Invest in Kids is dedicated to building a future where we can no longer predict child and family outcomes, such as healthy pregnancies, child development, and school readiness based on socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or zip code.
To create this future, we incorporate equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging into all aspects of our organization and work.
The statements above, in addition to the definitions of our values, were thoughtfully created by our organization’s Equity Committee, made up of representatives from each of our organization’s teams, in collaboration with our Board of Directors.
The work to refine our organization’s equity statement and define our organizational values was a first step in the fulfillment of our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. This plan, created in collaboration with the Estrategia group, weaves equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging throughout every aspect of our organization and work, and ensures that “the experiences of parents, families, and communities who are most impacted by systemic oppression and inequities are informing our work at every level.”
You can read the full Strategic Plan and see how these values show up in our goals and direction by clicking here. For more information on the inclusive and collaborative process used to create the statement and values, click here.
We understand that engaging in this work is a long-term, continuous process. We also recognize that we cannot do this work alone; we seek to engage with and learn from both existing and new partners, as well as the families and communities that are central to our work.
We recognize the toxic impact of oppressive forces like racism and poverty on Colorado's children and families. We are committed to building systems that eliminate health, mental health, and educational disparities and ensure that every child and family can thrive.
We value the power of unique and varied life experiences shaped by all aspects of a person's identity (including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, religion, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, and geographic location) that are impacted by the inequitable systems we all encounter. We embrace all types of diversity and strive to honor and increase the diversity of the children, families, and community partners that we serve, as well as that of our own staff and board.
We work hard to ensure that everyone feels valued and respected, including our staff, board, community partners, and the children and families that we serve. We aim to center the voices of Colorado’s families and communities and use their feedback to improve our programs and practices.
We take pride in our mission and values. We prioritize human connection and have an organizational culture that supports employees holistically, honors our shared humanity, and encourages empathy, vulnerability, and authenticity.
* This statement was created by IIK’s Equity Committee. It is reviewed and revised collaboratively as we are constantly learning and growing.
Equity at Work
Below are some examples of how we are embracing and developing our role as allies in this work:
- IIK’s Finance and Operations team reformed hiring practices to include salaries in all job postings and created a structured hiring process that reduces the likelihood of bias and increases objectivity. Job descriptions were also updated to include flexibility regarding degree requirements that place enhanced value on experience and knowledge. This standard was put into practice at a San Luis Valley NFP site, allowing a candidate with 17 years of experience to be considered for a role that had previously included an educational requirement.
- In August of 2022, the Invest in Kids supported the launch of its first Pre-K Parent Program in Arabic in partnership with Muslim Youth for Positive Impact (MYPI.) Having participated in the fourteen-week group in English as a parent herself, facilitator Batoul Baydoun El-Batal, worked tirelessly to find a space and fiscal sponsor, recruit co-facilitator Ranim Bitar and a team of skilled translators and childcare providers, and apply for and win a grant from Invest in Kids to bring this program to the Arabic-speaking immigrant community. Batoul and Ranim are currently delivering the twenty-week parenting program to ten families at the Second Home Adult Community Center and look forward to another program in the Spring of 2023.
- In February of 2022, Invest in Kids' Equity Committee launched an all-staff survey to identify key focus areas for professional development and growth. After compiling survey results, the Committee then reached out to the Equity Project and will be partnering with the organization for three professional development sessions to increase knowledge and skill for practicing equity in the everyday, interrupting "isms," and dealing with implicit bias. The Committee is also partnering with the Colorado Children's Campaign to deepen staff's understanding of poverty and its impact on Colorado's children and families.
- IIK’s Nurse Family Partnership staff have recently attended the Colorado Council of Black Nurses New Grad Symposium to present on Nurse-Family Partnership and to understand the challenges faced by nurses of color within the workforce. IIK’s REACH nurse also hosted a booth at the Health Highway at the Black Arts Festival. This was an opportunity to build partnerships between NFP and organizations that serve the BIPOC population including the Center for
African American Health.
- Each full time Child First affiliate site has at least one Spanish speaking team (both the Family Support Partner and the Mental Health Clinician are bilingual). Some sites also have other bilingual staff to better serve their specific communities.
We understand that engaging in this work is a long-term, continuous process, and will never be completely finished. We also recognize that we cannot do this work alone; we seek to engage with and learn from both existing and new partners, as well as the many communities that are central to our work.