Commitment to Racial Justice

In keeping with our organizational values, OUT MetroWest is committed to engaging in anti-racist practices and celebrating racial diversity. We engage in ongoing reflection, education, accountability, and action. We do this work acknowledging that we are an organization with a history of predominantly white leadership, in a predominantly white region. We center the voices, perspectives, and feedback of Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color (BIPOC), especially those at the intersection of the LGBTQ+ community.

Following are some of our explicit commitments as we work towards being an anti-racist organization:

  • Provide programming at no cost to participants.
  • Offer free hygiene products, health products, safer sex supplies, snacks, and access to LGBTQ+ therapists during weekly programs.  
  • Ensure that programs are accessible and relevant to LGBTQ+ youth of color.
  • Ensure that our programs, materials, and our resource library are accessible and relevant to LGBTQ+ multilingual youth.
  • Meet or exceed the percentage of MetroWest residents of color among participants, staff, contractors, guest speakers, and board members (the current population of MetroWest is ~22% residents of color)
  • Share our physical resources, including space, with BIPOC organizations (to make a request, email us or reach us via social media @outmetrowest)
  • Regularly curate our queer library to reflect racial diversity
  • Minimize our engagement with law enforcement; view our law enforcement policy
  • Promote LGBTQ+ BIPOC-led fundraising and advocacy efforts that align with our organizational values (to make a request, email us or reach us via social media @outmetrowest)
  • Continually review and revise our policies and practices (human resources, development, etc.) as they relate to racial equity, in an effort to eliminate racial bias and the influence of white supremacy culture

Below are current and recent examples of how we put these commitments into action. This list is not exhaustive of all of our anti-racist commitments and actions, and will be updated periodically.

  • 2024
    • Staff completed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fundamentals and Beyond 8-hour module with Brave Space Consulting 
    • Our Human Resources Committee began a full review and revision of our Employee Manual, specifically through an equity lens. 
    • We re-started the Racial Equity Working Group to ensure a devoted anti-racist, action-oriented working space. When this group met previously (2020-2021), it developed our current Engagement with Law Enforcement Policy and revised our current Staff Assessment Process through an equity lens. 
  • 2023
    • We contracted with Brave Space Consulting to conduct a comprehensive organizational Equity Audit. The main takeaway from the Audit was that “individuals at all levels of the organization experience OUT MetroWest as a welcoming and inclusive organization.” Brave Space also made a number of recommendations, mostly related to organizational policies and employee benefits, which we have started to implement.
    • Staff completed the 10-hour “Calling In: Creating Change Without Cancel Culture” course with Loretta J. Ross
    • Staff completed the 10-hour Workplace Psychological Safety and Resiliency training with Brave Space Consulting.
  • 2022
    • We translated our website and brochures into Spanish and Portuguese. 
    • We began including a verbal land acknowledgment at gatherings and programs, as well as a written land acknowledgment in our communications.
  • Prior to 2022
    • Racial Equity initiatives became, and remain, a standing portion of every weekly staff meeting agenda
    • In our bi-annual survey of youth participants, we began gathering information about racial identity, as well as feedback about the inclusivity of programming. We continue to update our survey to ensure we are collecting information that accurately reflects our youths’ intersectional identities. 
    • We facilitated several paid focus groups with BIPOC youth and adults in our community to help inform and shape the inclusivity of our programs for BIPOC youth.

For questions regarding our ongoing commitment to Racial Justice, please contact our Communications and Outreach Manager, Sam Jean (she/her) at sam.jean@outmetrowest.org or our Board Chair, Octavio González (he/him) at octavio.gonzalez@outmetrowest.org 

Land Acknowledgment

OUT MetroWest recognizes the Nipmuc and Massachusett nations, on whose traditional lands we deliver our programs. We acknowledge these Indigenous peoples as the past, present, and future caretakers of the land now known as the MetroWest Boston region.

Nipmuc homelands include areas such as Natick, Sudbury, and the state-acknowledged Hassanamisco reservation in Grafton. Massachusett homelands include areas like Dedham, Newton, Milton, Sharon, Wayland, and Wellesley. A precise map reflecting contemporary town lines is impossible to draw, but we know that Indigenous people inhabited the MetroWest region for thousands of years before Europeans displaced, enslaved, and killed the majority of the local population. Despite settler-colonizers’ systematic efforts to wipe out native cultures, hundreds of Nipmuc and Massachusett people remain to this day.

As an LGBTQ+ organization, we note the particular harm inflicted upon Two Spirit people under European settler colonialism. We honor the resilience of those on whose ancestral lands OUT MetroWest operates and recognize that LGBTQ+ liberation is not possible without Indigenous liberation. 

Hiring

We believe that LGBTQ+ youth thrive when connected to diverse adult role models. When we have job openings, they will be posted on our “Join Our Team” page. We particularly encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and other candidates of color whose identities and lived experiences reflect the rich diversity of our LGBTQ+ youth participants. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and a Person of Color and would like us to keep you in mind for future job openings, please consider reaching out to Mel Pace, executive director, to share your interest. We are happy to keep your materials on-file for when openings occur.

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