Horizon’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB) Council was established in 2014 to develop, implement and promote its cultural philosophies in treatment, among staff and within the community. Throughout the years, the Council has passionately worked towards bringing forth additional resources, best practices, approaches, and training for everyone at Horizon and our community as a whole. In order to recognize and best understand the work of the Council, we decided to highlight Council members through “Share Your Service” features – first up is Jen Loughran!
Q: Why did you choose Horizon?
I initially chose Horizon after graduating with my MSW from UB because I wanted to be a counselor and had heard what a great company it was to work for by several classmates of mine that had been interns, as well as hearing positive things throughout the community. After working as a counselor for a couple of years, I had moved out of Buffalo. However, after six years of being away, I returned to Buffalo and chose to return to this organization because I wanted to come back to a place where I had felt a sense of belonging and connection.
Q: What is your role at Horizon?
I am the Coordinator of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging (DEIB).
Q: How long have you worked here in total?
The first time around was for almost 2 years, and I’m currently going on 3 years of working here since returning.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day can look a little different. Some days are filled with subcommittee meetings, visiting other teams to educate on DEIB, connecting with other employees throughout the organization during my office hours, and meeting with other staff who I work closely with on DEIB initiatives. Other days are filled with writing internal and external communications, developing trainings and presentations, attending trainings and webinars, and researching DEIB best practices.
Q: How long have you served on the DEIB Council and which subcommittee are you in?
I joined the DEIB Council in early 2019. I initially co-facilitated the Community subcommittee and later had joined the Workforce Development subcommittee, as well. When I had started my new role, I then joined the Clinical subcommittee, which I now also lead, as well as the overall DEIB Council.
Q: What inspired you to join the Council?
I had wanted to join the Council because my passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging has always been a driving force in my life. Both my personal and professional experiences led me to wanting to change the narrative on what DEIB means and to share and educate that narrative for others.
Q: What is one aspect of Horizon’s Stronger Together Culture that you value most?
It is so difficult to pick just one aspect! Ultimately though, I think what I value most is the overall commitment to do better. No matter how much growth and change we make, this work will never stop.
Q: What gives you a sense of belonging at Horizon?
I feel a sense of belonging at Horizon by the way I feel valued and respected by those I work with. In my new role, I’ve been able to meet a lot of new people and have had pretty intimate and thoughtful discussions around DEIB. These discussions are not always comfortable, but most people have been open to what I’ve shared, have been willing to explore further, have expressed appreciation, and have shown respect even in the face of disagreement.
Thank you, Jen, for all of your consistent efforts in making Horizon a more inclusive and equitable workplace!