Racial Equity Initiative - Workplace

The NIDA Racial Equity Initiative Workplace Workgroup recognizes the insidious effects of racism and unconscious bias on our society, the NIDA workplace, and our staff. Through awareness of our current culture, frank discussions, and implementation of subsequent transformative projects and initiatives, we seek to foster an environment in which harassment is not tolerated and promote a culture of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.

DrivePrioritiesProgress to Date
Need for improved culture and climate regarding diversity and inclusion in the NIDA workplace; acknowledgement of previously unassessed and unaddressed effects of racism and harassment; and need for enhancement of anti-harassment expectations and consequences for engaging in disrespectful, uncivil, or harassing conduct.
  • Assess racial & ethnic justice, equity, diversity and inclusion concerns in the workplace
  • Understand concerns around race-based harassment in the workplace
  • Engage community at all levels
  • Identify barriers to diversity and inclusion
  • Foster an environment in which harassment is not tolerated
  • Develop interventions to promote racial & ethnic justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Listening sessions
    • Four listening sessions held
    • Office hours
  • NIDA Climate Survey 
    • Developed for IRP, adapted for HQ
    • External analysis in progress
Next Steps
  • Assessing the NIDA Workplace
    • Plan focus groups and more listening sessions
    • Educate ourselves on disparities and barriers
  • Data-driven focus areas & action items
    • Short-term & long-term plans will be informed by consistent reassessment

Themes from Workplace Listening Sessions:

  • Trust and Transparency are Essential
    • Address concerns about retaliation for speaking up about racism, harassment, or other workplace problems, which inhibits our climate and our growth
    • Diagnose why there is a lack of trust with supervisors, managers, and leadership and then make changes and improvements to create trust
    • Enable opportunities for NIDA staff to get to know/understand each other outside their usual work groups
  • Implicit/Explicit Bias
    • Provide training to staff to become aware and correct implicit biases
    • Educate staff about microaggressions and the existence of discrimination at NIDA so that we can work to change it
  • Multi-dimensional approaches are needed 
    • Provide many and varied forums for open discussion of beliefs, experiences, and concerns so that they can be discussed and understood
    • Remove real and perceived barriers to open communication, input, and feedback
    • Offer additional training and resources for staff to learn at their own pace