Since its inception, Penny Lane Centers has an been an agency of action. Our efforts towards racial and social justice are evident throughout our programs and the events that we host. During our New Hire Orientation, we share our commitment to these causes and review our inclusion statement to let new staff know just how important this is to the culture of PLC. Our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) program includes client and staff surveys and a 9-session DEIB training course for all staff called “Diversity Beyond the Basics.” 400+ staff trained in the initial roll out in 2022 and DBB continues to be shared with all new hires. In 2022, Penny Lane held its first DEIB-related community event, “Rise Up: A Racial Justice Conference.” Our second racial justice conference, “Rise Up: Be the Domino,” was held October 2023 and drew 200 people together to address ongoing issues of racial and social justice. Be the Domino served as a call to action for all in attendance. Penny Lane Centers Goes to School was created to share a message of inclusivity beyond the walls of Penny Lane. We believe that it is critical to engage our community and begin to have these difficult conversations all throughout the communities we serve. We work in local schools with young children (ages 7 – 9), parents and staff. This is a three-part series meant to facilitate discussions, cultivate empathy, and increase understanding. It includes the Erase Hate assembly, Creating an Anti-Racist Curriculum presentation, and the Raising Anti-Racist Children conversation with parents. Additionally, Penny Lane Centers partnered with The Skirball Cultural Center and is currently seeking other avenues (universities, houses of worship, and community organizations) in which we can share our message of unconditional positive regard for all people. Penny Lane Centers embraces our Heart Centered Culture, and we are striving to advocate for and join with marginalized populations with heart, empathy, and compassion.
Here are just a few steps that the Racial Justice Committee has taken to show our commitment to equity:
Penny Lane Centers has become committed to inclusion within our organization. The Penny Lane Inclusion Statement outlines how Penny Lane Centers (PLC) connects our heart, our knowledge, and our understanding of the lived experience of others, to have a revolutionary impact on the marginalized communities we serve, who have experienced disadvantages in access to care and resources due to social injustice and systemic racism. We believe that the elimination of systemic racism and other forms of oppression is critical in providing effective human services. At this time, we are focusing on systemic racism directed toward the Black community because of its 400 years of persistence and volatile present day political climate we are now experiencing.
White supremacy culture is one that supports the idea that White people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of White people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions. This idea (or ideology) is the glue that binds together institutional policies and practices to create a national and global white supremacy system. Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is an act. Penny Lane Centers is made up of a rather diverse workforce, but we recognize that there is more we can do to enhance/increase diversity and inclusion in the agency. Simply declaring a stance on Racial Justice is not enough. We must put action behind our words. We have to act in a way that creates inclusion. Here are a few examples of our recent inclusive actions that show our commitment to our DEIB values:
It is our hope that these action steps will convey our message of equity not only to our staff but also to our community and demonstrate the commitment we have made to racial justice and to further highlight our DEIB values. In order to change and evolve individuals need to step outside of their comfort zone and organizations need to step away from the stabilizing forces and create some instability. With discomfort/instability there will be change. In the discomfort and instability, we will work together to find out how to create a new era of comfort. We must push beyond ourselves to ask the tough questions and change our feelings related to diversity to invite inclusion. Penny Lane is committed to bringing all voices to the table. We respect differences and allow for new/different perspectives. Through this collaborative effort, we have the potential to value one another on an inclusive level. Get involved by donating, mentoring, or volunteering.
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