Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action
In 2019, People’s Self-Help Housing formed the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action) Commission, a staff led effort to ensure advancements, promote opportunities and hear all voices related to equity, diversity and inclusion that affect our residents and team members. We invite you to learn more:
To prioritize advancements in race, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI), to ensure that all perspectives are present and rightfully considered, both within our organization and beyond.
We are committed to creating an organization that represents and understands the diversity of the populations that we serve and ensuring systems to hire, retain, and advance the careers of our employees and the wellbeing of PSHH residents.
Through the IDEA Commission, PSHH creates educational opportunities to understand and engage with race, equity, diversity, and inclusion; while also developing recommendations of equitable policies and procedures to departments, executive leadership, and the Board of Directors.
Our work towards racial equity, diversity, and inclusion is ongoing and the IDEA Commission welcomes feedback and suggestions at any time.
The IDEA Commission holds the following values as the foundation for our work to keep moving us towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI):
• The creation and provision of affordable housing is equity work in and of itself. Thus, achieving equity is the foundation for all housing and community development.
• We believe in the creation of strong teams by using continuous and fair evaluations and improvement in our organization.
• Our decision-making practices are founded on DEI. PSHH will guide its decision-making processes with our Equity Lens, a tool for long-term strategic planning.
• Conversations and work relating to DEI can be difficult, emotional, and uncomfortable at times, but they are critical. At this stage of our journey, we focus on race as the most impactful and intersectional element to achieving our mission.
PSHH is the longest-serving affordable housing provider on the Central Coast of California, and our organization has, in alignment with its mission, the responsibility to positively impact the lives of our residents and team members through the advancement of race, equity, diversity, and inclusion work, which currently includes, but is not limited to:
• Learning from and growing with our communities and team members
• Providing inclusive access to opportunities for team members to learn and grow at all levels of the organization
• Building mindful communities that improve upon the issues of historic and systemic racism, income inequity, and discrimination
• Developing policies and procedures that guard our residents and team members against unequal treatment
The Equity Lens is a tool that provides internal reflection and accountability in the PSHH decision-making processes. As we continue to build opportunities and better futures for our employees and the residents of our properties, we need to stop and ask ourselves when and how our actions are, or are not, contributing to our mission and values.
The following questions are meant to help guide this practice. We invite team members at all levels of the organization to stop, reflect, evaluate, and ask:
• Are we accounting for communities most affected by inequities?
• Are all groups represented and empowered to provide input in decision-making processes? If not, how can we get their input and ensure that this does not happen again?
• How will the proposed policy, practice, or decision advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at PSHH? If not, how can we include one of these areas before advancing further?
• How will the proposed policy, practice, or decision affect each marginalized group within and outside the organization?
• Is the implementation of this policy, practice, or decision harmful to any marginalized group? If so, please reassess to minimize impact.
PSHH Board and Team Members hold themselves accountable for continuing to uphold these actions and maintaining our mission and values to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion at PSHH and in the communities we serve.
As part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, we track and publish our organization’s demographic data quarterly. Our goal is to create an organization where everyone feels included and where racial inequities are not a barrier to success. We are also committed to aligning our workforce with the populations that we serve.
As of October 1, 2023, our demographic profile is as follows:
PSHH Team Members:
Land acknowledgements are an Indigenous practice of territorial and tribal recognition used, first and foremost, inside Indigenous communities. Other sectors of society have chosen to also include and use land acknowledgments to recognize and show appreciation for Indigenous Peoples and their lands. Our land acknowledgement was staff created and revised by Chumash community members.
As an organization that develops land and provides affordable housing, we use this land acknowledgement to remind ourselves and those we serve that we are guests of unceded territories.
With sincere gratitude, we humbly acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples and unceded territories that our organization now occupies. We recognize the YTT Northern Chumash, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash, Barbeño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians, Cruzeño Chumash, and Salinan elders, current and future generations as the protectors of these lands.
We honor and respect the sacred connection between Indigenous Peoples and the land that they have stewarded for generations. Our work commits us to advocate for justice and equity on behalf of our residents by building housing opportunities for those individuals and groups most affected by housing inequities.
This acknowledgement is an important step in our accountability, learning, and ensurance that our properties are just and equitable places to live. This is also a demonstration of our appreciation and respect for the Indigenous Peoples, their lands, and their coastal territories.
If you want to learn more, please visit the resources below:
Note on naming conventions: Indigenous Peoples suffered from European displacement and imposition; thus, many Indigenous tribal names in California adopted the names of Spanish Missions. We understand naming conventions of tribes and nations change throughout time. As Indigenous Peoples recover their histories and languages, we will update the names accordingly.
Who We Are:
The IDEA Commission is a staff-led effort to ensure that equity work is a constant in what we do. We are a diverse group of individuals from different levels and departments within the organization, holding strong the commitment to making racial equity, diversity, and inclusion part of our everyday lives.