Continuing the Conversation:
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

March 31, 2021

By Peyton Hill

In the summer of 2020, we began to reflect upon our role in upholding systemic racism. With this in mind, we hold ourselves accountable to being a more socially just and anti-racist company.

Architecture, Planning and Interior Design are inherently interconnected to accessibility, space, and a sense of place for communities. It is our role as a design firm to be cognizant of how we shape the landscape.

SRG continues to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement, and we commit to uplifting and supporting those who have been oppressed and marginalized. Black Lives Matter is an intersectional movement drawing upon a variety of disciplines in order to affirm the lives of Black folks and persist to dismantle oppression.

Our JEDI Community continues to meet. Individuals and groups within the firm have championed several initiatives as we strive for a more equitable landscape both internally and externally.

GROW

Positive societal change begins with one's personal edification of systemic racism. It is through our own education and growth that we can truly commit to more socially just community centered design.

Current Initiatives

JEDI Media Club
We facilitate a media club which meets throughout the year to discuss specific films, articles, books, and podcasts.

Cultural Collection – Online Resources and Book Recommendations
This Teams Channel is a place for anyone to share media to inspire and educate ourselves and our peers.

Mindfulness Minutes
We designate time during our All Staff Monday Morning Meetings to share reflections on mental health, resilience, work-life balance, and overall inclusivity.

Trainings and presentations external to SRG
Everyone is encouraged to share invitations for upcoming events firmwide. There are many opportunities to educate ourselves, and SRG is grateful for the opportunity to engage in our communities as we continue to grow.

ENGAGE & ACT

We seek to expand and engage our network of collaborators, clients, and organizations that focus on BIPOC and underrepresented voices to cultivate and uplift multifaceted ideas and perspectives. Change begins from within, and we acknowledge and uphold design as a form of justice.

Current Commitments

Our business development team focuses on how we can develop deeper relationships and expand our professional network with our MWESB (minority-owned, women-owned, or emerging small business) partners. We’re finding more authentic ways to understand each company’s needs and goals in order to provide more support for minority-owned companies.

Those in Portland attend OAME (Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs) meetings to meet new consultant and architecture firms. We continue to enhance and refine our Diversity Plan goals and strategies to build meaningful, long-lasting relationships with MWESBs.

SRG is engaged with NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects) regionally and nationally. We are also connecting with local education services like Rainier Scholars, a program that offers a pathway to college graduation for low-income students of color, to broaden our community outreach goals.

We continue to evolve our hiring practices to recruit for internal diversity.

Race & Ethnicity | LGBTQIA+ | Gender | Age | Disabilities + Abilities

We recognize that recruitment is not only about numbers but about creating an equal opportunity hiring process and an inclusive environment for all.

Our team also has prioritized celebrating cultural diversity. Effective 2021, we instituted an SRG Inclusive Holiday Policy where SRGers can decide which paid holidays they’d like to observe. In the past, our SRG holiday policy has only adhered to “typical” Federal Holidays which included: Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, 4th of July, etc. However, our team recognizes that US Federal Holidays lack inclusivity in many regards. This new policy gives everyone the opportunity to celebrate holidays they may feel more passionate about, such as Lunar New Year, Eid, Juneteenth, Diwali and more.

Additionally, we have been exploring how we as a firm can hold company-wide events that coincide with diverse holidays and celebrations. For example, we have discussed a barbeque the day before Juneteenth to honor that important date; however, we are challenged by COVID-19 and social distancing requirements. We are continuing to brainstorm and be creative on how we can meaningfully celebrate cultural diversity as we wait for in-person gatherings to be safe.

SRG has joined the JUST program with the International Living Future Institute. Through this process, we have optimized policies that improve social equity and enhance employee engagement. As a transparency tool, it helps us acknowledge areas of growth and take action. Working within the JUST framework has helped SRG generate policies for FMLA benefits, paid community service hours, and more. It is also informing some of our strategic goals for the next two years.

A team with a wide range of experiences is re-writing significant portions of internal policies, procedures, and best practices. The goal when it’s complete is to engage a consultant to audit the document for diverse, equitable, and inclusive content.

IMAGINE

We are evolving our design culture by challenging ourselves to recognize where biases, structures and processes hamper creativity and inclusivity. Through the pursuit of human-centered design, we aim to imagine and design spaces that are engaging and welcoming for all people.

SRGers are passionate about the impact our professional and personal lives have on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our team supports each other and the broader community in immeasurable ways. We hold ourselves accountable to GROW - ENGAGE & ACT - IMAGINE.

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Peyton Hill

Office Manager and AP Specialist