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Pathway of Heroes
A Message From Tori Lyon, CEO
“Unprecedented, challenging, uncertain times. Now more than ever…”
Indeed, we have been fed a steady stream of the same rhetoric for much of this year. And while there is no denying the struggles we are going through as a City and as a nation, I am challenging us to change the conversation – NOW.
“Unity. Action. Family. Togetherness. Unyielding support of our fellow brothers and sisters…”
In June of this year
, I wrote about the current climate in our country and our support of the renewed efforts to end systemic racism. I also referenced the need to examine and improve the way in which Jericho Project supports equality and inclusivity. While we are still in the process of conducting a thorough internal audit of our policies, procedures and intellectual capital and infrastructure, I am proud to announce the implementation of the JerichoEquity Initiative – a year-round, unwavering initiative designed to ensure our impact on the socioeconomic dynamic in our community is both internal and external. Proving it’s more than timely rhetoric, Jericho has instituted the following changes.
Racial Equity Workgroups
After significant input from our staff, we have created the following workgroups comprised of staff from all levels, programs, and backgrounds.:
Oversight & Implementation
Led by CEO Tori Lyon, this workgroup will be responsible for considering the recommendations from staff and the other workgroups and figuring out how to implement the changes at Jericho Project.
Voting & Census
This workgroup will be responsible for informing staff and tenants about candidates running for local, state, and federal office; helping staff and tenants register to vote and request mail-in ballots when necessary; helping tenants and staff fill out the census; helping tenants and staff learn where to vote in-person and assisting them with the process of voting.
This workgroup will be responsible for planning and hosting events that celebrate cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity among Jericho Project’s staff and clients. Some events they will put on include Black History Month celebrations, Juneteenth, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and more.
This group will help staff and tenants organize around issues of homelessness, drug policy, police reform, mass incarceration, and more. They will be meeting with and advocating with state, local, and federal elected officials as well as government officials.
Juneteenth as Official Holiday
In recognition of the emancipation of those who were enslaved by the United States, we have chosen to recognize Juneteenth as an official agency holiday, allowing staff the day to reflect on the struggles undertaken to achieve this and the ample work left to do to ensure equality and freedom for all.
Featured Speakers and Support of Minority Owned Businesses
At the onset on the COViD-19 pandemic, Jericho’s executive staff began to conduct weekly all-staff meetings virtually. Over the past few months, Jericho has begun to involve community leaders into these conversations, and we plan to continue to engage prominent supporters of these issues in future dialogue so that we can all continue to learn and grow together. Additionally, we are actively looking into our purchasing practices in an effort to ensure we are regularly supporting minority and women-owned businesses.
At Jericho Project, we are committed to actions that move us towards a more equal and just future. While we have been doing this for years, in many ways, our work is just beginning.
Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.
With all my love and respect,