Advocate Staff Report
The City of Everett recently held its Lunch and Learn for the month of October at City Hall. This month’s program was “Safe & Brave Spaces: Real Talk on Inclusivity.”
Lunch and Learn is a monthly program created and moderated by the City of Everett’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Cathy Draine. It allows City employees to come together, share ideas and experiences and discuss new topics while enjoying lunch. The series is a part of the City’s commitment to engage, educate and elevate.
The special guest speaker was Thaddeus Miles, who is the senior director of diversity initiatives for MassHousing and a photographer. He is known for his candor and commitment to supporting innovative strategies to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals and families across the Commonwealth. Miles, whose career spans over 30 years, has served in many roles, including public safety, head of community services for MassHousing and numerous board roles that impact the lives of tens of thousands Massachusetts residents each year. He has also gained insights and strategies from his international work at Harvard Law School and community/urban planning programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
During the program, Miles talked about inclusivity and how managers can build a culture and community within their teams and with other teams in an organization. He spoke about ways he promotes inclusivity within his own teams by having hard conversations with coworkers and getting to know each other on a work and personal level. Miles challenged attendees to measure how they feel their manager and the organization as a whole are inclusive. This was done through a scale he created that asks questions pertaining to different aspects of a successfully inclusive organization and culture. Participants would have to give an answer between one and four with four meaning it is done exceptionally well.
City employees and managers learned about the importance of making those who serve inside and outside of your team comfortable to be able to express themselves. This allows team members to build a community in the workplace – not be closed off – to be who you are and be valued.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria would like to thank Miles for sharing his knowledge and expertise at October’s Lunch and Learn program.