Our JEDI Action Plan consists of specific long-term goals to work towards transforming our workplace, programs, and industries to be more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive.
After two years of hard work, intensive review, and lessons learned, we renamed our Anti-Racist Action Plan as the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Action Plan to be more reflective of the expanded scope of our efforts. Every employee at CET and our parent company, ATA, contributes to this plan, and at the end of every year we come together as an organization to evaluate our progress. Department leaders’ progress reports and goals for the future are evaluated anonymously by volunteers at every level of the organization before being published in preparation for the next year’s work.
What We Accomplished in 2022
Actions to transform our workplace
- We evaluated and refocused our recruiting and hiring efforts, including an emphasis on diversity beyond racial identities. Each new position was advertised to a diverse community of applicants through new platforms, resulting in a larger and more diverse applicant pool.
- We provided better employee support through an updated staff handbook, a revamped mentorship program, and an intentional incorporation of JEDI themes in new staff training.
- We completed a compensation audit and made progress on updating staff salaries to be equitable across the organization and fair within our industries.
- We formalized the structure of our JEDI work by creating a new part-time paid JEDI Coordinator position, hired from within our staff.
Actions to transform OUR PROGRAMS
- We began the work of assessing and updating our online presence for accessibility.
- We’ve changed the way we talk about and represent our programs in our materials—avoiding the blanket use of “diversity” to mean non-white individuals or groups, and addressing intersectionality so that all of our travelers and students can feel represented in our materials.
- We continued our second year of the Curriculum Review project—a three-year initiative in which CET reviews all syllabi and field-based/co-curricular components with a view to identify and interrogate structures of difference, power, and equity.
- We updated how we gather and analyze student demographic data to provide a statistical foundation for our work to increase enrollment of groups historically underrepresented in study abroad.
- Student scholarships (names, applications, and award amounts) were revised to better reflect our goals of increasing study abroad access.
Actions to transform OUR Industries
- Across all of our departments, we audited many of our partners and vendors with an eye to our JEDI values. We asked them about their own JEDI efforts and either learned from them, encouraged them to do better, or found a different vendor.
- In the spring, we hosted a student through the DC Public Schools’ Practicum in Hospitality Services, including developing a curriculum and supporting them through the practicum experience.
- We continued our financial and in-kind support of the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA)—an organization focused on providing scholarships and ongoing support to students who are underrepresented among the U.S. study abroad population.
Planning for 2023
Much of our work in 2022 helped us make progress on long-term goals which we will continue into 2023. Here are some initiatives and goals we will focus on this year:
Actions to transform our workplace
- Increase and diversify our sponsored community service opportunities for employees.
- Use employee engagement surveys to solicit feedback from employees on their ideas and experiences at ATA/CET.
- Continue to incorporate JEDI topics into staff training, with a particular focus on supporting overseas staff.
Actions to transform our PROGRAMS
- Continue our work to evaluate accessibility in the technology we use to market and implement our programs, and make those platforms more accessible as needed.
- Highlight identity-related resources and JEDI-themed content in our student marketing, pre-departure resources, and advising materials.
- Increase our efforts to partner with HBCUs, other minority-serving institutions, and multicultural centers at traditionally white institutions.
- Evaluate our admissions criteria and implement changes that will widen our applicant pool and remove enrollment barriers.
Actions to transform our INDUSTRIES
- Create a system for assessing new vendors for JEDI compatibility, and continue to review our current vendor relationships.
- Continue our financial and in-kind support of the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA).
- Continue to publicly share our JEDI Action Plan progress reports and other JEDI-related topics in newsletters and on our websites.
Of 40 goals we identified for 2022, 8 were marked as complete, 20 had significant progress (but still considered incomplete), 10 were still in the beginning stages, and 2 were incomplete. Many goals shifted and refocused over the course of the year as we continued to settle into the reality of our post-COVID world. We are proud of the progress we’ve made, and of all that we’ve learned in the past year. We hope that this progress demonstrates a mindset shift, where each of us embed our values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into the core of what we do at ATA, instead of seeing JEDI work as a box to check once a year.
35 goals have been identified for 2023, many of which are continuations of 2022 (and even some 2021) goals. This represents our commitment to the long-term nature of this work and the understanding that we’re running a marathon, not a sprint. We hope you’ll run with us into 2023.