At ICADV, we believe that violence is fueled by inequity. We believe that disproportionate exposures to communities’ risk factors and inequitable access to protective factors increase vulnerability to both perpetration and victimization. With this understanding, our prevention strategies focus on moving power to increase equity—across identity groups and communities—in Indiana.
Though we’ve embraced the philosophy and language of equity at ICADV for the past several years, we continue to learn about what this commitment requires of us in practice. Our organizational learning curve and action steps have been informed by our mistakes. We deeply regret that the burden of those errors falls on our stakeholders with identities that have been marginalized, and we appreciate their patience and impatience with us as we work to institutionalize inclusive practices. If you have advice for us, please reach out to the prevention team.
One piece of our equity practice is working to create inclusive programs and accessible events for stakeholders with a range of identities and abilities. With this focus, we have learned that a ten-minute break isn’t an adequate amount of time for people with a range of abilities to meet their bio needs. We’ve learned that travel for our colleagues with mobility-related disabilities costs 12 times more than it does to use mainstream transit options. We’ve learned that our gender marked restrooms make our trans community members feel invisible and unsafe. And though our restrooms are ADA compliant, the space as designed is inadequate for protecting the privacy of our community members who use wheelchairs. We’ve learned that we need to use our microphones, plan for interpretation and pay for transcription.
We’ve learned that our commitment to equity shows up in our investment and that investment is operationalized through the use of our funds, space, time and representation. With this learning, ICADV invested over 50 percent of the Coalition’s recent Rape Prevention and Education grant funds on strategies, technologies, supports, materials and payments that center inclusion. This investment has included things like payment to community consultants to value their expertise in collecting data, developing solutions, and disseminating findings. Funds have also been designated for childcare for community planning events, accessible transportation, interpretation, transcription, and the creation of culturally responsive materials.
We believe that it is necessary to invest in equity to increase protective factors in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by violence because of discrimination and exclusion. Going forward, ICADV has committed to including a budget line item for accessibility costs in all Coalition grants. We encourage our prevention community to assess how you are investing in equity and to share your learnings with us.
You may also join our upcoming webinar, Budgeting for Accessibility in your Primary Prevention programs, by clicking here.