Since our earliest days in San Francisco’s Chinatown and North Beach Communities in the early 1970s, On Lok has worked tirelessly to give a voice to marginalized groups, advocate for access to health care, and build a diverse workforce. We are committed to an inclusive and equitable workspace and community, and continue our legacy of cultural compassion and understanding, by continuously learning about the care needs of seniors with more diverse needs and backgrounds.
On Lok is proud of its sustained effort to engage with diverse communities. In 1995, we brought new services into the Mission neighborhood, where our 30th Street Senior Center enhanced the lives of more than 2,000 Latinx older adults each year. In 1996, On Lok partnered with the Institute on Aging (IOA), broadening our reach into the Western Addition, Richmond, and Sunset neighborhoods of San Francisco. In 2002, On Lok stepped beyond San Francisco County, and expanded senior care to the East Bay and later the South Bay, bringing together staff and participants from different diverse cultures and ethnic groups, including East Asian communities and religious communities such as Sisters of the Holy Family and the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. And, in 2018, Openhouse invited On Lok into a partnership to improve access to care for LGBTQ+ seniors by providing culturally sensitive and competent care and programs created by and with the LGBTQ+ community.
Each of these events brought opportunities for reflection and growth, and the On Lok staff involved in these programs continue to work tirelessly to support these communities and their needs, showing us change is possible.
We are dedicated to making On Lok more inclusive, not just for today but for our future, and the following declaration is the first step and a work in progress for our journey.
At On Lok, we recognize that an imbalance of power, access, resources, and life opportunities has led to health disparities and inequities. We address this imbalance by advocating and pioneering programs that empower all individuals to age with dignity and independence.
We believe our work in our communities has been welcomed and unwavering because of our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion throughout our workforce and organizational culture. We not only celebrate but also act upon the strengths of diverse experiences within our communities and among our employees.
As our organization evolves, we remain committed to leading sustainable efforts to embrace and actualize Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in every aspect of our work.