Collective Action


Collective Action Toward Equity

Treetops Collective is a cross-cultural organization where Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is rooted in everything that we do, every decision we make, every relationship we build.

We exist to serve our entire community and every person within it. As an organization with the core purpose of building belonging, extending radical welcome, and accepting people for their whole selves, our actions are what builds trust.

This commitment to DEI is an ongoing process of learning and growth that each person at Treetops (staff, program members, volunteers, and supporters alike) engage in every step of the way.

Because of the collaborative nature of our work, this DEI statement has been written collaboratively by staff at every level of our organization.

Treetops Collective actively engages in DEI work in the following ways:

Religion: We ask for, listen, and respond to religious accommodations needed across many religions from Christianity, to Islam, to Hinduism. We create an intentional wellness room for staff and community members to use for prayer, meditation, and wellbeing, and offer vegan, vegetarian, and halal meat options at all events and gatherings for inclusivity.

Celebration: We give staff “floating holidays,” to use for the social, religious, or personal holidays that are most important to them. We support the celebration of the many holidays and important days to our team. So far, such celebrations have included World Hijab Day, Afghan New Year (Now Roz), Teej, Eid, Friendsgiving, and Christmas.

Environmental: We decorate our building with community-based art, most created by refugee teens who are paid to learn a new art medium and create art that tells a story of their refugee experience and cross-cultural learning. We offer The 906 space for community-led initiatives and services offered to the public for free. Additionally, we provide a children’s play area next to The 906 Event Room to support attendance and engagement of mothers and parents at community services and events.

Leadership: We consciously step back from local funding opportunities when we see another organization, especially Ethnic Community Based Organizations (ECBOs), interested and able to carry similar work forward and re-align our efforts to support their funding request through grant writing support or letters of support. We recruit and hire diverse leadership. We publicly share our recruitment process and actively seek additional spaces to reach more diverse candidates. We do not require specific education or backgrounds for positions, rather we focus on transferable skills and experiences from all aspects of life: personal, professional, paid or otherwise. We hire managers and leaders with diverse backgrounds (race, religion, language, age) and invest in meeting leaders where they are. 

Communication: We focus on storytelling over marketing: we believe in the power of and connection through storytelling, when someone is ready. Content is only shared with permission and remains unidentifiable for the privacy of each person. We welcome all people and communicate such welcome through our website, physical stickers and signs (such as Black Lives Matter and the Pride flag) and through our radical hospitality towards all who enter our space. Treetops believes in sharing our resources freely with others; we share our internal policies, procedures, and other operational tools with emerging organizations and processions when appropriate to adapt and learn from our history. 

Outside of the structural and procedural steps above, our relational work embodies DEI in many informal ways. Through celebration, support, and community care, it is our relational and human-centered approach that makes us stronger and more inclusive so that everyone can experience true belonging.