By Sharon Danosky
When you are engaging in conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion, it is important to think in terms of an ongoing dialogue and one that consistently looks at your organization’s purpose through a racial equity lens. Here are some questions we have developed that can keep the conversations going:
• Have a dialogue at your board meeting about your mission and vision and what does that mean in terms of being more inclusive?
• Understand the diversity within your community and among the people you serve. How is that community represented in your board decision-making?
• Have a meaningful discussion around values as they relate to diversity, equity and inclusion. Articulate those values and transform them into a heartfelt diversity statement
• Who currently serves on your board? What is your goal for the future make-up of your board? Discuss whether or not you want to set a goal you can work toward or just be vigilant as you recruit. Make it an authentic effort, not one that meets a quota
• Create a pipeline of diverse, qualified people with different skills and talents, so that when an opening occurs you can fill it with the best fit rather than looking for a warm body
• Avoid tokenism. Each board member, regardless of their color or ethnicity, represents one person’s views and does not speak for an entire race or culture. The goal is to have diverse thought around the board table, and to do that you must recruit a truly diverse board