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Parent Network of WNY Staff Takes Strides Towards Equity

By August 16, 2023No Comments

In an earnest effort to foster a more inclusive and equitable community, Parent Network of Western New York (WNY) has recently taken a significant step forward by participating in anti-racism training provided by Open Buffalo. This move signifies our commitment to strengthening our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies and procedures and aiming to create a more just and fair society for all. The training not only laid a solid foundation for the staff’s understanding of racial disparities but also underscores Parent Network’s determination to identify and rectify institutional inequities in their work.

Staff from partner agencies, Every Person Influences Children (EPIC), Mental Health Advocates (MHA), and the Center for Self Advocacy (CSA) also attended the training.  Each organization received DEI grant funding through Impact HQ to work with Open Buffalo to provide this opportunity to staff.

A Commitment to DEI Enhancement

Parent Network of WNY, a cornerstone of support for families, particularly those with special needs, has long demonstrated its dedication to creating a welcoming environment for all. Understanding that true inclusivity requires continuous effort, we have made it a priority to amplify DEI policies and procedures. By participating in Open Buffalo’s anti-racism training, we demonstrate our commitment to not only understanding diversity and equity but actively implementing practices that support inclusion.

Opening Eyes: The Foundation of Anti-Racism Training

The anti-racism training provided by Open Buffalo served as an eye-opening experience for our team. Sessions delved into the history of racial discrimination and its enduring impacts on various aspects of society, including education, healthcare, and social services. The training fostered a deeper understanding of how systemic racism permeates institutional structures, often perpetuating inequalities that affect marginalized communities. By grasping the roots of these disparities, our team gained insights into the complex interplay of racial inequities and were equipped with the tools to confront these issues head-on.

Identifying and Correcting Racial Inequities

Parent Network’s commitment to recognizing and rectifying racial inequities stemming from institutional disparities is unwavering. The training facilitated open conversations about implicit biases, microaggressions, and the importance of centering the experiences of marginalized individuals and communities. Armed with this newfound knowledge, we are taking proactive steps to address these inequities within our own operations and outreach initiatives.

Moving Forward: A Pledge to Action

Parent Network of WNY’s engagement with Open Buffalo’s anti-racism training is not a mere one-time event; rather, it is the catalyst for an ongoing journey towards meaningful change. At Parent Network of WNY, we pledge to incorporate the insights gained from the training into every facet of our work. This includes revisiting and revising internal policies, adopting a more inclusive approach to communication, and fostering partnerships with other community organizations to collectively tackle systemic racism. Together, we stand with you to work towards a more inclusive and equitable community.  

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