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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access

Minnesota Board on Aging Diversity Equity & Inclusion Statement
The Minnesota Board on Aging (MBA) is committed to helping every older Minnesotan age well and live well. To achieve this goal, we work to eliminate the institutional barriers and social inequities that keep some older Minnesotans from thriving. We will work toward a Minnesota where every older resident feels safe, secure, valued, and respected.

MBA Diversity Equity & Inclusion Strategic Planning Directive
The  Minnesota Board on Aging began its diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) strategic planning work in the summer of 2020, a time where our nation was engulfed in multiple crises involving the unnecessary death of George Floyd and other Black Americans, the COVID-19 pandemic and historic levels of unemployment and economic stress. The MBA developed its DEI Strategic Planning Directive, which is a living document, and may need to be updated to reflect the societal changes that shape our work.

Part 1 – Focus
The Older Americans Act requires that OAA-funded services target people in the greatest social and economic need. To address this requirement, the Minnesota Board on Aging will target their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to address the needs of older adults in the following categories:

  • low-income older adults
  • older adults who identify as American Indian
  • older adults who identify as Black, Asian Pacific Islander, and/or Latinx
  • older adults who live with a disability, including those living with mental health conditions andmental illnesses
  • older adults who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer (GLBTQ)
  • older adults who are new immigrants
  • older adults with limited English proficiency
  • older adults who live in rural areas
  • older adults who are veterans

Part 2 - Mission
The Minnesota Board on Aging is committed to creating access, inclusion, and equity for those older adults affected by bias, discrimination, and inequity due to their social identities, including race, ethnicity, class, nationality, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and religion, among others. The Minnesota Board on Aging will bring a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens to all its work and is committed to following its DEI Strategic Plan in order to ensure all its communication, products, and services are inclusive, accessible, and equitable.

Part 3 - Vision
The Minnesota Board on Aging will work collaboratively to create a State of Minnesota where every older adult has access to the resources and support they need not just to survive but to thrive. This will be a State of Minnesota free from the bias, discrimination, and inequity that disproportionately affects those older adults with marginalized identities.

Part 4 - Values
The Minnesota Board on Aging will drive all its efforts, including those focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), forward using the following values:

  • Collaboration
    All work, including DEI work, must be collaborative in order to ensure the inclusion of voices and perspectives that have traditionally been marginalized. The Minnesota Board on Aging will work with existing organizations and communities in order to be part of broader efforts at serving those older adults facing bias, discrimination, and oppression.
  • Intersectionality
    The Minnesota Board on Aging’s approach to their DEI work will be intersectional, recognizing that all our social identities, including race & ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion, class, nationality, etc. impact how we move in the world, how we are treated, and what resources we are able to access.
  • Accessibility and Transparency
    The work of the Minnesota Board on Aging must be accessible to all older adults, not just those with easy access to resources. All communication, products, and services will be designed with user accessibility in mind. The Minnesota Board on Aging’s DEI work will also be open and transparent, with mechanisms in place for individual and community feedback.
  • Strategic Approach
    The Minnesota Board on Aging will approach its DEI work in a strategic way, recognizing that organizational transformation will take time, commitment, and effort, and it cannot achieve every goal at once. The Minnesota Board on Aging will prioritize its DEI work, ensuring that all resources necessary for this work will be available.

Part 5 - Diversity Committee
The Minnesota Board on Aging’s Diversity Committee will be responsible for:

  • Development and implementation of a DEI Strategic Plan
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the ongoing work of the DEI Strategic Plan
  • Communicating with MBA constituents and stakeholders about any and all DEI-related work

Part 6 - DEI Strategic Planning
The Minnesota Board on Aging will develop a two-three year DEI Strategic Plan, in order to prioritize their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The Diversity Committee will be responsible for development of the DEI Strategic Plan, ensuring the strategic planning process is accessible, transparent, and inclusive of all MBA constituents and stakeholders, particularly those with marginalized and underrepresented identities.

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