Orion Family Services values the importance of an organizational culture that reflects diversity, equity, and inclusion in operations, across staff, and in service delivery. In a demonstration of commitment to these values, they provide staff with paid time to be spent engaging in activities that involve or reflect diversity, equity, and inclusion principles or practices. This time, known as a “DEI Day,” is available to all employees of the organization, and all are encouraged to participate.
DEI Day activities may include attendance at a cultural event, attendance at a place that provides education, or involving volunteering attached to a DEI event, activity, or individual/community need. These activities can be engaged individually or as part of a group. Within the past three months, Orion’s Inclusivity Diversity and Equity Advisory Board (IDEAB) has coordinated two DEI Day outings as a way for Orion’s staff to utilize their DEI Day hours!
The first was held at the Chazen Museum of Art in downtown Madison on October 28th. Staff viewed the exhibit titled “Sifting & Reckoning: UW-Madison’s History of Exclusion and Resistance” and learned about the history of oppression at UW-Madison. In attendance was a mix of administration, mental health, interns, and community services staff. Orion staff reflected that the exhibit was eye-opening and were able to engage in thought-provoking conversation afterward at a group lunch.
The second activity was held on November 4th at the Milton House in Milton, WI. Administration, mental health, and community services staff were led through the museum by the tour guide, Dave, and learned about the rich history of Milton and the underground railroad in Southern Wisconsin.
In 2023, IDEAB plans to continue coordinating DEI Day activities for staff and helping our organization become a more thoughtful, informed piece of South-Central Wisconsin!