Today, as we recognize the one-month anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we affirm our commitment to the work of ending systemic racism. As a company that is devoted to healing, Newport recognizes that our mission must encompass helping to heal racism and racial bias—and that this work begins within our own community.
Black Lives Matter.
But simply affirming that Black lives matter isn’t enough: We must take action to stand behind those words.
Why You Are Hearing from Us Now
As stewards of mental healthcare, we believe that knowledge and understanding precede progress and growth. Therefore, during the last month, we have been in a deep process of educating ourselves as individuals and looking within as a corporation. We have been consciously focusing our efforts on examining our own actions and exploring our relationships with those we serve: our clients, families, and employees.
As a first step, we have developed a new initiative that focuses on diversity, inclusion, and cultural awareness within the company. This collaborative effort focuses first on listening, then on meaningful action. Over the last few weeks, we have been engaged in that listening process with all employees who wished to be heard on the matter of diversity and inclusion. This process is informing a series of actionable steps that will be taken over both the short and long term.
The Journey We’ve Been On
First and foremost, we have learned that we have work to do. We can do better, and we must do better. While we may have missteps along the way, we will strive to do our part in fighting systemic racism.
Along with looking within, we sought outside perspectives to guide us in going beyond “not being racist” to being actively anti-racist. At the end of this post, you’ll find a list of some of the resources we have used in educating ourselves about racism and racial bias.
To our colleagues: We hear you. In speaking with you over these last weeks, we have learned that in every facet of our organization, we have the opportunity to do better in furthering equity and inclusion. Here is where we are starting:
Education and Training
- We will hire outside consultants specializing in diversity and LGBTQ+ to provide clarity and perspective, offer guidance for race discussions, and support leadership to respond to current events with a deeper and broader understanding of the issues.
- We will work with the outside consultants to develop and deliver diversity and inclusion trainings for employees at all Newport locations, starting first with leadership.
- We are prioritizing cultural competency in mental healthcare as an area of growth for our clinical staff—looking through a cultural lens and heightening awareness of implicit bias so we can better serve our clients.
Recruiting and Hiring
- We are actively recruiting to create a more diverse workplace, through the Diversity Job Board Network and the National Black MBA Association, among other networks.
- We will prioritize diversity among our thought leaders—within the company, in the content we share with our audiences, and among the influencers featured in our public and industry events.
Policies and Procedures
- We will revise our current policies to more firmly establish zero tolerance regarding racist verbiage and transgressions, and to ensure that action is taken swiftly whenever necessary.
- In addition to adding Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday for all employees, we will add Juneteenth to the list of holidays that staff can take throughout the year.
Corporate Responsibility and Communications
- We are initiating a Diversity Advisory Council made up of Newport employees across multiple locations and levels of the company.
- We are researching organizations working against systemic racism and oppression that we will support with a monetary donation.
- We are incorporating a focus on diverse cultures into Newport-funded staff events and creating opportunities for our staff to share their culture and experiences with their teams.
- We will establish a more simplified process for bringing in translators to assist with families of diverse cultural backgrounds.
- We will continue updating our company material to be more reflective of the diverse clients and families we serve.
As a company and a community, we do not have all the answers. But we are asking the questions, guided by our core values of love, empathy, and connection. We are listening closely, and we are committed to being part of the solution. We hope you will join us.
Resources for Education
Networks and Collectives
- Reading List from the Center for Racial Justice in Education
- White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
- Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism
- “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- “What Is White Privilege?”by Sharon Martinas
- “Diversity and Inclusion Efforts That Really Work,” by David Pedulla in the Harvard Business Review