By Ron Ludwig, Executive Director
Earlier this month, The Conflict Center participated in our final activity as part of the “Inclusiveness Project” with the Denver Foundation. In 2010, The Conflict Center and nine other local nonprofits were funded by the Denver Foundation to participate in a two-year “Learning Community” designed to help our organizations become more ethnically and racially diverse and inclusive. In addition to focusing on ethnic and racial dynamics, the Conflict Center also considered issues of gender and sexual identity.
While recognizing that creating a fully inclusive workplace is an ever-ongoing process, we are proud of the significant steps forward our organization has taken over the past two years:
- We established a Committee to guide the work of this project that was comprised of staff, board members and volunteers.
- The Committee hired a consultant to help guide the effort and to provide training for staff and the board.
- The Committee has identified key indicators to measure our efforts to becoming more diverse and inclusive.
- Almost half of our staff members have participated in the national “White Privilege Conference” to examine how the roles of privilege and power work in our national society.
- All staff members (including our training contractors) have received cultural competency training.
- The Board incorporated all the work of the Committee into the strategic plan that will guide our organizational efforts for the next 3-5 years.
- The Board established the Inclusivity Committee as a “standing committee” by amending our by corporate by-laws. This is currently the only committee (aside from the Executive Committee) that is specifically named in the by-laws.
We know that the work of inclusion will continue. Immediate next steps include:
- Training specifically designed for the Board of Directors which will be followed by joint trainings with board and staff members.
- Participation of staff members in the Restorative Justice Summit in August to help understand how healing practices can help mitigate the racial and ethnic disparities that we see in the juvenile justice and school discipline arenas.
- Board recruitment efforts to build a board that is more reflective of the racial, ethnic and sexual identity composition of the community that we serve.
- Continued involvement with other nonprofits that have engaged in the inclusiveness efforts of the Denver Foundation so as to continue the broader movement in the Denver area.
In addition to the core funding from the Denver Foundation, we have also received support for this project from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Sisters of Loretto, the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, and the LARRK Foundation. Consulting services were provided by the Partnership for Families and Children, Cultural Competency Consulting LLC, Community Resource Center, and the Civic Canopy. Thanks to all these groups for their support.
To learn more about the Inclusiveness Project, visithttp://www.nonprofitinclusiveness.org/Tweet