Equity plan updates from the ASAN staff

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Last week, ASAN staff devoted all our work time to projects relating to our equity plan. The equity plan, available in formal language, plain language, and Easy Read, shares steps we are taking to listen to our community, create an anti-racist work culture, focus on advocacy that benefits our multiply-marginalized community members, and more.

Having these occasional weeks – about three times a year – is actually in the plan itself! Many times, between meetings, coalition work, statements, responding to emails, and preparing for programs like Autism Campus Inclusion, most of our work week is taken up by other things. So this equity week is a chance to slow down and refocus on the equity goals at the heart of our work.

Additionally, each team (Policy, Operation, and Management) has regular meetings to review their team’s equity work, and we meet as a staff once a month to bring the teams together and work toward our larger goals. In these meetings, we have developed a new equity mission statement, and continue to review the steps we’re taking, like our organizational partnerships and work to support staff professional development.

There are many goals included in our equity plan – did you know that projects like our continued Spanish translations and new toolkits like “What Is Structural Racism?” are also part of it?

These are two important steps towards widening the reach of our advocacy resources.

This equity week, we talked about our hiring processes, how we encourage skill-building in staff, and continuing to make programs like ACI equitable and inclusive. We developed new structures that are named in the equity plan, like an exit interview process for staff who might leave ASAN. We also wrote down the steps we take when we release statements, as part of the larger project to create plans we follow each time we do a task, also called “standard operating procedures.” These steps ensure that ASAN staff have a chance to give feedback on our statements before they’re posted, part of our commitment to ensuring that all our staff have a voice in how we do things.

We post a lot of things online, from newsletters to statements, blog posts, and videos. We try to make sure that we keep you updated about our work relating to racial justice, whether that’s a new translated resource or an equity week like this one. We will keep doing this work, and keep updating our community!