Written by Alondra AyalaAugust 12, 2020 | 3 min. read The decision to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector comes from a strong desire to change the world. The desire stems from volunteer work, participating in fundraisers, a trip we took, or from our own life experiences. Regardless of the spark that ignites the fire, we […]
Written by David LeFebvreAugust 5, 2020 | 4 min. read In our world, we talk about inclusion, especially related to diversity and equity. We need to be more inclusive. How inclusive is our hiring practices? How do I use inclusive language? Businesses, nonprofits, and corporations have identified that inclusive practices are critical to their success, but I think it is […]
When my sons were little and I was dropping them off at a friend’s house, my last caution was always, “Now be on your best behavior and maybe you will get invited back.“ I was repeating what my mother had said to me . . . and her mother before her. Southern nice-isms to which […]
COVID-19 presents a powerful case study on how we leverage technology to design cultures, processes, and norms that cultivate inclusion and safety at work.
Right now, the boom in remote work is due to social distancing, the necessity for people to keep their distance from each other to slow down the advance of the coronavirus. But there are many other positive impacts from remote work beyond just not catching a virus, including improving diversity.
This toolkit is meant for anyone who feels there is a lack of productive discourse around issues of diversity and the role of identity in social relationships, both on a micro (individual) and macro (communal) level. Perhaps you are a teacher, youth group facilitator, student affairs personnel or manage a team that works with an underserved population. Training of this kind can provide historical context about the politics of identity and the dynamics of power and privilege or help build greater self-awareness.
On February 26, 2012, a seventeen-year-old Black teenager named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, by George Zimmerman. Martin’s death ignited a national debate about racism and justice. It was on the nightly news and in the editorial pages. At Living Cities, a grantmaker and investor dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live, we were having conversations, too. How was it possible, we asked ourselves, to achieve our mission without intentionally addressing the intersections between poverty and race? These conversations eventually set us on a course to radically reconfigure the way the organization works around race. Along that road, Living Cities has redefined our mission and identity as an organization, while also surfacing what it takes for grantmakers, nonprofits, and impact investors to center racial equity in practice.
Nelson Mandela, External link the former president of South Africa who led the country out of apartheid, once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Words matter, Mandela was essentially saying. More specifically, the nuanced way we use language—with a mindfulness for the perspectives and feelings of others—shows respect and understanding or a lack thereof. The idea of inclusive language is rooted in these ideas. It embraces language that is free from stereotypes, subtle discrimination, and negative messages.
The people who complain about the lack of solutions tend to have a certain degree of privilege: White, men, college-educated, higher income, able-bodied, in positions of power, etc. And the more privilege folks have, the more likely they are to whine about the lack of solutions proposed. Vu Le calls this phenomenon “Solutions Privilege,” the privilege of expecting easy and instant solutions that would align with one’s worldview and not challenge one’s privilege.