Introduction

Many community-based organizations implicitly align with diversity and inclusion (D&I) as values. And for many, their very mission is to serve historically marginalized populations. Yet, enrolling diverse populations in your programming is not the end of the implementation of D&I values.

In today’s 2 Tips, we encourage community-based programs to advance their staff team’s implementation of D&I in order to effectively advance their missions.

Tip 1

Define D&I in a way that your entire staff team memorizes and internalizes the purpose and value of D&I.

Tip 2

Ensure that D&I strategies are in three places in your programs, including the recruitment and enrollment layer, the curriculum/services implementation layer, and the completion and follow-up layer.

Possible Definitions of Diversity & Inclusion

The following lists of possible definitions can be jumping off points for your staff team to build a clear definition of D&I. 

Diversity

Option 1: Individual and group differences that can be engaged to positively impact programming and administrative functions.

Option 2: The full spectrum of human demographic differences, including race/ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical disability, and so forth.

Option 3: Physical and social differences among individuals, creating a group, community, or organization which maintains variability in its social and cultural characteristics.

 

Inclusion

Option 1: Active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diverse persons and groups throughout all levels of the organization and across all direct stakeholder groups.

Option 2: A culture and climate that conveys that diverse persons and groups belong in the space, conveying to employees that that are valued, respected, accepted, and encouraged to fully participate in the organization.

Option 3: Actions taken to create involvement and environments for which any individual or group feels welcomed, respected, and supported to fully participate with equal access to opportunities and resources.

Deploy It

The next steps after building a clear definition are to ensure that the design of a.) recruitment and enrollment practices, b.) curriculum/service delivery practices, and c.) program completion and follow-up practices are enacting the definition. We recommend that your team creates a list of actions for implementation that apply to a.,b., and c. in order to show that without a doubt D&I is enacted throughout your programming.

D&I actions do not need to be big and sweeping. Below is a general list of actions with which to get started:

Recruitment and enrollment practices

  1. Materials are in multiple languages
  2. Program staff are multilingual and multicultural
  3. Programs are accessible by diverse transportation
  4. Programs operate at diverse hours
  5. Quality childcare is provided during program hours

 

Curriculum/service delivery practices

  1. Materials are in multiple languages
  2. Materials reflect diverse ages, races/ethnicities, nationalities, body types, and so forth
  3. Program curriculum/services are interactive and multimodal for diverse learning styles
  4. Support aids are provided such as translators, travel vouchers, and refreshments

 

Program completion and follow-up practices

  1. Ensure that program participants can transfer their new skills and knowledge into contexts outside of the program
  2. Celebrate program completion/graduation by welcoming the program participants’ families and friends
  3. Facilitate exit surveys, interviews, or focus groups in multiple languages to assess for program impact and the quality of D&I practices