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Inclusion Policies

CHUM directly serves two communities within the greater community of Duluth: members of our religious congregations (predominantly white, with relatively greater access to resources) and those who come to us for assistance (people who are experiencing homelessness or hunger, with the least access to resources in Duluth, of whom almost 50% are from Communities of Color). Our by-laws require 15 out of 18 board members to be from CHUM Congregations; this makes it difficult to build board diversity. We will be reviewing our by-laws in 2021 with an eye toward facilitating a more diverse board.


Consistent with our mission statement to “create a more just and compassionate community,” CHUM recognizes that diversity in all its forms is a positive social good, and celebrates the collective talents, points of view, creativity and skills inherent in a diverse community. In November 2015, the CHUM Board committed to affirmative recruitment and hiring to increase the diversity of our staff whenever there were openings. CHUM’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan included a focus on building our capacity and competence to address racial equity.

Striving For Greatness

Where we stand as of 2021:

                                                    % White    % African Heritage    %Native American    %Asian    %Multiracial
City of Duluth                                 89.7                     2.3                             1.8                      1.6                  4.1
CHUM Board                                  100                        0                                0                         0                     0
CHUM Staff (8.21.18)                       76                       15                                9                         0                     0
CHUM Staff (3.15.21)                       60                       28                              12                         0                     0
CHUM Shelter Staff (8.21.18)          58                       25                              17                         0                     0
CHUM Shelter Staff (3.15.21)          21                      36                               43                         0                     0
CHUM Shelter Guests (2020)          52                      21                               18                       18                     7

CHUM provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, and economic position or social class (including status in regard to public assistance) in regard to any position for which the employee or applicant for employment is qualified. 


CHUM takes affirmative steps to employ, advance in employment, upgrade, train and recruit women, persons with disabilities and members of Communities of Color. This policy extends to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, terminations, and leaves of absence, compensation, and training. In addition, CHUM will not use the services of any placement agency known to discriminate in its referrals on the basis of any of the characteristics mentioned above.


CHUM provides equal access to all of our programs, services, and buildings, including the main office, Emergency Shelter, the Drop-in Center, Street Outreach, Food Shelf, Stabilization Services, Steve O’Neil Apartments and any other program we operate or will operate, to all people who are eligible for such services without regard to  race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, and economic position or social class (including status in regard to public assistance). 


CHUM complies with all Federal, State and Local laws with respect to non-discrimination in employment and provision of services. We regularly update our policies to reflect changes that promote inclusion, most recently in September 2016 in response to HUD’s final rule toward to ensure equal access to housing and services in shelters regardless of gender identity. People are welcome to stay in the shelter consistent with their gender identity. We rejected the counter-guidance under HUD Secretary Ben Carson.


CHUM has received support from the American Baptist Foundation and the Duluth Superior Community Foundation to promote cultural competence (and cultural humility) in our member congregations and on our staff. To that end, most of our staff and over 150 of our congregational members have attended workshops on white privilege. We have sponsored three 3-day “Fostering the Roots of Cross Cultural Competency” workshops with Cultural Fluency, Inc., each attended by 24 people. Several years ago, with the Native American Community we co-sponsored a community-wide process and discussion on the film “The Doctrine of Discovery”. Eight of our congregations have featured “The New Jim Crow” and/or “Waking up White” in their book clubs. 


While we know that awareness is important, we also know that it is insufficient without action. CHUM serves as the fiscal sponsor for any organization or project originating from or preferentially benefitting Communities of Color who do not yet have the capacity for independent 501(c)3 standing. Currently we are serving as fiscal sponsor for Natives against Heroin (Duluth), the Bob Tavani Respite House, the Indigenous Commission (especially for Gichi-Ode’ Akiing), and Local Solutions to Poverty. In recent years, we were the fiscal sponsor for Alabama 35 #2, a youth bus trip to important historical sites in the Civil Rights movement, culminating in the National Museum of Peace and Justice (aka National Lynching Memorial). We are honored to be a financial sponsor for events that relate to reducing racial disparities, such as the NAACP and Clayton-Jackson McGhie dinners, Social Justice Socials, Arthur Foy Memorial Scholarships, an ELCA Blanket Exercise training for trainers, and Martin Luther King Day celebrations.


A special note regarding the CHUM Food Shelf: CHUM’s non-discrimination policies are broader than those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The official USDA non-discrimination statement is: 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

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