Introduction: The Sum of All Parts

LEARN’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Journey: 2021–2022 Annual Report

While the world we live in today is challenging in so many respects, I ─ like most on our team ─ am undeterred because the work we do at LEARN matters so much to the families we serve.  

One of the biggest opportunities we have to tackle those challenges is the incredible diversity we have – of thought, of origin, of lived experiences. That’s why the diversity, equity and inclusion journey we’re on matters so much to the success of our organization, and to our field. 

In this report, we are proud to share some highlights of our DEI work to date. And while our initial efforts have largely been focused internally, LEARN was honored to share more on our intentional initiatives with the broader community. In 2021, LEARN staff presented “The Case for (more) Diversity” at the 2021 Autism Investor Summit and participated in “Starting the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Journey: An Interactive Panel” for a Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) webinar. 

As we look forward to building towards our vision of a highly diverse, supremely equitable and completely inclusive organization, I couldn’t be more excited. Every day we are welcoming new staff to our organization that share our values and have a passion to make our organization better. We are creating more paths for diverse team members to build their careers with us. We are serving more diverse communities through our partnership with 17 different state Medicaid programs.  

I look forward to continuing to make meaningful progress towards our vision. We don’t have all the answers, and we know there is much more work to be done. But we are proud of the steps our team has taken to begin the journey. And it is a journey. One that will take time, resources and a willingness to endure. But we are optimistic, energized,  and above all, committed, about the potential of what’s to come. 

#ourworkmatters #togetherwecan 

Justin Funches
President, Autism Services