Does your nonprofit take diversity seriously? How do you know? Is it because there is an established diversity policy?  Is it because you look around the office or the board room and see a mix of different ages, races, genders, and more?  How do you know that diversity efforts are NOT just for show?

Here’s a litmus test for your nonprofit organization’s approach to diversity – answer this question: Does your nonprofit embrace change?

Plus, a couple of related questions: How are decisions made?  What happens to a new idea?  How does change happen?

Change and diversity are inextricably linked. Follow my logic…

Historically, most institutions have been led by white, middle class, older, heterosexual males.  So, institutions have reinforced mainstream norms throughout their organizational policies and practices.

When an institution begins inviting non-mainstream individuals into the conversation, the new diverse perspective typically challenges the organization’s historical mainstream approach.  That’s why it is so critical that the institutions take the new perspective seriously – by inviting, encouraging, and incorporating new, diverse ideas from non-mainstream individuals!

Otherwise, diversity is relegated to a buzz word, instead of a way of being for an organization.

What do you think?  How can you tell that a nonprofit organization takes diversity seriously?  Please leave a comment with your idea!

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Want more on diversity in nonprofit organizations?  Read Rosetta Thurman’s blog post that inspired my thoughts!

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