CDTA leadership and the DEI project team have been working with Tangible Development to raise their baseline knowledge and develop a vision for this work. CDTA leadership completed eight (2-hour) capacity building sessions that focus on understanding organization change strategy from theory to practice. Capacity building works includes:
describing the differences between diversity, equity, inclusion and justice
articulating social identities and dimensions of diversity as it relates to organizational work
understanding the multi-dimensions of racism
understanding cultural competence, cultural humility and cultural safety
understanding implicit bias and DEI conflicts comes from and how it is connected to larger structural issues of inequality
connecting theoretical understandings of systemic oppression to organizational inequities
developing an understanding of dialogue as a communication technique
understanding and applying active listening skills
differentiating between calling in vs calling out
developing skills to facilitate dialogues and difficult conversations
understanding organizational change methods
introducing DEI approaches to policy and practice
introducing anti-racist approach to organizational practice
Beginning this winter, Tangible Development will facilitate an organization-wide survey with the support from their survey partner, the Siena College Research Institute. Along with the survey, a series of focus group sessions will be facilitated by the Tangible Development team for different social and work identity groups including women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Authority Staff, Maintenance and Transportation, and more.
Data collected will then be developed into a report that thematizes your feedback, analyzes all the data, and recommends next steps for how to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at CDTA.
CDTA has partnered with Tangible Development to help guide and facilitate our journey to a more intentionally diverse and inclusive organization for all those who we employ and serve. Tangible Development is a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm based in Latham, NY. Their expertise in organizational DEI assessment and planning will help guide us to a shared vision.
Over the next few months we are working with Tangible to get feedback from YOU, our CDTA staff.
DEI CAT TM
The purpose of this survey is to get a big picture, organization-wide understanding of two things:
1. the real and perceived experiences of CDTA staff
2. where and how diversity, equity, and inclusion practices exist in the organizational structure of the organization
When the survey launches, you will receive an email from Tangible Development’s survey partner, the Siena College Research Institute, with a link to take the survey; it should only take about 10-minutes to complete.
Focus group sessions are led by Tangible Development’s skilled facilitators with the facilitator sharing the identity of the session topic whenever possible. For example, the BIPOC focus group sessions will be led by a BIPOC facilitator. Along the same lines, we expect that those signing up to participate identify with their selection(s) as well. For example, only women should sign up for the session(s) for women, and only Foremen/Transportation Supervisors should sign up for the sessions labeled Foremen/Transportation Supervisors.
Each session has an introduction describing rules of engagement, confidentiality protocols, and boundaries that need to be maintained to ensure everyone feels comfortable and empowered to share. Facilitators will have structured questions prepared, but also have flexibility to use follow-up prompts based on where participants take the discussion.
In addition to the facilitator, Tangible Development also has a trained scribe (or note-taker) to document the session in a way that retains the confidentiality of each participant.
These one-hour focus groups are voluntary. While CDTA will not receive a list of attendees, the focus groups themselves are not anonymous as they will be done either via Zoom or in person, and all participants will be visible. Please see Confidentiality section below.
These focus groups are completely voluntary but not totally anonymous since you’ll see who is in your group. However, all participants are asked to respect the confidentiality of what is said and to keep confidential who is present during the session.
No personal information will be identified in the final report, only combined group data.
Please note that leadership will not be in Open Sessions, but are welcome to join relevant social identity-based groups. Tangible Development have met with leadership and discussed the reality of how this could impact the authenticity and accuracy of the discussion, and they have committed to respecting the views of all who participate regardless of what those views are