Indy Racial Equity Pledge

The Milk Bank

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OUR PLEDGE TO THE COMMUNITY

As an anti-discrimination organization, the Milk Bank vows to purposefully identify, discuss and challenge issues of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic status and the impact(s) they have on our organization, our people and our mission. We strive to challenge ourselves to understand and correct inequities we discover.

Additionally, The Milk Bank is committed to addressing health disparities in breastfeeding and infant and maternal mortality. These disparities are a direct result of systemic racism as well as historic and ongoing oppression of marginalized groups. The Milk Bank will be vocal and active in support of improving health equity and access.

PLEDGE 1

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We are resolved to affirm our identity explicitly and publicly as an anti-discrimination non-profit organization.

Focus Area: Workplace, Health

As a regional leader in tissue banking and healthcare, The Milk Bank must continue to make visible both seen and hidden barriers to access. This is achieved by modeling anti-racist practices such as inclusive marketing and collaborating with accountability partners, but also through transparency of gaps and opportunities to improve.

PROGRESS

September 2021 – The Milk Bank is excited to release a diverse photo series feature inclusive images of families that were produced by artists within the communities we serve. The Milk Bank has also committed to a new series informed by accountability partners and customized for diverse stakeholders. Last, The Milk Bank has actively attempted to amplify authentic voices leading in the infant mortality and lactation space. Specifically, The Milk Bank proudly serves as fiscal agent for IBC and supports their efforts to attract diverse and representative providers.


The Milk Bank has evaluated internal and external materials and messaging for inclusive imagery, language, and stories.

PLEDGE 2

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We are resolved that our anti-discrimination commitment be reflected in the work and culture of the Milk Bank through our policies, programs, and practices.

Focus Areas: Workplace, Health

Representation matters and The Milk Bank affirms our commitment to comprehensively represent the communities we serve. This is achieved through both recruitment, training and retention efforts of staff and volunteers including board members. Additionally, The Milk Bank will utilize data to drive services with special attention to marginalized and oppressed populations.

PROGRESS

September 2021 – The Milk Bank staff and board continue to be largely representative of the communities we serve with targeted recruitment occurring in areas such as gender. Additionally, nearly 80% of staff members have participated in equity training such as Undoing Racism. Last, a comprehensive strategic plan with representing more than 400 stakeholder voices has generated qualitative and quantitative data to help guide equitable access to services.


February 2021 – The Milk Bank staff and board currently are representative of the community except in the area of gender. Anonymous staff survey affirmed individual and departmental commitments to equity as a core value. Similarly, 100% of hiring searches included equity and health disparities conversations. Pending April 2021 - A new program specifically aimed at addressing race-based health disparities is in the pilot phase.

PLEDGE 3

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We are resolved to contribute to conversations and strategies aimed at health disparities at a national systems level.

Focus Areas: Health

The Milk Bank seeks to be a thought partner along with the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and similar health partners in the areas of health equity and race equity.

PROGRESS

September 2021 – The Milk Bank in partnership with local leaders created a conversation to address racial disparities in birth, breastfeeding, and infant health. Award-winning journalist, five-time author, and internationally-recognized advocate for maternal and infant health, Kimberly Sears Allers headlined the second Making Milestones session on the socio-cultural and racial complexities of birth, breastfeeding, and infant health. Kimberly joined regional health leaders, Dr. Cameual Wright, Market Chief Medical Officer of CareSource and Dr. Indy Lane, OB/GYN at Community Health Network to discuss overcoming bias and barriers as we move toward reducing healthcare disparities and strive for authentic engagement for women and families of color. Recap available here.


January 2021 – The Milk Bank is represented on the HMBANA equity committee. This committee, under HMBANA’s leadership, has created, distributed and collected a national survey to assess equity practices in milk banking and will begin to share resources and develop strategies.

Join us in the important work of creating racial equity in Central Indiana.

Email us to learn more.