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2019 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Action Plan

2019 DEI Action Plan

Getting to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment

Earthjustice's comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan lays out our internal and external organizational goals for the year. The goals reflected the work we believe is essential to do on DEI.

We will continue our work to recruit and retain multi-culturally sophisticated employees and to build a stronger culture of inclusion. We will work to diversify our clients, partners, donors and supporters to ensure that we are serving all communities impacted by environmental issues.

The following 2019 DEI Plan is a brief description of our intended objectives for the six goal areas determined by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team. This plan does not include other DEI-related work outside of the goal groups. The 2018 DEI Report Card summarized what was accomplished in the 2018 DEI Plan and assigned a rating to each outcome.

Goal One
Attract and hire a diverse and multi-culturally sensitive staff
How Do We Get There
Review and update interview questions assessing candidates’ emotional intelligence and cultural competency to ensure continued effectiveness in selecting outstanding candidates for each open position. Measuring Our Progress: Continued progress in recruiting and hiring of a more multicultural staff throughout the organization, using staff composition in 2018 as the benchmark. Were the questions updated and were they communicated out to hiring managers in an effective way?
Reevaluate the existing accountability mechanism for successfully completing Hiring Committee Best Practices Training and ensuring that the mechanism used moving forward provides accurate tracking. Measuring Our Progress: Did we switch the Hiring Committee Best Practices Training to a more reliable platform? Has this allowed HR to more effectively track who has completed the training?
Sarah Saylor (Sr. Legislative Representative), Michelle Mabson (Staff Scientist), and facilitator.
Photo used with permission
Center: Sarah Saylor (Sr. Legislative Representative), on left; Michelle Mabson (Staff Scientist); and facilitator.
Goal Two
Review current promotional pathways
How Do We Get There
Continue the job family initiative established in 2017 intended to clarify the pathway for growth and advancement for any given role, so that promotional pathways are transparent to staff and supervisors. In 2018, a first set of job families was implemented and shared with respective staff. Measuring Our Progress: How many more job families were established and published? Were they shared with the relevant groups of staff? What methods were established to track the adoption of these job families?
Phil LaRue, Communications Strategist, Michell McIntyre, Campaign Director, Andrea Folds, Associate Legislative Counsel, Chinyere Osuala, Sr. Associate Attorney, Allie LaRue, Jamila Frone VP of Litigation Practice, Dominique, Nick Thorpe, Litigation Assistant.
Photo by Nick Thorpe
Back row from left to right: Phil LaRue (Communications Strategist), Michell McIntyre (Campaign Director), Andrea Folds (Associate Legislative Counsel), Chinyere Osuala (Sr. Associate Attorney), Allie LaRue, Jamila Frone (VP of Litigation Practice), Dominique, Nick Thorpe (Litigation Assistant).
Goal Three
Partners & Clients:
Increase and deepen partnerships that could lead to the representation of new clients and a more diverse client base, overall.
How Do We Get There
Support the Partnership Champions, staff who volunteered to promote the Partnership Toolkit and foster respectful partnerships. Partnership Champions are the point of contact for their programs and departments, and will ensure that their teams have the tools they need to successfully utilize the toolkit and educate coworkers about the value of diverse and authentic partnership. Measuring Our Progress: What methods and/or scenarios were used by Partnership Champions to ensure that their coworkers are educated about diverse and authentic partnerships and how to create them?
Address our partners’ and clients’ desire for various training opportunities proposed in a 2018 survey, including social media training provided by Earthjustice staff to address partners’ and clients’ desire for communication skill development. Measuring Our Progress: Were training videos produced and distributed to partners and clients? How satisfied were the participants?
Distribute a survey to partners and clients with the goal of assessing cultural competency and partnershipbuilding skills of Earthjustice staff who engage with them. We will contract with an outside contractor to administer the client survey that will assess our current state. Measuring Our Progress: Was the survey administered? What gaps were identified? What successes? What response mechanisms were developed to address the results of the survey?
Raul Garcia, Sr. Legislative Director and clients.
Photo by Luis Torres
Raul Garcia (Sr. Legislative Director) and clients.
Goal Four
Donors & Funders:
Develop a 21st-century donor constituency and expand portfolio of donors/funders to make it possible to take on new partners and clients
