickly accomplished, but it cannot wait if we are to live our mission, vision, and values

At our June 2022 board meeting we adopted our FY23 DEIA Action Plan. The plan was developed with the assistance of Demeshia Seals of DLRS Solutions and Dr. Cheryl Hall Russel of BW3. It was based on a human capital audit, cultural survey, and input from staff, board, and volunteers over a span of 15 months. The DEIA Plan is integral to Literacy Pittsburgh's overall growth strategy and has three overarching objectives. It will be managed by our DEIA Committee, comprised of board and staff, with the assistance of our DEIA Staff Engagement Committee.

  • Build or refine essential systems related to talent—hiring, pay, potential, performance, and promotion—to protect against unconscious and conscious bias. This objective includes much of the work that our new director of human resources, Brenda Loving, will be undertaking, such as refining our recruitment, hiring, and onboarding systems, building our compensation strategy and ranges, and revising the performance management system.
  • Infuse inclusion and diversity into Literacy Pittsburgh's strategic plan and organizational and leadership goals. DEIA goals will become part of our Year 3 strategic plan goals, and those goals will cascade into organizational and leadership goals for FY23, and the full staff in FY24. 
  • Inspire, educate, and reinforce DEIA priorities with staff, board, and volunteers as part of our strategic plan and organizational goals. This work includes an internal and external communications plan, staff training and engagement, and board and leadership training.   

The work within each objective is already underway. Our human resources department has begun several critical hiring, onboarding, and compensation projects. An implicit bias workshop for staff was held in August 2022. Several other training and engagement projects are in the works. In the months to come, Literacy Pittsburgh will be engaging staff, board and others in critical projects aimed at creating a more welcoming, inclusive, diverse, and accessible environment for board, staff, volunteers, and students alike. 

We embrace the following definitions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. 
Diversity

Literacy Pittsburgh recognizes value in the fixed and changeable characteristics, social, familial, and economic factors that each student, staff member, and volunteer brings to the organization.

Equity

A commitment to provide access and opportunity for all persons so that fixed and changeable characteristics, social, familial, and economic factors do not predict student educational outcomes or staff professional progress at Literacy Pittsburgh.

Inclusion

Pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our organization is a place where differences are embraced, different perspectives are respectfully heard, and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion.

Accessibility

A commitment to supporting meaningful access to our resources by all persons who are eligible for our services, with their diverse range of needs, abilities, bodies, minds, and backgrounds. We commit to identifying and removing existing barriers and learning from the expertise of individuals who regularly face barriers to access.

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