Having an organization that stands with diversity, equity and inclusion goes further than having a well put together diversity, equity and Inclusion (DE&I) statement on your website. Trust, I know, as I have been commissioned to write them a time or two.
Today, people are looking for organizations whose statements are not only bold and out front but who are walking the walk and standing up for injustice. Having DE&I woven into an organization's core values is key which is why having the conversation about diversity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector seems misplaced.
However, nonprofit organizations are notorious for lacking diversity in their board members. This blind spot can cause many problems with running your organization to effectively meet the intent of its mission to improve community relations. Understanding implicit and/or unconscious biases is key to opening opportunity to equity in the nonprofit sector.
Here are three steps to get you on your way to having your nonprofit open the doors for inclusion, not only to potential board members but also to the community you serve.
- Open your board recruitment and staff hiring to talented candidates from underrepresented groups.
- Hire a web design and development studio such as Lucid Fox, who specializes in ensuring your website is inclusive and accessible and can help you to re-evaluate words and images.
- Ensure your nonprofit organization is transparent with its DE&I efforts and listens to the voices directly from the community, grassroots, and/or youth leaders in low-income, under-served or marginalized populations within the areas it serves.
Acknowledging the journey towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion has no fixed start or endpoint and doesn’t look the same for every organization is a great way to get your stakeholders on board. Become a change agent in the nonprofit sector and celebrate the milestones along the way!
Lekeshia Angelique is a life and business coach, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant, and heart-centered entrepreneur. She has worked for one of the most diverse organizations in the world and coaches organizations large and small on the importance of diversity and inclusion to their success and scalability. Find her at loveherwellness.com.