UMRC & Porter Hills Celebrates Black History Month
February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in US history. Join us in celebrating Black History Month and upholding UMRC & Porter Hills’ Guiding Beliefs of Integrity, Wellness, Inclusiveness, Stewardship, Excellence, and Community. Based on our Guiding Beliefs of inclusivity and integrity, UMRC & Porter Hills continues to uphold its mission: welcoming ALL, partnering together and enriching lives. As a faith-based nonprofit, UMRC & Porter Hills is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, creating a welcoming environment for all its team members and the older adults we serve. We at UMRC & Porter Hills are on an intentional racial equity journey for long-term transformation. This year, UMRC & Porter Hills launched diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives across the organization, beginning with Board members and the leadership team. We have also formed a DEI Committee, representative of team members from across our service lines at all levels. UMRC & Porter Hills’ Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) sites are also closely involved. Huron Valley PACE in Ypsilanti and Thome PACE in Jackson are walking a journey to create a more inclusive environment, thanks to a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Partnering with Change Works and Diverse Minds, two local DEI consulting firms, these PACE sites are committed to building a foundation of diversity, equity, and inclusion for both team members and the older adults who participate in PACE. One Huron Valley PACE team member said this about the DEI training experience: “We are living in a time where there is so much division and discord happening all around us. In my opinion, most of the misunderstanding can be attributed to the lack of DEI awareness and training. The content of training was pertinent for this time. As a person of color, the training provided me a safe space in which I was able to share my fears and concerns with coworkers with whom I spend most of my day. It was healing to have their support and understanding that may have gone unnoticed if not for training.” LifeCircles PACE in Holland and Muskegon, partnering with AgeWell Services and Senior Resources, has created a DEI book group, thanks to grant support from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Team members from each organization have created a DEI Committee to help guide the book groups and plan for organization-wide engagement. Team members have chosen to read This Chair Rocks, a book on agism, a cause near and dear to UMRC & Porter Hills. Just as we will never stop striving to improve resident and participant services, DEI will be an ongoing journey, measured through reflection and improved practices such as: hiring, promotions, communications, culturally-responsive dietary services, and conflict resolution. To learn more about UMRC & Porter Hills’ promise to deliver inclusive, compassionate services for older adults in Michigan, visit our website, https://mybrio.org/.