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Chicago Loop Alliance’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility

Posted  4 years ago  in  Trending

2 MIN READ – In June, Chicago Loop Alliance released a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, issuing a commitment to work in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. In the interest of progress and transparency, Chicago Loop Alliance wishes to share the current initiatives and goals of the organization within this realm.

Over the summer, Chicago Loop Alliance revised its bylaws to establish the IDEA Committee (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility) as a standing committee of the organization. This committee held its first monthly meeting in September. Members are responsible for the development of programs and policies that address the issue of organizational unconscious bias; the identification, recruitment, nomination, and orientation of new Board members; and education, promotion, and engagement of existing Board members. Chicago Loop Alliance also created an intentional policy to phase out unrepresentative leadership—particularly with regard to race, ethnicity, and gender—and fill vacant Board seats in such a way that reflects the city of Chicago’s demographics, beginning with the nomination process currently in progress. CLA anticipates a Board representative of the city’s demographics will be in place within 3-5 years.

Other steps taken since June in the name of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility include:

  • Disarmed State Street Security Patrols contracted through HLSA, Inc. (summer 2020)
  • Adding significant line items to the 2021 budget specifically for social justice programming and staff/board unconscious bias training
  • Soliciting for professional equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) services with the hope of beginning that internal process by year end or the first quarter of 2021
  • Incorporating vendor diversity into the RFP process, and adding extra weight to vendors with supplier diversity
  • Creating a system for tracking progress in the areas of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility

Additionally, Chicago Loop Alliance has compiled over 30 ideas for improving diversity and inclusion both within the organization and the Loop as a whole. These recommendations have been reviewed by the IDEA Committee, and initiatives will be selected and prioritized as appropriate given available resources.

These steps taken so far are only the beginning. Chicago Loop Alliance is dedicated to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in the long haul and will continue to share updates with the public regarding this work. 

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