Equity and Inclusion

Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Racism, inequality of any type and the stigma of having an illness, be it depression, anxiety, cancer or diabetes, all have to end. AIM Center values the uniqueness of its members while understanding their/our common struggles.

We acknowledge that communities of color and historically marginalized communities face disproportionate challenges and systemic barriers to access and quality of services resulting in significantly poorer outcomes, and in significant health and economic disparities.

The AIM Center is committed to equitable practices, working intentionally and promoting equity throughout the AIM Center and the AIM Housing Program as we live out our daily mission as a Clubhouse and part of a social justice movement. We know we have work to be done to develop a comprehensive Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (JDEI) strategy we can integrate with the work of the AIM Center Board of Directors and into all AIM business and housing structures, human resource practices, professional development, and organization-wide policies, procedures and practices.

We recognize the work ahead of us is a journey to which our Board, staff and members have committed. We continue our education processes while promoting open and candid conversations with all parties. Continual efforts to support a culture of high performance, justice, diversity, equity and inclusion are being put in place. There is a renewed focus on outcomes and metrics. Decades of disinvestment and the legacy of racism require an intentional approach to JDEI by all of us.

There is acknowledged need by the Board, leadership, staff and members to address our in-house and external JDEI needs to be able to best serve our community.

In-house JDEI Commitments

As a Clubhouse accredited by Clubhouse International, we are part of a social justice movement to empower people impacted by mental illness. Through an intentional culture of JDEI we foster recovery. Programmatic decisions are made by consensus at the Clubhouse where healthy and hearty discussions allow all voices to be heard in a safe space. Members work side-by-side with staff to operate the Clubhouse – in every aspect from fundraising to the work-ordered day. We create a community of hope where connection is at the heart of what we do. We seek to ensure staff and members have a strong sense of belonging, reinforced by a larger organizational commitment to the dynamic intersection of JDEI.

Our organization is internally committed to this through:

  • Board of Directors: The Board of Directors of the AIM Center represents the membership and is committed to JDEI, leadership and promoting excellence for all in psychiatric rehabilitation and our Clubhouse model. By design, two members of the Board are active Clubhouse Members elected by their peers. Asa Member, they are publicly identified as having a mental illness. One of these Directors must qualify as homeless/formerly homeless. We currently have six people of color on the Board out of a total of 13 directors, in addition to two current vacant positions.
  • Executive Leadership: The AIM Center’s executive leadership fosters a daily culture of inclusivity and equity that cultivates belonging and promotes respect for and celebration of each individual’s culture, identity, lived experience, ability, beliefs and practices. Leadership is committed to applying an equity lens to all data collected, decisions made and policies formed to underpin our daily culture. We currently have three people of color out of a total of seven on our executive leadership team.
  • Building a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce: The AIM Center is committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and has enacted hiring processes to reflect this. Staff and members together form all interview panels at the AIM Center and reach decisions by consensus. We strive to have diversity represented in participation on these panels. The AIM Center is also committed to creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies that create a culture of intention and bring an awareness of conscious bias during the hiring, promoting and evaluation processes.
  • JDEI Committee: The AIM Center is in the process of forming a JDEI Committee comprised of members and staff dedicated to continuing already started work to foster intentional dialogue and discussion; ensure diverse staff and member voice and representation; and promote equity in all that we do. This Committee will provide opportunities for members and staff to engage, connect and support each other in a culturally safe space to promote their health and mental wellness and support effective change. The Committee will continue ongoing discussions that explore unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness and allow us to continually challenge and address any inequities within our policies, systems, programs and services. The AIM Center has already had significant conversations around JDEI, Safer Spaces and the meaning of Juneteenth. The AIM Center already had Juneteenth as a holiday to recognize and celebrate with our members but this year we also changed our policies and recognized Juneteenth as a paid holiday for staff.
  • Access to our Services: The AIM Center is committed to a specific focus on how our services are delivered and to whom in our community to address the health and economic challenges faced by marginalized communities, including communities of color, LGBTQIA communities, people with disabilities and others. We provide comprehensive and whole-person supports to our members to help facilitate change, with a focus on a trauma-informed and resilience oriented approach. Our AIM Housing Program has adopted a Housing First approach to safeguard against adversities, address complex trauma, and mitigate compounding harm. The AIM Center is committed to continuing to build and support a diverse and inclusive membership.
  • Focus on outcomes and metrics: The AIM Center is committed to a data driven approach and to making incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our justice, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

External JDEI Commitments

As part of our advocacy as a social justice movement, the AIM Center is committed to raising awareness and supporting our members and community to specifically address barriers our members face to enable long-term systemic change to improve equitable health and economic outcomes.

  • JDEI focused Director of Community Relations and Advancement: The AIM Center recently filled a new role with a commitment to centering JDEI in our community relations and development. We have a commitment to prioritizing JDEI-focused, antiracist messaging in internal and external communications.
  • External Communications: The AIM Center is committed to applying a JDEI lens to our external communications to reflect our values and beliefs. Planning for a well-needed upgrade to the AIM Center website and social media to prioritize our JDEI-focus has been started with members and staff. The website will be updated as funding is accessed and can be applied to this critical need.
  • Community Collaborations: The AIM Center values our community partners and will continue to be intentional in connecting with underrepresented groups. We will promote participation in community events that focus on JDEI so that our education processes continue, and our commitment to justice and equity remain alive and in a constant state of growth.
  • AIM Housing Program: Recognizing that not all residents of AIM Housing are members of the AIM Center, we give voice to their voices through monthly resident meetings, inclusion of housing residents on both the AIM Housing Board and the AIM Center Board of Directors and acknowledging residential and member representation should reflect the demographic attributes of the peers they serve.
  • Advocacy for Systemic Change: The AIM Center advocates for public and private-sector policy that promotes justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. The AIM Center acknowledges the importance of lived experience and the inclusion of all voices in policy making. The AIM Center challenges systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.