As we memorialize George Floyd, we reaffirm our resolve and our recent commitments, which called for a higher level of justice and becoming more intentional advocates for change. We have made significant progress on that journey.
At Goodwill®, many of the people who come through our doors carry with them the accumulated challenges of inequity throughout their lives — lacking education, living in poverty and facing the daily threat of violence. We see the humanity, inherent dignity and potential in every individual. We help people see the possibility of a brighter future by unlocking that potential. And we walk alongside them to make that a reality.
We understand the importance of meaningful and sustained progress in the direction of equity and remain committed to actions that will make an impact. Over the past year, we at Goodwill Industries International:
- Signed the CEO Action Pledge, for a second year in a row, to provide a more supportive and inclusive workplace. We continue to uphold our commitment to cultivating trusting working environments where all ideas are welcomed and employees feel empowered to have discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
- Established a National DEI Task Force led by local leaders to help advance the work throughout our network, committed to promoting and facilitating opportunities for education, training, discussion and action focused on eliminating discrimination in the workplace.
- Expanded the role of DEI director, who is in the process of developing a DEI strategy, which evolves our vision to align with our mission.
- Developed DEI Training and Tools, which focus on community engagement, marketing and communications, resources for supporting equity in talent development, and best practices for DEI policy creation. These tools were distributed to Goodwill’s network of 156 community-based, nonprofit Goodwill organizations across the United States and Canada for local implementation.
- Used a DEI lens to create a framework for delivering Goodwill’s mission that will enable Goodwill organizations to promote equity among job seekers and ensure all people can learn new skills, access tools, and connect to better jobs and career opportunities. This framework will be rolled out in the coming months.
While we celebrate every victory in the direction of racial justice and a more equitable society, we understand that there is still much work to be done. As long as individuals face challenges to reaching their potential in life, especially those borne out of historical inequities, our work must continue.
DEI is at the core of Goodwill’s foundation, and we play a critical role as change agents. Our passion for equity fuels our dedication to fair treatment, access and opportunities.
Steven C. Preston