Culturally Appropriate Services – Vail Place is deeply committed to offering a culturally inclusive atmosphere and providing culturally appropriate services. We have experience serving people from a broad range of backgrounds (including, but not limited to, Asian, African, Latino, LGBTQ, and vision and hearing impaired) and have staff with particular expertise and experience.
Vail Place Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Commitment
We stand in the land of the Ojibwe and Dakota tribes. Minnesota has a significant population of Native Americans, and it currently has seven Ojibwe and four Dakota communities. We acknowledge that this community has gone through genocide, ethnic cleansing, stolen land, and forced removal and must continue to confront the consequences of these atrocious acts with different healthcare and social outcomes that include shorter life expectancy, higher homelessness rates, higher poverty rates and higher suicide rates. Despite this, Native Americans continue to hold on to their customs and add value to our community. We are in the beginning stages of learning but recognize that our organization is responsible for helping right these wrongs. We will work to remove barriers in access to services by aiming to provide culturally responsive care and providing informed referrals.
Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive Statement:
Vail Place values and respects the dignity of each individual served and is actively committed to amplify the needs, voices, and perspectives of marginalized individuals and communities. Vail Place recognizes that biases, beliefs, and imbalances of power exist and that our systems in society exploit some and benefit others. Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and people of marginalized genders and sexualities can face more mental health challenges due to racism, oppression, and discrimination. We are resolved to reflect anti-racism and anti-oppression in our policies, practices, programs, and structures as we continue to learn about racism and oppression. We are committed to providing high quality services and removing healthcare barriers for ALL of our participants.
Our diversity, equity and inclusion commitment is to:
- Staff would be expected to have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as a core value, and this will be reinforced through performance expectations, policies, and practices in addition to ongoing training and reflection opportunities.
- Prioritizing recruiting and retaining staff representative of the communities we serve.
- Bringing awareness in the ways in which bias impacts all of us and encouraging employees to challenge those individual biases.
- Provide equitable care that’s safe, affordable, accessible, and high quality.
- Be intentional in our referrals and reduce the possibility of harm by referring individuals to services that align with the individual’s values.
- Acknowledge the historical and ongoing trauma that our participants go through by utilizing culturally appropriate interventions.
- Hear the voices of oppressed participants by connecting with their lived experiences of marginalization, empathizing with their pain, and realizing that some outcomes are the product of social inequities.
- Regularly review internal policies and practices to support an anti-racist and anti-oppressive work environment for both employees and program participants.
- Above all, we work to hold ourselves accountable to these DEI commitments as an agency.
Steps We Have Taken as an Agency
- Our Diversity Council started in 2014 to address issues of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in our agency and industry
- Added floating holidays to our benefits so staff can take off important holidays that are not federally observed holidays and added Juneteenth as an agency observed holiday.
- Comprehensive DEI trainings about facets of identity (race, gender, sexuality, etc.), intersectionality, microaggressions, power, intercultural communication, reducing disparities in hiring process, supporting individuals in the Transgender and LGBTQ+ communities, cultural education (Somali and Native American) and multiple book and documentary discussions.
- Added BIPOC and LGBTQ+ affinity groups for additional staff support.
- Adjusted how we document names and pronouns in our systems.
- Adjusted processes and procedures to set expectations of respectful work with people we serve and policy to support staff who experience racism from participants.
- Collaborating with community partners to ensure all people are getting the help they need to reduce disparities.
- Adjusted our crisis planning process to help reduce incidents of police interactions during mental health crisis.
- Annual multicultural event celebration with our staff and members.