IOW Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The mission of InsideOUT Writers (IOW) is to reduce the juvenile recidivism rate by providing a range of services that evolves to meet the needs of currently and formerly incarcerated youth and young adults. Using creative writing as a catalyst for personal transformation, these young people are empowered with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully re-integrate into our communities, becoming advocates for their future.
At IOW, it is a shared responsibility for all members of our staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers, to commit to equity, diversity, and inclusion as nearly all members of our service populations at IOW are people of color residing in under-resourced communities. Our shared experiences have taught us that social and economic fairness and wellbeing has been, and remains, one of the biggest challenges for our service population. Many of these challenges involve systemic disparities and unfair treatment stemming from racial injustices or socioeconomic statuses.
For the reasons mentioned, all members of the IOW community are required to either consistently commit to, support, or provide the following:
Bring together community partners, volunteers, and other parties with differing backgrounds and lived experiences to continue expanding and enhancing our services and programs
Engage and interact with our Writing Program students and Alumni Program participants equally, and ensuring each and every individual is invited to, and included, in all activities
Create policies, and re-structure programs and/or activities when necessary, to assist with the identification and avoidance of any discrimination or access to our services and programs
Track data of our service population such as race, age, gender, national origin, income level, and languages other than English to consistently evaluate our equity and diversity goals
Treat every individual member of our communities fairly and equally
Sustaining a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion at IOW requires consistent intention and effort. For this reason, all aspects of IOW’s operations and programs will continue to be evaluated and monitored to ensure we do our part to assist with the dismantling of any forms of structural or systemic unfair treatment of members of our communities.