Announcing SAFE’s new API/Pan-Asian Staff Task Force

Written by SAFE

Last week, a group of SAFE staff gathered to discuss the creation of a new staff task force for colleagues that identify as Asian, Pacific Islander, Pan-Asian, or other similar identities.

Recognizing the imperative role that our API and Pan-Asian colleagues and friends play in the community, this new task force is working to find ways to both support staff at SAFE and better represent SAFE to the larger API/Pan-Asian community in Central Texas.

This new staff task force will join a cadre of incredible SAFE staff task forces that work to ensure the agency is serving clients and addressing the community with cultural competency, as well as providing a supportive space for staff.

These current SAFE staff task forces include the Black/African-American Staff Task Force, the Latinx Staff Task Force, the LGBTQIA+ Staff Task Force and the Men’s Engagement Group. A bit more information about each task force is below.

The Black / African American Staff Task Force

The most established of the task forces, the Black/African-American Staff Task Force works to improve SAFE’s response to the needs of Black/AA clients and staff by promoting cultural competency, outreach and engagement, and equitable access to leadership roles.

First formed in 2014, the BAASTF developed SAFE’s first task force charter, which outlined the mission and goals of the BAASTF, and serves as template for other important SAFE task forces that have formed over the years. In addition to collecting and addressing concerns expressed by Black/AA staff and clients, the BAASTF has created a number of annual outreach events, including a Black History Month potluck, a Back to School Hair Event, and a strong SAFE presence at Juneteenth, Black Pride, and MLK Day events.

The task force has also used social media to communicate solidarity with community members affected by recent crimes against the Black/AA community, as well as the Asian community and other communities of color as well as other Marginalized communities.

The Latinx Staff Task Force

The SAFE Latinx Staff Task Force works to improve SAFE response to the needs of Latinx and/or Spanish-speaking clients and staff by promoting cultural and linguistic competency, outreach and engagement, and equitable access to leadership roles.

The task force has held a number of internal events for Spanish-speaking staff, including a tortilla making workshop, a book club, and a potluck. They also work to influence the agency social media outreach to the Latinx and/or Spanish-speaking community.

The LGBTQIA+ Staff Task Force

The LGBTQIA+ Task Force works to improve SAFE culture and client services by educating about issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community and striving to make SAFE representative, inclusive, healing, and just.

The task force develops and facilitates internal learning opportunities for staff, organizes art opportunities for youth in the community, and works with the children’s shelter to review documentation procedures for trans and nonbinary residents.

The task force has also created SAFE Pride shirts, and works to promote accurate and inclusive representation of the LGBTQIA+ community in SAFE’s marketing and outreach.

Men’s Engagement Group

The Men’s Engagement Group was established for SAFE employees, volunteers, and community members to bring their skills, experiences, relationships, and knowledge to advise SAFE on ways to better engage people who identify as men.

This includes organizing the annual SAFEMen Forum, movie screenings, community discussions, and other public events to discuss the role men play in preventing violence and abuse and advise others on ways to model healthy masculinity.