Like many of you, we at NDPA are keenly aware of systemic inequities that disproportionately burden many members of our society and this concerns us. It concerns us to think that we continue to grapple with a justice system that doesn’t always get it right. It concerns us that many communities at risk for drowning (African Americans, Alaskan Natives, individuals with cognitive disabilities, and others) lack access to basic life skills that would help to protect them in water. It concerns us that it is so difficult to even agree that we all should be working toward an anti-racist society.
We live in a world of immense beauty and deep pain, and sometimes it can be a challenge to be hopeful, but we must. In order to achieve our highest possibilities as a community, and as people who love one another we should take a moment to examine ourselves and truly continue the important work that we do every day. Our work is that light that shines in the darkness. Our work is what brings comfort to so many. We can be the example of what is possible; people who do not shy away from the hard conversations, or the hard work.
To begin this hard work, NDPA strives to provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity by:
- Seeing diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensuring the well-being of our staff and the communities we serve.
- Acknowledging and dismantling any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services and continually update and report organization progress.
- Exploring potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
- Advocating for and supporting board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
- Challenging assumptions about what constitutes strong leadership at our organization and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
- Practicing and encouraging transparent communication in all interactions.
- Committing time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, committees, and advisory bodies.
- Leading with respect and tolerance, and we expect all employees and volunteers to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.
NDPA abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our workplace:
- Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
- Conduct or identify research related to equity to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts and make that information publicly available.
- Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of American society.
- Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.
- Develop and present sessions on diversity, inclusion, and equity to provide information and resources internally and to the community.
- Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process.
- Include a salary range with all public job descriptions.
- Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity and challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression, and disparity.