In 2015, Peer Health Exchange made a bold commitment to moving from intent to action on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Today, we are an organization predominantly staffed by people of color that openly and directly discusses how white supremacy culture shows up in our workplace and have designed/are testing prototypes to combat those behaviors internally. Now, we are looking ahead to becoming an organization where a young person we serve could one day see themselves thriving here as an employee.
Young people of color, queer and trans young people, genderqueer young people and young people from low-income socio-economic backgrounds or with different abilities, and especially those at the intersection of these identities often don’t get to access the health knowledge and resources that they need and deserve.
Because of this, they experience worse health and life outcomes in many different ways.
This isn’t fair, and it isn’t right. It endangers young people and threatens their futures, damages families and communities, and makes all of us less healthy and prosperous overall.
When I joined Peer Health Exchange in 2014, I had the exciting and daunting task of building out Peer Health Exchange’s first-ever full Talent team. Coming into a still predominantly white organization, I saw both the challenge and potential of where we could go with a stronger focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion work. I made strong, early progress on building systems and practices to support our staff.
From hiring and retaining folx of color to building inclusive talent systems and clarifying our organizational culture to bolstering our approach to competitive, equity-based total compensation, I feel proud of how much Peer Health Exchange has changed. Now we look ahead to building a Peer Health Exchange where a young person we engage with through our work could one day see themselves thriving here as an employee. As Louise shares, we’ve also made important progress on who shows up in classrooms. Our curriculum is now more inclusive and culturally appropriate.
Since launching our 1st Youth Advisory Board in 2020, we’re also continuing to build ways to collaborate directly with young people to deliver even more on impact. In 2019, I launched our ambitious 1st Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategy; our 2-year plan to shift our organization to one that fully operates from an equity lens and centers the voices of our core stakeholders (high school students and college student facilitators).
As we look forward to our next phase of growth, our focus is to build on where we’ve been successful while learning from our missteps and improving on them. We know we can’t do this work alone. To make our vision a reality for young people, we all must play a part. We’re ready to catapult into this next phase of Peer Health Exchange and we ask that you join us in this transformation!
- Osayuware (Tina) Enagbare
Chief Operating Officer, Peer Health Exchange
Racial identity, socio-economic status/class, gender identity/genderqueer, or sexual orientation should not determine whether young people can make the choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life.
We trust young people as the experts on their own experience of their identity, community, and health.
Together, we must dismantle the systems of oppression that threaten young people’s health. As a part of that work, we support young people to empower themselves by making active, informed choices about their health.
To change the system we have to mobilize people that mirror and show up for the young people and communities we serve who are most affected by this oppression.
We work to create a diverse, inclusive, and supportive working environment to attract and retain staff members from diverse backgrounds, particularly those that mirror the backgrounds of young people we serve. We commit to ensuring that every member of our team has the knowledge, training, and self-awareness they need to deliver on our vision, diversity philosophy, and core values.
Learn more about our commitment, goals and outcomes towards equity, and how we’re holding ourselves accountable.