November 13-19 is Transgender Awareness Week, a week when transgender people and their allies take action to bring attention to the community. Transgender Awareness Week leads up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, an annual observance that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in anti-transgender violence.
At Central City Concern, we are committed to co-creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization. We know transgender people face systemic barriers to freedom and equality. Transgender people of all ages face the highest rates of violence, harassment and discrimination in the U.S. Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in their life and continue to face significant barriers to equitable employment, housing, health care and public accommodations. Transgender adults who are experiencing homelessness are also more likely to be unsheltered.
Responding with Education
Being a welcoming place for transgender clients, patients and residents is crucial to achieving our mission of helping people overcome barriers and build healthy, housed, resilient and engaged lives. To further our efforts, we are now rolling out the Transgender Awareness and Sensitivity training for all CCC employees.
As CCC’s curriculum designer Caroline Triggs explains, “We recognize in our equity commitment that we need to be supportive and inclusive of everyone. To be able to achieve our mission at CCC, we have to make sure we’re also being equitable, and that we’re looking at everything through an inclusion lens.” CCC serves a gender diverse community and we are a gender diverse workplace. We achieve our mission by supporting all members of our community and workplace.
The initial training is an hour-long virtual module covering topics such as gender identity terminology, microaggressions, the importance of using correct names and pronouns, intersecting identities and more. It also celebrates transgender trailblazers throughout history in the “Transgender Pride” section. CCC also plans to offer more resources to staff in the future.
“I want this training to start building more compassion and empathy, and to really leverage the humanity we’re all part of,” says Caroline. “I hope it shifts the culture toward a more inclusive environment at CCC. Not that we aren’t already inclusive—but we always have work to do, and we should continue to learn and improve. And that’s my goal.”