Open Signal DEI Report from Construct the Present

May 18, 2022

Since our public closure at the start of the pandemic, Open Signal staff, board and community have been working with increased intention to build an equitable future for the media industry in Portland and beyond. We’ve worked collaboratively to examine the way we work and how we can better serve the needs of media makers locally, with the goal of creating more representation and resources for those who have been historically underrepresented and under resourced in the media landscape.

In the first half of 2021, Open Signal partnered with Construct the Present to work on what the future of equity looks like at the organization. Construct the Present is a Portland-based consultant group dedicated to helping workplaces and organizations create a more equitable, supportive, and inclusive future.

At Open Signal that meant taking in feedback and suggestions from those in our community — our producers (the heart of our organization), staff (those entrusted with doing the internal work on behalf of our community) and board (volunteers whose guidance steers us towards a sustainable future for the organization). This report has been a guide as we work on updating our mission statement, values and vision. We are thankful for the honest feedback and conversation that was offered by our community.

Feedback was given in the form of a survey that went out in April 2021, and virtual sessions held in the beginning of May. The results can be seen in a report put together by Construct the Present: Open Signal DEI Report. We acknowledge that naming and addressing the work we need to do to move towards becoming a more equitable organization is just part of the process. In sharing this blog post and full report, we commit to being transparent along the way.

This report includes Areas of Success, as well as Priority Next Steps as informed by recurring themes brought up in the feedback gathered. 

Areas of Success within the organization are:

  • Intersectional Equity is supported by most staff, leadership, board members, and community members. 
  • Positive attitudes and conversations occur about the communities served. 
  • Community and connection are integrated into the organizational culture. 

Priority Next Steps as recommended by Construct the Present are:

  • Repair trust with staff through mediated restorative justice sessions. 
  • Embed Equity Training for leadership, staff, and board members. 
  • Establish multiple channels of communication across organizations that include multiple stakeholders. 
  • Update Mission, Vision, and Values statement to include the LGBTQ+ community, those living with dis/abilities, and communities of color in collaboration with the board members, leadership, and staff. 

Here’s what we have been able to address since this report:

  • Equity trainings have been built in to everyone’s roles — leadership, staff and board members participate in 10 hours (or more) a year of external equity-related trainings and workshops as part of their professional development
  • Our Equity Committee and Leadership team have collaborated on updating our Mission, Vision and Values statement (this is something we are currently working on, we’ll be updating our community as we make progress)

This report was just a starting point! Now that we are a year out from this process, we’re utilizing this information in our efforts towards becoming a more sustainable and equity-centered organization. We commit to staying in conversation with and taking direction from those with lived experience in our community. Keep an eye on our blog for more updates about the work we are doing and opportunities for feedback on this process.

We invite folks to take a look at this report, and let us know what you think! We’re keeping our door open for any and all questions, feedback and concerns. Submit your thoughts here.

Your Open Signal Equity Committee

Elisa Barrios

Rebecca Burrell

KatMeow García

Evelyn Liu

Trish Pietrzyk

Jamie Plakos

Daniela Serna

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