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Diversity, Inclusion & Racial Equity at Open Sky

Open Sky's Race Equity Statement:

Open Sky Community Services is committed to becoming anti-racist, celebrating diversity and creating an environment that provides a safe, inclusive and equitable space for all by fostering growth and healing. We will create, promote and uphold policies, practices, attitudes and actions that create unbiased power and access to opportunities for our community.

If you witness or experience discrimination or racism,

If while working at Open Sky you witness or experience discrimination or racism, we encourage you to speak up. Even if you aren't sure, don't be quiet about it. Find the printable poster here. 

Employees can easily submit an incident report at openskycs.org/speakup or reach out to the Diversity/Race Equity Office.

Text or Call: (508) 318 - 7385

Email: diversity@openskycs.org

This process is confidential and you're protected against retaliation. Open Sky's leadership will follow up with an appropriate response. We can't do this without you!

Report an incident

Black History; One Step Forward, Three Steps Backward, the US, Reconstruction, and Today!

CARE Chat, February 7, 2024 - Robert T. Jones is a versatile and accomplished consultant in DEI, Leadership and Nonviolence. He has served as the Program Director for the National Conference for Community and Justice in Rhode Island and the Southeastern New England Region. Mr. Jones holds the esteemed position of Chief Empowerment Officer at T. Lee Associates, following his role as Senior Associate Director of Multicultural Education at the College of the Holy Cross.

A Message of Unity and Support - August 30, 2023

As an organization devoted to helping people who are marginalized and supporting youth in being themselves and finding their open sky, we express our condemnation of the various acts of violence recently committed against members of the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. 

We also express our strong support for youth in schools where policies are unwelcoming and harmful to their wellbeing.  LGBTQIA+ youth experience bullying, isolation, depression and suicide at rates far higher than those of the general student population.  Compassion, acceptance and safety are the values we most strongly advocate for all youth in all schools.  

– Open Sky Community Services

Honoring Black History Month:
Reforming the Criminal Justice System Speaker Panel

Over 80 people joined our February 14th virtual event to learn about racial injustice in the criminal legal system and the work being done to change it. Thank you to all of our speakers for sharing your knowledge and lived experiences: Shira Diner, Shayla Mombeleur, Sashi James (Families for Justice as Healing), Mallory Hanora (Families for Justice as Healing), Janasia Williams-Thompson (Sisters Unchained), Patty DeJuneas, Sean Ellis, & William Allen. This virtual event is in honor of Black History Month in collaboration with Central Community Health Partnership, Open Sky, Venture Community Services, and Steward Health Care Network.

Call Scripts, Research Articles, & More Resources


Webinar: The Legacy of Juneteenth with Brenda Figueroa

The C.A.R.E. Team invited Brenda Figueroa, Grant and Contract Administrator at Brown University, to host a webinar on June 17th about the history and importance of Juneteenth, also known as "Freedom Day" and "Jubilee Day", commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.

Following the presentation, Open Sky employees engaged in a meaningful discussion about allyship and amplifying BIPOC people. Watch the recording below!


CARE Team Race Equity Symbol and Talking Points


Beginning in June 2020, all employees of Open Sky were invited to participate in initial listening sessions about racism.  Four different sessions were held, and then all who participated came together in one larger group – now called CARE – Committee Advancing Race Equity.

CARE’s Role

Since Summer 2020, CARE has had focused and healthy discussions, provided input and oversight of the selection of the Race Equity Consultants, and supported the development of the assessment process. CARE is comprised of Open Sky staff members passionate about being an actively anti-racist organization. 

A Symbol of Organizational Commitment and Hope for the Future

In addition, CARE developed a symbol and talking points as an expression of Open Sky’s organizational value around anti-racism and equity. The symbol is comprised of words shared at the initial listening sessions when people were asked what they were hoping for.

Part of a New Strategic Priority

This symbol and the talking points are part of a larger plan to make Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a strategic priority for Open Sky.  In Open Sky's Strategic Plan, this is Strategic Priority #6: "A Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Organization - Collaborate with employees, people served and the community to create and support a welcoming and just environment which advances diversity, equity and inclusion for all."

Why this matters:  (In the words of Race Equity Manager, Stephen OseiBonsu) 

“The successes we make in the advancement of racial equity and inclusion will result in making us the preferred place to work, highly respected by stakeholders, attract the best talent and inspire high performance.”

For More Info, or if You Need Help

If you have any questions, please reach out to Race Equity Manager Stephen OseiBonsu at stephen.oseibonsu@openskycs.org.


Talking Points


Starting the Journey: Becoming A Leader in Anti-Racism, Inclusion and Diversity

As we continue with efforts to make Open Sky a leader in anti-racism, inclusion and diversity, I am delighted to report that we have selected consultants that we believe are well positioned to help guide us through the process. Maria Latimore and P. Stewart Lanier, affiliate consultants with the Interaction Institute for Social Change, bring a wealth of experience to table.

Our first step will be to complete a comprehensive organizational assessment. To this end, we have convened a Racial Equity Launch Team that, along with myself, Kelley Gamble, VP of Community Engagement, and the Committee Advancing Racial Equity will work closely with the consultants throughout the assessment process. The Committee Advancing Racial Equity (CARE) was created through the merger of our original four Feedback Groups.

The assessment process is expected to take about two months and will include the involvement of many in the organization from the front-line to the board of directors. The membership of the Launch Team reflects the diversity of Open Sky and includes participants at various levels from across the agency as well as a representative from the Board.

I am pleased with the progress we have made so far, and fully understand that we are just beginning this journey and we have a lot of work ahead of us! I’ll continue to keep you updated. – Ken Bates, President and CEO


Read the Official Statement from Kenneth J. Bates, President & Chief Executive Officer of Open Sky Community Services from June 2020.


Land Acknowledgment

Open Sky Community Services would like to acknowledge that our programs and services inhabit on the traditional lands of the Nipmuc People. The word Nipmuc comes from an Algonquin Indian word, Nippenet, which roughly translates to "the freshwater pond place".

We pay respect to the Nipmuc Nation and elders both past and present. We acknowledge the truth of many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement, as well as generations of survival and resiliency that bring us together here today.

Learn more about the Nipmuc Nation and land acknowledgment at:




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