Falling in Love with Our Work

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Happy Fall! I have the great privilege of doing work that I love, both as a consultant and as a volunteer. One of my greatest aspirations is to help people fall in love with their own work building organizations and communities where everyone is valued, included and treated fairly. This work may go under different labels such as “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” “equity,” “anti-oppression,” “cultural competence” or “social...

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Readiness for Multicultural Organizational Change: Hearts, Minds and Cultural Norms

Posted on Sep 21, 2012 in Authentic Communication, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Many nonprofit organizations embark on initiatives focused on diversity, inclusion, equity, cultural competence, cultural humility and/or multiculturalism. At the onset, there is usually a group of people—often a diversity committee—involved in planning the initiative. The people in this group are usually eager for, and deeply invested in, change. Then comes the task of engaging the rest of the organization to build buy-in and shared...

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Transformation and Multicultural Organizational Development: What’s the Connection?

Posted on Mar 21, 2011 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Greetings and Happy Spring! Today’s blog was inspired by a conversation with a potential client. The potential client was grappling with how to support organizations that have already done some work around cultural competence and want to engage in multicultural transformation. I hope you enjoy reading and welcome your feedback! How can leaders who want to build transformed, multicultural organizations conceptualize and approach this...

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Engaging Diverse Stakeholders in Coalitions

Posted on Jan 21, 2011 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Dear Laurin, How do you engage diverse stakeholders fully in a coalition? There are some groups based in communities of color in our coalition, but they don’t have the staffing to participate consistently. Sometimes decision-making is held up because representatives aren’t at the meetings when decisions need to be made. Any advice? —Michelle Dear Michelle, Thanks for bringing up an important concern. Though you raise the topic in...

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Responding to Tensions in the Community

Posted on Sep 21, 2010 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Dear Laurin, Our organization serves people from different ages and backgrounds in the same facility. Cutbacks in services have resulted in increased tension in the community we serve. Recently we have had some conflict over the use of space for program activities. In one incident, an older white male community member told a group of male youth of color to leave a recreational space so he could use it. When they did not leave immediately, he...

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Overcoming Silos to Build a Multicultural Organization

Posted on Aug 23, 2010 in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Lessons from the Field | 0 comments

Dear Laurin, During the past decade my organization received funding that enabled us to hire staff for targeted outreach and direct service to Latina and African American communities. While this has greatly expanded our service delivery in these communities, it has also created silos among these programs and inhibited the sharing of learning, support and best practices across all programs. We are an organization with a small staff and a large...

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