For the first time in our team’s history, we have created our first ever Equity and Diversity plan! We made this plan to better increase the diversity of our team, and ended up submitting it to FIRST. As the only FRC team in the state of Alaska, our team covers an incredibly large amount of geography, and we want our team to be accessible to everyone. We came together as a team and determined four areas in which we wanted to focus our efforts to increase diversity: recruitment, roles on the team, supporting new members, and creating a welcoming team environment. To address these focus areas, we came up with seven objectives to help us support those focus areas that we could measure at the end of the season. They are as follows:
- End of season survey reports at least 80% of students felt accepted and welcomed on team
- Match racial and cultural diversity to be within five percent of Alaska population in all categories.
- The team is accessible to those with disabilities
- 20% of students indicate eligibility to free/reduced lunch
- 35% of students are in locations outside of Anchorage
- Increase female representation on the team to at least fifty percent, with at least half on build.
- Make team accessible to English Language learners (ELL)
We then came up with a list of tasks that fell under those seven objectives. For example, one of our tasks was to create recruitment video that includes gender and racially diverse team members. This task would support objective 2 and objective 6. We have created a timeline with start and end dates to help keep us on task with all of our tasks to complete, and our efforts include both long and short term goals, so we will not be done with our goals until around October of 2021.
We are proud to announce that our Equity and Diversity plan received an almost $5,000 grant from FIRST to help support our efforts to make our team accessible to everyone.