The social sector should be a place where diverse populations can gain meaningful employment, feel valued in and contribute to inclusive workplace cultures, have opportunities for advancement to leadership roles, and create programs and practices that reflect and honor communities served. The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ values access, opportunity, and prosperity for all people and supports the organizations in its strategic action network in developing the competencies, practices, and policies to achieve their organizational equity goals for related to their workplace culture, human resources, and leadership and governance.
This is what it will take to embed effective equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies and activities all levels:
- Addressing mental models and supporting behavior change through positive interactions and reinforcement
- Prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion in staff time, budget, and planning
- Mentoring and leadership development that is intentional, interracial, intergenerational
- Engaging leadership boards in training and setting vision
- Addressing gaps in executive recruitment and the use of informal networks in hiring for leadership positions
- Reviewing protocol and policies for implicit bias
- Loosening employment criteria that is unnecessarily restrictive
- Valuing lived experience in the hiring process
- Addressing power dynamics to remove win/lose reaction (“zero-sum bias”)
- Creating positive peer pressure within and between organizations
- Generating interest in a social sector career path starting at high school or earlier
- Creating more pathways to employment for people returning from incarceration
Equity in Action: Case Examples and Resources
Two paths for accelerating equity, diversity, and inclusion in the social sector are organizational journeys—strengthening the relationships organizations have with their communities and other stakeholders—and developing effective leadership pipelines.
Staff, board members, volunteers, and community members learn best through authentic relationships with peers, experts, and other stakeholders within and across systems and sectors.
Here are some ways to start or expand your organization’s equity journey: