These action items were developed by Hugo House staff and board, after receiving feedback from the community as part of our strategic plan process, the letter, and the community forum, in an effort to advance equity goals. We have separated them into two groups: structural and programmatic. Those listed as structural involve policies and procedures; programmatic action items are those initiatives that focus on our program areas.
Structural Action Items
- The Board of Directors has committed to spend at least $50,000 more this year than in 2020 on racial equity efforts.
- Develop hiring and personnel policies to improve recruitment and retention of BIPOC staff.
- Begin open and transparent search for a new executive director.
- Ensure regular DEI trainings for staff and board.
- Refine community agreements for classes and establish protocols for problematic issues.
- Examine policies and processes to improve recruitment and retention of teachers of color.
- Set up a review panel comprising paid community members to review racist incidents at Hugo House.
- Add a rotating group of BIPOC teachers and community members to our education committee, which selects classes each quarter.
- Redesign website and revise language across all internal and external platforms with an eye toward inclusivity. To be completed by fall 2021.
- Improve data collection and reporting by designing and implementing a new CRM. To be completed by fall 2021.
Programmatic Action Items
- Present twice-yearly ally trainings for teachers. The first training, with Anastacia-Reneé, was held in August 2020. The next teacher training will take place with Felicia Rose Chavez this spring.
- Ensure easy access to scholarships. In Fall 2020, we simplified and streamlined our scholarship application, opening up qualifications so that more people can apply. We also made scholarships easier to find on the website.
- Build a library of video instruction and links to prepare and inform students about the antiracist classroom.
- Offer more free adult programming, including free classes. In 2021, we will offer 3–5 free classes per quarter, in addition to 3 free Q&A sessions with writers, editors, and agents; the weekly Quarantine Write-In; and twice-monthly Write with Hugo House through the Seattle Public Library.
- Develop longstanding partnerships with other community organizations. We are planning Spanish language classes with Seattle Escribe for Spring quarter. The education department is also working closely with prose writer-in-residence Ruth Joffre to establish 2–3 additional community partnership programs.
- Increase accessibility of youth programs by examining and amending pricing, partnership, and outreach strategies. Scribes summer writing camps and youth workshops were moved to a sliding scale pricing model in 2020. This is expected to continue in 2021 as we continue to evaluate the accessibility of our programs.
- Evaluate and restructure manuscript consultation program.
- Review writers in residence and fellowship programs, with an eye toward reshaping both programs to better benefit the participants and the community.
- Raise funds dedicated to supporting DEI work from both individuals and foundations.