Updated: Dec 7, 2020
We have reached our last value at Sharpshooter Communications: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). November always serves as a significant month to think about EDI in that it is Native American Heritage Month and Thanksgiving (complicated history and all).
Before we get into how we embody EDI in our work, let me define it.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – With recognition that there is strength in our differences, SC embraces the values of equity, diversity and inclusion. Equity refers to the fair and respectful treatment of all people, while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that may prevent the full participation of some. Diversity refers to welcoming and encouraging a variety of characteristics that lead to a diversity of thoughts, ideas, perspectives and values. Inclusion means we create an environment where all individuals can be and feel welcomed, heard, respected, supported and valued.
From our clients to our staff, we strive for an environment that allows every person to thrive. In fundraising, there are plenty of people that think there is only one way to do it right. However, there is no one way to do anything.
I may not understand the thought process and experience of another person, however that does not mean my way of thinking is better. And we carry that value into all of our work. We are cognizant of the challenges different organizations face based on factors outside of their control. Check out this New York Times article to read more about how Black and Latino-led organizations lag behind white-led organizations because of race - and how Native Americans spend more time educating funders rather than asking for funds.
It is important that we recognize every person's lived experience, and allow that experience to be in the room. How we embody EDI is by having these conversations with our clients and staff, and then creating dynamic plans to address their unique needs - plans that (usually) differ from how I would go about.
Until we have justice throughout the country for all people, we will continue to be sensitive and proactive in all of our relationships.