On June 3, 2020, the Huckleberry House management team wrote and publicly shared a statement promising to fight for a more just and equitable society. On June 17, 2020, the same group drafted five management initiatives they will prioritize over the next 12 months. On July 23, 2020, the Huckleberry House Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution in support of the management team’s statement and initiatives.
The management team has divided in to work groups to address the five anti-racist initiatives:
- We will work to optimize agency interactions with police.
- We will educate our staff about our clients’ rights when interacting with law enforcement officers.
- We will seek ways to educate the police officers with whom we interact about our programs and our clients.
- We will work to resolve the under-representation of racial and ethnic minority staff in professional, managerial and directorial roles.
- We will examine our recruiting practices.
- We will create a professional development program that ensures every employee experiences professional growth and preparation for the next stage in their career.
- We will engage in agency-wide conversations about racism, with a goal of learning at every level of the organization from client youth to directors.
- We will evaluate our benefits program with a goal of providing better benefits to more employees.
- We will work toward offering benefits to part-time staff.
- We will work toward offering better mental health benefits.
- We will be intentional about hiring black owned businesses for contract work.
Moving forward, the management team will report to the staff and board about progress on these initiatives.
The generosity of a donor made it possible for every staff member to have a Black Lives Matter shirt. We wore them proudly on June 5 when we held mini-protests at each of our locations to give interested youth an opportunity to participate in this important moment. Youth were also offered t-shirts. A small group of youth and staff walked from one of our apartment complexes to the silent protest at the Ohio Statehouse.
For 50 years, Huck House has served the most vulnerable youth and families in our community…not only will we continue this work, but we will fight for and alongside our youth to demand change because we expect more.