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Continuing the Conversation
Thoughts and Tools about EDI 
                                                             Aug. 12, 2021
EDItorial: Moving forward and speaking the same language

I am thrilled to join CDHS as the new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director. This has been a tough year to be an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) practitioner, but it has also been one filled with opportunity as more people have become aware of the need for EDI and eager to get involved. The work that CDHS has embarked on this past year leaves me hopeful. My goal is to continue to build upon our successes and foster an environment of inclusion in all of our work spaces and with all of our clients. 

As I acclimate to CDHS and review previous EDItorials, I can appreciate the diversity of topics and messaging. We want to continue to hear from as many voices as possible, and I encourage those of you who feel that your perspectives have not been shared to volunteer to write an EDItorial. The best way to do EDI work is to make sure everyone is heard. We do not always have to agree, but we do need to listen with intent to learn from one another. 

In order to continue to have constructive conversations, I find it helpful to make sure we are all speaking the same language, or at least using the same definitions. My family and I learned this lesson when we first moved to California. My parents had migrated from Cuba just a few years earlier and we were excited to move to a predominantly Mexican neighborhood where everyone spoke Spanish. What we didn’t know was that the word for washing dishes in Castilian Spanish was an insult in Mexican Spanish. We learned the hard way that even innocent words can be harmful when misinterpreted. 

To assist us in continuing this dialogue, next month we will be starting a new segment, Name that Term. We will be discussing EDI terms that are used in different ways so that we can start using a shared vocabulary. I invite you to share terms that you would like to learn more about by emailing the EDI inbox

Since its inception, the Continuing the Conversation newsletter has been a space for us to share our thoughts and an opportunity to learn from one another’s perspectives. We hope to continue to spark your desire to explore topics that make you curious, or perhaps even uncomfortable, but that keep the conversation going. 


Francesca Galarraga

EDI Director
The Belonging Project Book Club

The Belonging Project Book Club invites all employees to discuss "Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn't Designed for You" by Jenara Nerenberg from 1-2 p.m. Aug. 27. While this book focuses on neurodivergent women — those with autism, ADHD, synesthesia and other sensory processing differences — it also explores ways we can all  understand our fundamental differences.

Sign up to join the conversation >>
Explore neurodiversity: what it is, how to talk about it and more 

An Introduction to Neurodiversity webinar, 1-2 p.m. Aug. 19. Presenter Dr. Siva Priya Santhanam from Metropolitan State University of Denver will help define neurodiversity, explore issues of stigma, provide language for discussing this important topic and suggest key workplace accommodations to support neurodivergent individuals.

Register here >>
Share your story

The Belonging Project wants to hear from you! We’re looking for contributors to share their expertise and experiences. Just as our experiences are different, so are the ways we choose to express them. Writing an article or poem, sharing artwork or creating a video are just a few ways you can share your perspective. If you’d like to contribute to one of the monthly themes below, let us know >> 

●  September: Latinx and Hispanic heritage 
●  October: Disability awareness
●  November: Indigenous heritage
●  December: Classism and poverty
August observances

Did you know that Aug. 13 is National Left Handers Day? Or that Aug. 30 is National Grief Awareness Day? Important but lesser-known observances are included in the image above. To see a larger version and learn more about each of the August observances, click on the image or here
How to get involved

Want to get more involved in EDI at CDHS? Check out the links below!

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, dedicated to exploring and advancing EDI at CDHS

Interest Form

The Belonging Project

Who We Are
Interest Form


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We'd love to hear from you!

This EDI publication is the product of the tremendous effort and dedication of passionate CDHS employees across the organization. Your feedback is always welcome. 

We’d also love to hear how your divisions, offices and teams are using EDI to create a more inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and creates a sense of belonging. Please direct any updates, questions or comments to the EDI inbox.
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