As an organization, Twin Cities Habitat has been dedicating time and resources to fully embrace our newest value of Equity & Inclusion. From staff-wide IDI assessments, to routine breakfast conversations and continued Lunch & Learn workshops, we are pushing ourselves to grow and learn not only about the diversity of our organization from a workplace standpoint, but also gain a better understanding of the community we serve.
As part of this work, Habitat participated in local Pride festivities for the first time, and also offered an LGBTQIA-focused educational workshop for staff members. In the coming weeks, staff will also be gearing up to host our annual Rainbow Build summer event!
2019 marked the first time Habitat participated in Twin Cities Pride as an organization.
"Pride was very fun and busy!" said Leng Yang, Habitat's lead coordinator for the event. "We were able to engage with a LOT of Pride Festival participants and gave away thousands of prizes and brochures. I was also happy to hear that so many Pride participants were well aware of Habitat and had volunteered on site."
During the event, employees staffed an informational booth, and provided games, swag, and information about Habitat programs and services.
"It was great to see so many Habitat staff and family engaged at Pride," said Leng. "It was a lot of work, and would not have been possible without such great support!"
*Photos courtesy of Habitat staff & volunteers
Lunch & Learn
On Tuesday this week, Habitat staff were invited to attend a "Lunch & Learn" discussion on LGBTQIA inclusion. Beth Elliott-Thul, an LGBTQIA educator led a training on gender pronouns, creating inclusive work spaces, and shared some challenges the LGBTQIA community can experience with securing housing - both nationally and at the state level.
"I can't say enough how important education is," Beth said. "You don't know what you don't know. We interact with people every single day, and it is important to realize that people have intersectionalities that are not always visible. To be able to start a conversation with someone with an introduction of name and pronouns will open the door for safe communication. Diversity is woven through every aspect of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and by continuing to educate staff, they are proving that this is a part of their core values."
Our annual Rainbow Build is coming up! Join us out on site July 27 - August 9 as we help raise awareness for issues involving affordable housing in the LGBTQIA community, while also building a new home for a low-income family. Guest speakers will be attending lunch breaks to facilitate discussions around issues impacting the LGBTQIA community.
"I am proud that our staff is eager to learn and partner with all members of our community," said Twin Cities Habitat President & CEO, Chris Coleman. "There is such richness in understanding and coming together to build the kind of community where all people have an opportunity to thrive."