Introducing a new staff Racial Equity and Inclusion (REI) Committee comprised of nine staff members who will advise the Executive Team on racial equity vision, strategy and transformation within our agency in the months to come. Read on to learn what they are looking forward to and the unique perspectives they'll bring to the REI work ahead.
LaVeda Bacetti, MPH - Regional Director of Area Operations
"One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of my position is the opportunity to work with staff across multiple disciplines, departments, and locations. As a member of the REI committee, I look forward to engaging staff in didactic dialogue about race and inclusion; and, helping examine internal and external systems to obliterate biases that may not only unwittingly influence behavior, organizational culture and practices but also give rise to inequities in human resources, policies, training and health outcomes of clients and staff alike."
Devante Blount - Security Manager
"I am looking forward to have the opportunity to make a positive impact and to make my contribution to work towards a better and brighter future for everyone. My life is goal is to not just aspire to make a living but to aspire to make a difference."
Wynona China, MBA - Director of Health Informatics
“I am looking forward to helping our agency 'change our conversation...change our dialogue.' If each of us must learn to find ways of improving our everyday conversations with one another, we must improve our understanding of different cultures, be more respectful of those differences and recognize that we cannot continue to work with blinders on. Only then will we be able to have more collaborative, innovative and effective relationships to grow this agency and move our much-needed work forward in ways we can only dream.”
Leonard Croft - Income Program Manager
"I am looking forward to being a part of the solution and change that reshapes the racial equity within Health Care for the Homeless practices. I wanted to join the committee because just speaking up and speaking out wasn’t enough for me. I am someone who likes to have a hand in the change that takes place even if I’m not there long enough to see the fruits of that labor."
David Dexter - Development Writer
"It’s really an honor to be part of the REI committee. I’m looking forward to having open and honest discussions with this great group of colleagues about how Health Care for the Homeless—and myself as an individual—can work toward creating more inclusive and equitable environments for my fellow staff, the people we serve and the greater Baltimore community. This is an incredibly important time, and the conversations we’ll have in the REI committee will ultimately create a better Health Care for the Homeless for everyone."
Jeremy Givens - Accounting Manager
"I wanted to the join the REI committee to share my perspectives, life experiences and voice as a manager to the agency's leadership directly. I know that as an African American man from Baltimore City, I have a perspective that is not always easily represented in these types of conversations. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview process, and I appreciated how thoughtful and insightful our leadership team is and look forward to working on the committee in depth. I intend to grow roots within the organization. I see this committee as an opportunity to water/fertilize the soil I’m in, so to speak."
Eva Hendrix - Case Manager
"I wanted to join the committee after having worked on the Health Equity Committee in the past. As a part of Health Equity, we saw gains like increasing services for Spanish-speakers and participation in 2019 Baltimore Pride tabling, but gains in racial equity often seemed to lag behind. The agency has been yearning for this kind of change for years, and I’m so excited to be a part of it. I’ve been blessed to grow up in a multicultural Church community (Hunting Ridge Presbyterian) in Baltimore that has instilled values of social justice and equity, and my journey to understand my own white privilege has been ongoing. Through this committee, I want to keep learning and take responsibility for dismantling oppressive systems."
Arianne Jennings, LCPC - Addictions Coordinator
“I am happy to use my platform and personal experiences to help tackle the racial inequities within our society and push for equality and inclusion among us all at Health Care for the Homeless.”
Malcolm Williams, LCSW-C - Client Relations Coordinator
"I am truly excited about engaging in the REI work ahead. Participating in strategic work that makes this organization better is both important and rewarding. I observed this first-hand when serving as a staff representative on the Strategic Planning Committee in 2012. As a result, addressing institutional racism and strategically advocating for racial justice in the agency was a no-brainer, as I have been devoted to this type of work my entire life. Advancing racial equity serves as an essential component in job satisfaction, performance, and agency climate. I look forward to exploring how this will impact our clients. If we observe an increase in staff satisfaction through the advancement of REI, I am certain we will correspondingly see an increase in client satisfaction regarding care. As a conscious African American male who is a fourteen-year veteran of an agency whose majority of clients are African Americans, I am excited to lend my voice to tackling racial inequities head-on in order to build organizational growth."
Read more about why ending homelessness requires becoming anti-racist.