DEI Resources

Equity Committee

Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and InclusionGina Weekley
Board MembersDebra Rich
Bryan Burton
Darshini Jayawardena
Co-ChairsKeith Halverson
Karl Kurt
Dana Miller
Christin Squier
AdministratorsAmber Dietz
Amy Knupp
Sam Miller
Beth Strike
StaffKandice Bienfang-Lee
Danielle Hakeman
MaKenzie Hakeman
Rusti Sparks
Contessa Van Buskirk
Kelly Gallagher

Equity Audit

As an outgrowth of the important work done by the Equity Committee in partnership with the Leadership Academy, we collected staff feedback through a series of focus groups, as well as gathered the perspectives and input of all stakeholders through anonymous surveys. For more information, view the March 2022 Central Rivers AEA Equity Audit Findings.

In partnership with the Leadership Academy, the Equity Committee discovered current working themes from the audit work that include:

  • Leadership Communication about Equity: Central Rivers AEA leadership has an opportunity to make values and actions more visible that support the organizational priority of equity. Two-way communication (e.g. we all have our roles in working toward equity) must be strengthened. We all have to support and engage in the work together to solve problems.
  • Courage and Candor when addressing Equity issues/topics: How might we continue to grow our culture and climate to include more understanding, transparency (marketing & hiring processes), learning and building skills sets in culturally responsiveness and build upon the ability to lean into conversations to deepen people’s comfort level to increase our authenticity in being an equitable and brave workspace and carry these mindsets into the systems we serve? (How do we make these terms explicit?)
  • Professional Learning around Equity: We have a current structure for meetings and learning that often creates barriers to deeper learning and progress. There are no structured intentional spaces for discourse that support this learning and the discomfort that comes with growth. We are lacking clear public articulation of why equity, diversity and inclusion matter to our agency from our leadership. Our focus within the three big rocks does not include much intentional room for diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Staff Diversity: We need a system that fosters and develops the recruitment, retention and support of marginalized groups. We need to ensure that all staff (administrators, Certified, NUSS and Classified) explore their biases and implement a system to address biases, language used and microaggressions at all levels. We need to be intentional in our interview process to ask questions that address DEI – questions that ask about beliefs, experiences and practices.

DEI Language Guide

As a result of what was released from the Equity Audit, the “APA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Inclusive Language Guide” is an optional tool available to staff to enhance learning and awareness of DEI terms and concepts.


DEI Action Plan

Want to see a sneak peek at upcoming DEI strategies? Check out the DEI Action Plan document. *Please note: this is a working document.