Written by The Magdalen House DEI Task Force

Seven months ago, we shared a letter from Executive Director Lisa Kroencke and Board Chair Kay Colbert, “Addressing Racism: Where We Stand and What We’re Doing.” We outlined four key goals to address before the end of the year, and we’re here to share an update.

Within a month, we assembled a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force made up of a few staff, board members, and volunteers. With the intention of addressing the four goals outlined in the letter, we began meeting on a monthly basis.

  • Board of Directors:  Actively work to diversify our membership to recruit and include persons of color.
    • The Board has made a commitment to and started taking steps towards, actively recruiting and including persons of color, as well as persons of differing ages, ideas, abilities, and cultures so that we may better serve all alcoholic women and their families.
  • BOD and Staff: Organizing training on how to be more inclusive of all races, ethnicities, and cultures as a follow up to last year’s training on how to be inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community
    • On October 17, we held a DEI Training for all board and staff members to better understand what racism is and look at how we as an organization can do a better job of creating a space and community where all alcoholic women and their families feel included.
  • Programming: Actively seeking out more women of color in recovery to serve as daytime class and meeting chairs and seeking out more diversified AA groups from our community for evening meetings.
    • We are working closely with The Magdalen House Inclusion Project to determine the best course of action, including the possibility of a fellowship-based monthly “Inclusion Meeting” held by volunteers, to grow and retain a more inclusive community.
      The Inclusion Project is an initiative started in 2019 to bring awareness of The Magdalen House to all alcoholic women, inclusively, in order to better represent and diversify our community. 
  • Auxiliary Groups: Providing additional support to The Magdalen House Inclusion Project, and creating a 3-year strategy with clearly outlined goals.
    • Currently, the DEI Task Force is organizing and conducting an audit to evaluate areas that include governance, programs, communications, and more. Our goal is to complete our initial audit by April and have strategic goals by June.

As we look at The Magdalen House through this lens of addressing racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, we realize that there is no “finish line” for this initiative. We realize that there will always be room for new understanding and new growth. With this DEI Task Force laying the foundation for The Magdalen House Inclusion Project, it is our hope that this becomes a practice for years to come.