It seems like nearly every conversation and strategy session that I am part of lately includes discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI.) As I listen, read, and watch organizations grapple to embrace these values, I am compelled to look deeper and measure the impact of efforts on youth programs. When asked, most leaders point to policies that have been adopted but few share the difference that policy alone makes.
At TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity, our staff meetings have turned away from updates on logistics and tactical conversations to focus on professional learning and growth. We have examined unconscious bias, grappled with how to use DEI research to improve programs, and continue ongoing mindfulness training to keep these values top of mind in our work with young people and one another.
Following are questions that youth-focused organizations can ask themselves to see how they measure up
- Diversity – How are our programs encouraging participation from a wide variety of students? What can we offer students with special needs? How are we reflecting our participant population – moreover, what is needed to be more culturally aware in our practices?
- Equity – How do we ensure that all students have the same experiences offered to them? Classroom to classroom and/or site to site? What makes our classroom environment equitable?
- Inclusion – How do we incorporate participant voice into our design process? Where is it easy to do so? Where is it a challenge?
What I know to be true is that organizations must go beyond making statements that denounce racism and intolerance and move toward more action-oriented, visual representations of their work that show how they are designing and creating an environment that embraces diversity, promotes equity, and ensures inclusion for all.
Would love to hear how your organization is addressing DEI and in what context. Let’s share!
For breakfast, I had a breakfast burrito and a coffee with almond milk.