Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Equity is both a process and an outcome. It is the process of recognizing historical legacies and current realities of discrimination and prejudice that people from marginalized communities experience. The outcome is that one’s identity or zip code does not predict the measure of success or disparities in access to resources, opportunities, and results; which in turn, are maintained by systems of power, privilege and supremacy.

Racial inequities are not random. Unfair and unjust government policies and practices have created and sustained inequities over time. To achieve racial equity, we must deconstruct the systems we interact with every day to understand the ways in which they create harm. Using a racial equity framework and applying a “systems thinking” approach means embarking on a process of looking at underlying structures, cause and effect relationships, and interdependencies among various parts of a whole system with the goal of developing effective, feasible solutions that address underlying causes of problems.

SPW examines an organization’s strategic planning and business processes; systems, corporate culture; its community engagement; and how it measures success. We apply a racial equity lens to policies and procedures, infrastructure, land use, comprehensive planning, community resilience, hazard mitigation, transportation, and culturally-competent community engagement initiatives.

We help organizations to:


Racial Equality Framework

Accountability Framework

Client Projects

DEI Organizational Development Consulting
Arlington Co. , VA Government

Partnering with Zelos, LLC, SPW is engaged to develop and facilitate DEI interventions that include conducting racial equity assessments; facilitating diversity, equity and inclusion workshops (virtually and in-person); conducting culturally-competent community engagement; and facilitating a leadership development series of workshops, based on culturally-competent leadership behaviors.

SPW supports the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI), as needed, with data collection, data analysis, and equity reporting. We assess and evaluate policies, plans, procedures, and programs through an equity lens.

Diversity, Cultural Competency and Organizational Assessment, State of TN, Department of Children’s Services
SPW was engaged to assist the agency to conduct and monitor the strategic planning process, which required development of a Child Welfare Practice Model, state-wide organizational assessment (of 6,500 employees), cultural competency training, strategic staffing study, revised job descriptions and community engagement focus groups.

Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge Grant, Memphis, TN
SPW was engaged to apply a racial equity lens to the catalytic moments created by big investments in infrastructure, transit, housing, health, and climate change. The equity plan and assessment tool were applied to all projects requesting funding from the $22 million SPARCC funding pool. Working with community stakeholders, the City of Memphis and non-profit organizations, The plan operationalized racial equity; short-term and long-term outcomes; success indicators; metrics; and proposed stakeholders.


Equity Organizational Assessment, Shelby County, TN Government
Small Planet Works, Inc. was a project manager for Shelby County Government’s 5-Year Financial & Strategic Management Plan – In a joint venture, SPW and Public Financial Management (PFM), were engaged to conduct an extensive, year-long financial examination and business process reengineering effort of the County’s nine divisions, including the jail, the corrections facility, public works, the courts, human resources, and information technology functions. SPW conducted organizational assessment interviews with over 700 of the County's 5,800-employee base. The study resulted in the identification of cultural and climate issues; financial and resource gaps; opportunities for revenue recovery; scope of governance restructuring, and operational efficiencies.


Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County Settlement Agreement
Memphis, TN Pursuant to a Settlement Agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County, SPW was engaged to monitor and report on implementation of corrective action in policies, procedures and practices; staff capacity building; and decision-making in the disposition of minors presented before the court. Reporting to the responsible County Commissioner, SPW facilitated coordination and training of community court monitors; coordination with Department of Justice monitors; updating county administration; and reporting on outcomes.

All of SPW's DEI work is supported by our culturally-competent community engagement model. Our facilitators represent the diversity of your client base and your employee workforce. We speak four languages and possess years of experience in adult education.

Let us assist you: 901.521.1129 or jabanks@smallplanetworks.com

How can we help you? To discuss how our team can help your business achieve true results, please contact us or 901.521.1129.