Earlier this year, the SSU Book Club read the book How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. We picked this book because current events have made topics of diversity, equity and social justice a timely topic of discussion. We felt that the SSU Book Club was the perfect Gracious Space to educate ourselves and discuss challenging topics, to “learn in public” as Gracious Space teaches us to do. It was indeed a valuable learning experience. After those discussions, we decided that the discussion should not end with one Book Club meeting, and that Sanderson Stewart had an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in advancing ideas of equity, diversity and inclusion as a community planning and design firm and as a professional employer. President|CEO Michael Sanderson, PE, PTOE solicited volunteers for a task force and several CSTP stepped forward to help. Beginning last month, our Task Force began meeting to learn more and to advance equity initiatives at Sanderson Stewart. As we begin, here is an outline of our Task Force’s focus and efforts:
- The goal of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is to create a culture, policies and opportunities at Sanderson Stewart that support and exemplify equity, diversity, and inclusion in our communities and professions.
- The E/D/I Task Force is researching best practices in the planning and transportation community that other companies and groups have successfully implemented within their organizational cultures and how to incorporate improved E/D/I into projects.
- The Task Force is determining ways that our company can be more inclusive and welcoming to diverse groups within our company and within our projects and our external community.
- The task force is pursuing trainings for our company on overcoming biases and incorporating E/D/I best practices into our culture and our projects.