The Springoint diversity, equity and inclusion initiative is the result of the combined efforts of Springpoint residents and employees. The goal is to understand the complex challenges and inequalities that affect our society today and drive meaningful and measurable change through our actions, as expressed in our DEI commitment statement:
“In support of our mission to inspire the Springpoint family with endless opportunities, we are fully committed to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. To value and empower the lives we touch, Springpoint fosters a culture that respects the unique qualities, life experiences and wisdom of each individual. It is through this diverse and inclusive environment that we are more engaged, creative, collaborative and innovative so all members of our Springpoint family can experience the best that life has to offer.”
Residents at one of Springpoint’s life plan communities first formed a committee to study the racial injustices in our country. That committee currently is supporting the development of legislation to establish an innocence commission that would study the causes of wrongful convictions. Those were the first steps taken by our residents to identify and address societal inequities and injustices. They posed questions about the lack of diversity in life plan communities nationally and here at home. They invited me to meet with them, and it was that discussion that laid the foundation for the Springpoint DEI initiative.
In developing the Springpoint DEI program, we wanted to involve both residents and staff members, with a focus on creating greater diversity and inclusivity throughout the Springpoint organization and the greater communities in which we reside. We started with a resident DEI committee and an employee DEI committee. The resident DEI committee has representatives from each of our eight life plan communities, and they meet regularly to strategize how Springpoint can continue to be an inclusive and supportive organization. We also have educated our leaders in Springpoint’s 19 affordable senior housing communities so they can create similar resident programs. I believe this committee will help keep Springpoint members accountable and committed to the DEI initiative.
We created our DEI commitment statement with input from residents, employees and trustees. Next, we embarked on training. Springpoint teamed up with Rutgers University to develop our DEI awareness and unconscious bias training. We partnered with SAGEcare for training and consulting on LGBTQ aging issues. Those training programs have opened our minds to understanding issues surrounding diversity and inclusion as we begin our journey, and we already are reaping the benefits of that training.
Our residents and employees are hardworking and talented individuals who are continuously shaped by their unique personal life experiences. I believe the only way our DEI initiative will be effective is if it is guided by the dynamic voices of our residents and employees. Through our working groups, employee and resident feedback related to programming, and a review of employee surveys, we gathered input to guide our DEI initiative. Our focus is on diversity and inclusion at all levels and aspects of the organization as we move forward and implement programs to achieve our goals. It will be through this collaborative approach that we will identify the next steps in programs and resources to provide the best opportunity for success.
Since I became president and CEO of Springpoint, I have tried to lead by example. It is important that our residents and employees see the steps I am taking to create a diverse and inclusive environment throughout the Springpoint organization. One of those steps was to take the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, which gave me access to 2,000 other CEOs from different sectors around the country. This expansive network of likeminded leaders allows me another avenue for sharing ideas and strategies that support a workplace environment which embraces the individuality of our residents and employees. In every conversation and meeting, I am exposed to new, innovative ideas and methods for strengthening our DEI initiative and extending its reach.
Everyone in our Springpoint family has committed their time and effort into implementing the DEI initiative and ensuring that it affects every policy and program throughout our organization. Every day is an opportunity for Springpoint to offer exceptional services and innovative programs that empower those we serve and those that serve them to experience the best that life has to offer.
Anthony A. Argondizza is President and CEO of Springpoint.
The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.
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