Retirement community's Diversity & Inclusion Council seeks to enhance understanding and appreciation of individual differences
Catonsville, Md. – June 27, 2019 – This June, Charlestown, a continuing care retirement community developed and managed by Erickson Living, celebrated the rich diversity among residents and staff on campus during LGBTQ Pride Month.
A dedicated team
In 2010, Charlestown formed its own Diversity & Inclusion Council (DIC), a team dedicated to celebrating diversity and creating a more inclusive community that respects and appreciates individual differences. The DIC endorses a broad definition of diversity, and seeks to provide programs and resources that enhance knowledge, encourage understanding and increase inclusion. The Council is comprised of both staff and resident members. The team meets monthly to brainstorm ideas and to plan educational and fun activities around diversity and inclusion for the Charlestown community.
Honoring the past
This year, the DIC focused on LGBTQ history in recognition of the anniversary of the events that happened at Stonewall, which was a turning point for the LGBTQ movement in America. Also this year, for the first time, a rainbow banner, a symbol of the LGBTQ movement, was displayed at the entrance to Charlestown encouraging the community and visitors to join in the celebration of diversity and inclusion.
The DIC also welcomed Dr. Jeanne Stanley, a licensed psychologist, national trainer, publisher author, consultant, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania was as a featured speaker. Her program, entitled "Outing Pride: 100 Years of LGBTQ History", was followed by an engaging and enlightening question and answer session.
During past Pride celebrations, Charlestown has hosted film screenings, panel discussions, other featured speakers and interactive programming to educate community members on respectful ways to address behaviors that may stem from biases others may not even realize that they hold.
"The Charlestown Diversity & Inclusion Council is focused on hosting events and activities that are designed to build awareness, to promote inclusion and to foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable in bringing their "whole self" to work," said Paulette Tansill, Director of Human Resources at Charlestown. "Employees want to work in an inclusive environment. Residents want to live in an inclusive environment. Diversity and inclusion really is a great strength that binds us all together."
Looking towards the future
In addition to celebrating Pride, Charlestown's DIC sponsors programming for Black History Month, Women's History Month, National Day of Prayer, an Annual International Extravaganza, One Maryland One Book Event, Community Unity Tree Trimming, and a unique cooking program that enables residents and staff to share their cultural identities through food and cuisine. They also partner with external communities groups for various outreach projects throughout the year.
"The Diversity & Inclusion Council is active, engaged and continues to seek out opportunities to promote awareness and to provide programs and resources that will build awareness, increase understanding and promote a community of respect and caring that embraces the richness of our diverse employees and residents," said Greg Mazzeo, a member of the DIC and Dining Services team at Charlestown.
About Charlestown: Charlestown, one of 20 continuing care retirement communities developed and managed by Erickson Living®, is situated on a scenic 110-acre campus in Catonsville, Maryland. The community is located in Baltimore County and is home to more than 2,000 residents who are supported by a team of more than 1,200 employees. Additional information about Charlestown can be found at CharlestownCommunity.com.
Photo Caption: Charlestown's dedicated Diversity and Inclusion Council planned several special events honoring the history of the LGBTQ movement to promote awareness and increase understanding during Pride Month 2019.