Hillside Strong: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Hillside is a part of the communities we serve. Deep within our mission is an implicit commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive society. Our agency is dedicated to reversing the multigenerational damage too often caused by poverty, trauma and neglect. Every day, our people see the links between those issues and structural racism and inequity.

Hillside’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

Hillside creates an inclusive environment where we leverage our diversity to build a strong, equitable community.

We support diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in all aspects of our work—for the good of our employees, and the youth and families we serve.

  • Hillside believes that Black lives matter. Our agency strongly opposes acts of racism and violence in any form.
  • Our executives actively engage with government, education and community leaders to explore the nature of structural problems, and how Hillside can make a difference.
  • Our harassment-free workplace policy explicitly supports a working environment that is free of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment.
  • An open door policy ensures that concerns can be brought to leaders without fear of retaliation.

Watch a brief video gallery of the Summer 2020 Black Lives Matter art exhibit featuring artwork created by young people in residential treatment at Hillside.

Hillside’s DE&I Structure

A diverse and inclusive community requires many points of view. Hillside’s DE&I commitment brings employees together at all levels of the organization, to ensure their voices are heard.

  • Ideas and suggestions for agency-wide change are shared with the Executive Council, which also meets monthly.
  • Affinity groups including Hillside Men of Color and Hillside Women of Color meet throughout the year, to share vital thoughts and perspectives.

Because these activities are fundamental to our effectiveness as an organization, staff participate in DE&I meetings as a part of their workday. The shape of the work continues to evolve, but our dedication to DE&I is unwavering—for the benefit of our employees, and the communities we all call home.

DE&I Update: Spring 2024

Interrupt Racism: Hillside continues to engage with local community organizers to disrupt and dismantle structural and institutional racism. This year, a diverse working committee of Hillside employees, representing all levels of the agency, is receiving training and support from the Urban League of Rochester’s Interrupt Racism program. This yearlong initiative is helping our people more deeply address issues around racial equity in our specific context: By identifying inequitable policies, practices, and behaviors, we’re working to create an environment where all employees can thrive.

DE&I Living Action Plan: This living document has been developed to describe Hillside’s continuously evolving commitment to learning and setting tangible goals and concrete actions for all members of our community regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Living Action Plan charts a path that keeps review, reflection, and renewal at its core.

Priorities for the next year, outlined in the Living Action Plan, include the following:

  • Vendors—we’ll assess minority and woman-owned vendors engaged by Hillside throughout the agency.
  • Communications—we’ll strengthen Hillside’s messaging on the many ways in which DE&I is critical to our work, and communicate the “why” of DE&I work to all employees.
  • Leadership Development & Training—we’ll develop opportunities to learn about un/conscious bias and microaggressions that may be experienced by employees and individuals we serve.
  • Data Analytics—we’ll expand demographic data to reflect our employees and the individuals more accurately we serve.

Proud to partner with Social Current

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the Council on Accreditation have joined to form Social Current. The combined mission is to advocate for and implement equitable solutions to society’s toughest challenges. As a longstanding member of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Hillside is a proud member of this new partnership, supporting the effort to ignite change for an equitable society where all people can thrive.

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