DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) impacts everyone, but its primary focus is to provide BIPOC communities with equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace. Even though DEIB awareness has increased in recent years, progress has slowed down, and we still have a long way to go until we achieve lasting change. Committed as ever to improving the circumstances of both families and educators alike, Clayton continues to embrace DEIB as part of our organizational culture as we recognize that everyone has a role to play in promoting diversity, inclusivity, and authentic belonging. By incorporating DEIB into our daily routine, we are working as a team to elevate and empower our organization at large. Our engagement with DEIB assists us in providing the best education and resources to the hundreds of families involved in all of our programs at our school and for those enrolled in our community-based and home-based programs.
How we at Clayton Define DEIB
The significance of DEIB remains in its ability to provide a platform for individuals who may not usually have the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas. The time and space allotted for such important interactions allow for valuable contributions to be made, which can then help our organization, along with our fellow partners, to innovate and improve their business operations in education in significant ways.
DEIB awareness, practices, and cultures can be seen in our efforts to promote and highlight acceptance of diversity, involving all voices, exercising equitable opportunities for everyone, and advancing authentic belonging. Our community of educators and families come from a variety of backgrounds, and we acknowledge and understand that everyone brings something unique to our programs in how they view the world and how they benefit from other people’s lived experiences. Clayton educators, from our teachers and Child Family Educators to our managers and directors, work one-on-one with families to ensure that all of their needs are met.
Besides focusing on the educational instruction of our children, our colleagues further ensure that our families are being heard and that they are provided the resources to sustain healthy relationships and livelihoods in and out of the school setting through difficult life situations. This is a team effort, and everyone needs to be seen and heard in order to make change a possibility for all.
At Clayton, we make sure that we are prioritizing DEIB, which is thus reflected in our efforts to:
- Promote and celebrate diversity in the classroom and at our family-oriented events.
- Ensure equitable opportunities for all by advocating for bills to be passed that will help bolster our children’s learning experiences and improve the circumstances that families are facing on a daily basis.
- Foster a culture of authentic belonging where every voice is heard, from our children up to our executive team.
DEIB Committee and Educational Resources
As a way to keep more informed about the latest advancements in DEIB, the Clayton DEIB Committee has been attending a series of online and in-person seminars that ultimately will help us explore other areas of improvement that we can work on and then be able to disseminate throughout the organization.
In June, the committee participated in a guided discussion on Gender and Sexual Identity that involved preliminary activities such as reading through a series of educational papers and viewing a video in advance of the session. The heads of our Coaching and Training team then facilitated small groupwork using a protocol called Save the Last Word from Me which came directly from our executive team and our group of directors that are part of the Collective Action Team (or CAT team for short) representing colleagues across the different departments.
Recently, the committee attended a webinar called "Turning Allyship into Action!", hosted by the Denver Business Journal, where they gained several valuable insights after attending this session.
Among some of the key areas that the DEIB Committee took away from this meeting included:
- Learning ways to go beyond the present situation and lead meaningful transformation in both your company and the broader society.
- Learning the necessary steps to be a supportive ally, both in your workplace and at events and meetings.
- Backing up your messages and values with genuine and effective actions that demonstrate strong leadership qualities.
From these educational meetings, our DEIB committee has been able to re-focus their efforts in spreading awareness of DEIB throughout all aspects of Clayton by putting into practice concepts that they learned at these informative sessions. We are grateful for the work that has already been accomplished and look forward to making strides in all of our ventures for our families and our colleagues. By working together, we will be able to achieve our goals within DEIB and become better people and citizens in the end, in service to those who are in our care.