Newly launched Wayside Equity Training Center to offer nonprofits comprehensive training and organizational development services on diversity, equity and inclusion
For Immediate Release
April 9, 2021
Diana C. Pisciotta
Center builds on more than a decade of experience at Wayside Youth & Family Support Network
(Framingham, MA) Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, one of the region’s leading providers of mental health counseling and family support services to children, young adults and families in Massachusetts, today launched its new Equity Training Center. The Wayside Equity Training Center offers nonprofits leadership teams, boards and employees customized trainings that are designed to advance the unique goals of each organization.
“About a decade ago, Wayside realized that we needed to create a more formal approach to diversity if we wanted to create a great environment for our staff and to best support young people and their families,” said Eric Masi, President and CEO at Wayside. “From one-time trainings to a deliberative process to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of our operations, Wayside has continued to refine its model. Our goal with the Equity Training Center is to support other nonprofit organizations interested in making an investment in this area.”
Relying on flexible, tested models, Wayside Equity Training Center helps organizations better understand how diversity, equity and inclusion can become part of their daily work. The Wayside Equity Training Center includes training, culture building and metrics, as well as a focus on accountability at all levels. Ultimately, program participants build toward a place where they can address racism in all its forms, creating more effective, efficient and equitable nonprofits.
The Wayside Equity Training Center is geared to the unique needs of human services providers and nonprofits; this includes addressing issues of race and how they impact interactions between and among staff, clients and their families. The programs focus on creating the right environment for discussion, learning and evolution around issues that can be uncomfortable.
“Our work strives to create a level playing field. This requires an environment where an entire organization is better grounded in the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and all program participants are aware that explicit conversations about race are welcome,” said Guimel DeCarvalho, Chief Diversity Officer at Wayside. “We have teams who can talk through the hard edges of race, the impact of inequities and the ways that connections are missed because of misunderstanding another person’s perspective.”
“It is critically important that nonprofits –particularly those in the human services field – have the tools and training they need to create equitable programs, services and communities. We aspire for the human services field to be leaders in anti-racism work,” DeCarvalho continued.
Wayside’s Equity Training Center addresses specific challenges, including:
- Fostering more equitable internal environment for employees; address power dynamics and structural processes that may limit professional growth; and create a more respectful environment.
- Offering more competent care to clients; see the challenges and burdens clients face as a direct result of race and adjust individual interactions, programs and policies to address race-based traumas, mental health issues, physical health concerns, etc.
- Developing more equitable/respectful relationships between staff and families; limit risks of implicit and explicit bias on communication and relationship building.
About Wayside Youth & Family Support Network: Founded in 1977, Wayside Youth & Family Support Network is a non-profit, nationally accredited human service agency headquartered dedicated to building Strength, Hope and Resiliency through its family-based outreach services, residential treatment programs, and community-based counseling services to more than 6,000 children, youth and families throughout Central, Eastern and Northeastern Massachusetts.
For more information on the Wayside Equity Training Center and its programs, visit www.waysideequitycenter.org.