We are committed to building a Last Mile Health in which all people feel safe and comfortable in their workplace, as well as connected to the achievement of our collective goals. This directly aligns with our values as an organization–and an inclusive, welcoming, and diverse environment will allow us to do our work better.
Toward this goal, we have launched our new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) roadmap, which defines clear activities to advance DEI at Last Mile Health by changing our policies, systems, programs, and culture. “The work we’re undertaking to more fully embody our values of justice and equity–in who we are, how we work together and how we advance our mission–is both collective and deeply personal,” says CEO Lisha McCormick. “At our core, Last Mile Health is an organization that is striving for better while recognizing we are imperfect. Amid this humbling and non-negotiable DEI work, we’re grateful to show up, to learn, and to create change–all in service of our mission and a more just future.”
A top priority on the roadmap is DEI training for all Last Mile Health staff: every employee will take part in an in-depth series of 10 modules (with three additional modules for people managers), totaling over 13 hours of training on topics such as cultural competency, bias, and power and privilege. Staff based in Ethiopia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, and the United States have remotely participated in training via Zoom, while in Liberia, local facilitators adapted the global curriculum for a series of two-day in-person workshops in Monrovia, Grand Gedeh County, Grand Bassa County, and Rivercess County. To date, over 85% of staff have completed training.
“The DEI training sparked many critical conversations amongst staff. I witnessed a sense of enlightenment spur the room as our employees engaged in numerous dialogues and aired concerns through various examples,” says Linnia J. F. Chea, a member of the Partnerships & Communications team in Monrovia. “I think this was a great learning opportunity, and I’m hoping that what we learned in the DEI training will be applied in our everyday work.”
Pascal Nkezabera, a supply chain manager in Monrovia, said, “This initiative of putting much emphasis on DEI to cultivate a safe, compassionate, and equitable culture where everyone feels valued is very important at Last Mile Health, as a non-profit organization whose staff and partners have different identities and backgrounds. To achieve a truly equitable workplace at Last Mile Health, DEI needs to be an ongoing practice that extends beyond training.”
Looking ahead, we’re committed to interrogating our practices and incorporating the values and practices of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into our daily work–as well as our strategic decisions and plans as an organization. Learn more about this ongoing journey.