Racial Equity and Inclusion: U.S.VETS Approach
Racial injustice is not a new issue. Systemic racism has plagued our country, military, and veteran community, throughout our history. As a society, we can no longer say we stand with our vets, without standing against the social inequities they face.
U.S.VETS is working to address these issues head on…
Launched in partnership with Boeing, U.S.VETS is piloting a program to increase career access and opportunities for low-income veterans from communities of color. The program will provide:
Direct assistance for Black and other veterans of color to pursue career training that supports long-term career advancement and resources that eliminate barriers to socioeconomic mobility.
- Training for U.S.VETS staff and partners to best support the advancement of equity for Black and other minority populations, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk.
U.S.VETS has identified and invested in the following key areas of focus for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion objectives: Staffing, Training, Volunteer Leadership, Client Impact, and Strategic Plan.
What does this investment look like?
U.S.VETS took advantage of Boeing partnership and interest in advancing diversity objectives to secure funding for our first-ever National Diversity Equity and Inclusion lead. The goal for this position is to support diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives across all sites and programs, and cultivate a culture of racial equity at U.S.VETS internally and with community partners.
U.S.VETS took advantage of Boeing partnership and interest in advancing diversity objectives to hire our first ever National Director of Workforce Programs. This position plays a key role in integrating workforce programs so that all veterans can access culturally competent services that meet their unique employment needs. The goal is not only to increase employment, but to develop opportunities for career advancement, social capital, and community connection.
U.S.VETS national leadership, site directors, managers and coordinators invested in learning and fostering open dialogue.
Conversations: U.S.VETS CEO & COO issued email and video messages to staff and volunteer leadership in the wake of George Floyd and other racial injustices; and joined corporate partners in a Roundtable to speak out about the barriers facing minority barriers.
DEI Certification: Senior staff, site EDs, HR and workforce staff earned DEI certificates through University of South Florida.
Relias Trainings: Staff participates in professional development, including management & DEI-related trainings.
Provider Trainings: Staff participates in NCHV, Combined Arms and trainings offered by clinicians and corporate DEI experts to learn how to support people of color, women, LGBTQ+, disabled and other veterans.
With multiple sources of corporate and foundation funding dedicated to increasing career access and employment opportunities for Black and other minority veterans, U.S.VETS will:
Hire 40+ veterans and provide direct assistance for veterans to pursue career training, licensure, certification, educational opportunities, equipment, and other necessary resources.
Advancement of diversity objectives must include all levels of organizational staff and leadership to ensure success.
U.S.VETS is working to develop our Board of Directors and Advisory Councils across the county so that they better represent our constituency, and our military and veteran community.
Requires current state assessment and active recruitment of diverse veteran leaders.
Each U.S.VETS site held open forums for staff, focused on fostering conversation and advancing equity.
Staff at each site collectively developed specific goals to achieve as part of the current strategic plan to become a more inclusive organization.
Workgroup comprised of representatives from each site will finalize goals for review by the Board of Directors.
Once approved by the Board, staff will incorporate these goals into our activities and objectives.
To prioritize this work, U.S.VETS has updated its strategic plan to include a goal focused on diversity and racial equity. That goal is…
U.S.VETS seeks to advance racial equality, diversity and inclusion for our staff and the veterans we serve, to incorporate equity into our policy, decision making and programs, and to directly increase opportunities for people of color and other minority veteran populations.