What Is an Inclusiveness Initiative?

An inclusiveness initiative is a concerted, organized effort on the part of an organization to become more inclusive of people of color (and other diverse groups, if your organization has decided to have a broader focus for its current initiative).

As described by The Denver Foundation's Inclusiveness Project, an inclusiveness initiative includes six overall steps:

Step 1: Creating a structure.

Step 2: Engaging in inclusiveness/diversity training and hiring consultants/trainers.

Step 3: Defining inclusiveness and diversity and creating the case for inclusiveness for your organization.

Step 4: Gathering information and conducting research.

Step 5: Creating an inclusiveness blueprint.

Step 6: Implementing the inclusiveness blueprint.

 

The Denver Foundation Inclusiveness Project heartily encourages organizations to make this concerted, organized effort rather than approaching inclusiveness as a number of disconnected short-term activities. According to Inside Inclusiveness: Race, Ethnicity, and Nonprofit Organizations, a research report on nonprofit organizations in Metro Denver prepared for The Denver Foundation's Inclusiveness Project:

  • The most important quality that is found in leaders of organizations that are highly inclusive is that these leaders take a long-term, holistic approach to inclusiveness and integrate it into all of the work of the organization.
  • Rather than considering inclusiveness to be one more thing that has to be done in a busy day, it is a fundamental part of the everyday work. It is neither perceived as a burden nor an additional responsibility.
  • In highly inclusive organizations, leaders and the teams that they assemble are constantly working with the external world to be responsive to communities of color and their needs, and they are intentional about working internally with their staff and board to create a welcoming environment and to expand people's knowledge and awareness of different cultures in myriad ways.

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