Defining (and REdefining) Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for the ODD team
Open to the entire admin team, and fully paid for by ODD, we are taking DEI training together via Whiteness at Work.
We’ve established the new role of DEI Manager at ODD, along with an ODD Community Committee, whose purpose is to review concerns from staff regarding any and all community issues to start the conversations around these concerns in an effort to make ODD the best community and work environment we can while fostering growth and supporting our ODDfam.
We’re working to create a system by which students can also submit concerns!
Our DEI Manager will be leading bi-monthly staff meetings for our DEI/Social Justice work
Updating Hiring & Training procedures for teachers & desk staff
We’ve rewritten our mission statement to make our zero-tolerance-for-hate stance more upfront and active, and we’re working to update our employee manual for desk staff to include more inclusive practices for welcoming new students to the studio.
We’re also working on ways to make our teacher hiring and training process more inclusive and to better foster the growth of new teachers, especially teachers of color and those from historically marginalized communities.
Introducing ODDgives & Pay What You Can classes
One of the ways we are fostering the growth of new teachers (while also providing more affordable options for students) is with our Pay What You Can classes! These classes are led by instructors that are new to teaching – including many that have completed our 200 and 300-hour teacher training programs – and operate on a pay-what-you-can scale for students.
We’ve also updated our already in-practice donation classes! These classes are both fundraiser classes for a non-profit of the teacher’s choosing and/or affinity classes for students from historically marginalized communities. Holding these classes is something we’ve done at ODD for years, but we’re re-committing to them this year, with the new name and a minimum commitment of at least one offering a month.
Continuing to amplify marginalized voices (and working to amplify even more)
On our social media and in our newsletters, we’ve always made an effort to be vocal about issues in our community, both here in LA and in the country at large, but we recognize that we can still do better. We’re passing the mic more in 2023, with social media campaigns for not only Black History Month and Pride Month (as we’ve done in the past), but also Hispanic & Latine Heritage Month, Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and more. We also recognize that one month of the year to celebrate all the cultures and people of our community is not enough, so we’ve focused on continuing these efforts and offerings outside of just those months.
Carrying brands in the shop that are owned by a diverse group of people has always been an effort of ours, but we’re diving into the nitty gritty this year. We will be performing an in-house audit of the brands we carry in our retail shop to ensure that we are uplifting and supporting small businesses owned by an array of people.
These are just some of the ways we’re re-committing to the work this year. The reality of running a small business in a post-2020 world is a tough one. It’s taken most of our attention over the past couple of years just to stay afloat as a business, but we’re so excited to re-focus ourselves on this important work.