How Do We Get There
Because we believe in equitable distribution of fundraising resources, we are helping our partners and clients build their fundraising capacity through the increased distribution of our Development Toolkit. The toolkit is a 30-page document produced internally, and covers all the basics of fundraising and development, including templates, examples, and best practices. Measuring Our Progress: How many of our partners received the Development Toolkit? What have partners & clients communicated to us about the toolkit’s usefulness?
Operationalize the rebranding of the organization’s mid-level donor program. Measuring Our Progress: How have donors responded to the rebrand?
Reevaluate our donor outreach strategies and ensure that each development team has the resources necessary to implement DEI learnings in their daily work with all donors at all levels. Measuring Our Progress: Do staff have the resources they need to address ongoing issues relating to partnership maintenance? How have donor engagement experiences improved since resources were allocated?
Earthjustice Donor Becky DiCola (left) and Earthjustice President Abbie Dillen.
Photo by Nick Wolf
Earthjustice Donor Becky DiCola (left) and Earthjustice President Abbie Dillen.
Goal Five
Improve employee satisfaction, engagement, culture of trust, support, respect, and inclusion
How Do We Get There
A part of our work towards achieving our DEI goals involves building an equitable and inclusive organizational culture that advances our mission. Three years ago, we implemented the Building Understanding through Discussion and Sharing (BUDS) and the Peer Recognition Award initiatives to help create an inclusive internal culture and increase employee engagement and satisfaction. We plan to continue the administration of the BUDS program and Peer Recognition Awards. Measuring Our Progress: How does the number of staff participating in the 2019 BUDS Program compare to previous years? Was there high turnout across offices for the Peer Recognition Awards Nomination? What are staff saying about giving, receiving, witnessing the awards?
Distribute the Internal Culture Survey, drafted to develop baseline measurements across many dimensions of our internal culture and to allow us to identify DEI priorities moving forward. Measuring Our Progress: Was the Internal Culture Survey conducted? Was there a high response rate for the Internal Culture Survey? Were priorities identified following the analysis of Internal Culture Survey response? Was there information collected that is not reflected in the data we currently collect about our staff? If so, how does this data differ and what was the impact of collecting it?
Peter Harrison (Staff Attorney), Gabi Winick (Litigation Assistant), Flora Champenois (Sr. Research & Policy Analyst). Jamie Dobbs (Events and Travel Specialist). Angela Johnson Meszaros (Managing Attorney), Byron Chan (Associate Attorney), Linda Rogers (Marketing Director), Brea Childs (Litigations Assistant), Phuong Pham (Sr. Legal Practice Administrator), Jasmine Agelidis (Associate Attorney) with law clerks from the LA office.
Photos by Flora Champenois, Nick Wolf, Brea Childs
Clockwise from top left: Peter Harrison (Staff Attorney), Gabi Winick (Litigation Assistant), Flora Champenois (Sr. Research & Policy Analyst). Jamie Dobbs (Events and Travel Specialist). Angela Johnson Meszaros (Managing Attorney), Byron Chan (Associate Attorney), Linda Rogers (Marketing Director), Brea Childs (Litigations Assistant), Phuong Pham (Sr. Legal Practice Administrator), Jasmine Agelidis (Associate Attorney) with law clerks from the LA office.
Goal Six
Expand life-long learning program for all employees

Also known as the Internal Resource Team (IRT).

How Do We Get There
In 2018, we expanded the goal group focused on training a 15-person Internal Resource Team (IRT) that works closely with outside vendors to orchestrate and administer DEI training and continues to build collective understanding around diversity in our three-year training vision for Earthjustice. Measuring Our Progress: What were some examples of training provided to the organization based on the three-year plan? How successful have the trainings been for the IRT staff specifically? What gaps/opportunities have they identified for continued trainings?
IRT members should attend and vet trainings, conferences, and webinars related to Earthjustice’s three-year vision on a regular basis. Measuring Our Progress: Did we collect recommendations and develop ways to incorporate them?
IRT members should participate in “train the trainer” opportunities, expanding their personal and professional DEI skillsets. Measuring Our Progress: How many “train the trainer” opportunities did the IRT participate in? What difference have the “train the trainer” opportunities made for IRT staff as they support the organization’s training needs?
Michael Gulston (Litigation Assistant II).
Photo used with permission
Michael Gulston (Litigation Assistant II).
“To live this value in our everyday work, we hold ourselves accountable for being equitable, fair, and unbaised.”
– Excerpt from Earthjustice’s core value Justice