After using this tool, units should have a clear understanding of how they will move their actions and initiatives forward. Additional tools and resources can be found in our dedicated section of this website.
- Refining your Action Ideas
- Writing your Action Plan
- Anti-Racism & Equity-Informed Action Planning
- After the Plan
Engaging in a proactive planning process that intentionally considers resources, infrastructure, incentives, and accountability needs will position your unit to advance anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) sustainably and iteratively. In addition, it can help to position your efforts as part of your unit’s process of continuous improvement, rather than risk a far too common cycle in which EDI action is organized reactively and only after a major negative event in relation to EDI, thus limiting its effectiveness.
The process of articulating your unit’s plan to advance anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion has a number of benefits:
- It helps your planning team arrive at a common understanding of the vision and expectations of your anti-racism, and EDI work.
- It helps establish and strengthen the working relationships that underpin the success of your initiatives.
- It helps clarify how the work will get done, including roles and responsibilities.
- It provides the information needed to allocate resources (including personnel time) appropriately.
- It provides a reference point for the future.
While creating the plan is an important step, it is always important to remember that planning must be followed by the action necessary to advance anti-racism and EDI. Balance the amount of time and resources spent planning your initiatives with the time and resources needed to enact them. The plan needs to be enacted (and resourced), reviewed, learned from, and adjusted as necessary to move anti-racism and EDI forward.
Start with a shortlist of action ideas, for example, the outcomes of a brainstorming session, data analysis, an assessment tool, or a prioritization exercise.
Ensure your action items are framed as “SMART” goals:
- Specific: Answers the “who, what, where, when, why” of this action.
- Measurable: Contains a clear signal for how you will know when the action has been completed.
- Achievable: Is realistic and something you can picture being accomplished, even if still aspirational.
- Relevant: Aligns with your local strategic plan, mission, or purpose, as well as with the UBC IAP.
- Time-bound: Has a deadline or time frame.
Decide on your planning team, which is anyone who needs to be present. Once decided, it may be useful to develop Terms of Reference as a guiding document on how the team will work together, the vision for the work and high-level objectives. After creating your Terms of Reference, you should have a blueprint for getting your planning team up and running. The next step is to begin activities that will move the team’s mandate forward. Many of the tools in the “Let’s Get Started” Anti-Racism Primer are designed to be used by teams and units and will support dialogue, exploration and planning.
During the process of developing your action plan, consider the questions below. Taking anti-racism and equity principles into account as part of your process of action planning will reinforce your goals of advancing anti-racism and equity. Some questions you might ask include:
- Whose voices and priorities are reflected in the action plan? Whose are missing?
- Has the process for developing the action plan included the input of those who will be most affected by the changes being proposed?
- Is the distribution of responsibilities in the action plan equitable? Are we providing adequate support to the individuals and groups who will be responsible for moving the plan forward?
- How will we ensure we follow through on this action plan? How will we communicate about our progress to those who these initiatives or actions affect?
After you have developed your action plan, develop a process to regularly refer back to your plan and assess whether tasks are progressing. For example, add it as a standing agenda item to a regular meeting, or set a follow-up meeting. You can also identify appropriate opportunities to communicate about progress on the plan within your unit and with OAREHRS. Tools like Envisio also offer support in keeping track of your department’s progress.
In addition, keep in mind that an action plan (both those developed by your unit and GBC’s Anti-Racism Action Plan) are living documents. They can be adjusted as we go, based on new learnings and development.
A downloadable Anti-Racism Action Plan (ARP) Template will be available soon for you to use with your units.