Consulting needs vary based on organizational priorities, challenges, opportunities and resources. I believe instituting a comprehensive multi-pronged approach is the best way to create a sustainable and meaningful equity, diversity and inclusion initiative. When leadership makes equity, diversity and inclusion a priority it dramatically improves the climate of the institution, cultural competence of staff, provides tools for addressing challenges and leveraging opportunities, reinforce and support institutional initiatives, and allows intellectual capital to be more successfully accessed and utilized. I want to create a plan that meets your organization’s unique needs. Therefore, I work with each organization to develop a plan to help the organization thrive.
I help organizations build capacity utilizing current systems and structures as an essential part of making systemic change. There may be existing committees seeking to address issues around equity, diversity and inclusion that could benefit from coaching and development. If a committee doesn’t exist, I can help an organization develop a plan for recruitment and retention. An invested group of individuals can serve a critical role in developing the community standards and norms moving forward and improve the institutional climate. Therefore, it is recommended that this group be engaged and supported in building their own capacity to play a leadership role in any stage of growth around equity, diversity and inclusion. The ultimate goal is institutional sustainability and the creation of plans and practices that the organization can successfully navigate in the future. In some cases, I may recommend a train-the-trainers model that helps develop the capacity for members of the community to become responsible for the bulk of future training and development around equity, diversity and inclusion. Helping the committee assess their own capabilities and gaps in knowledge ensures the organization is on the path to sustainability.
It’s important to work with an organization to assess the institutional climate. Every organization needs to create an environment where all members of the community feel welcomed, valued, respected and included. They will be guided through a process to ensure they are exploring who is included in the current community, as well as identifying current limitations and opportunities for growth. They will identify key partners, target areas, and priorities for each phase of development and a communication plan for messaging throughout the community. After this process, the focus will be on how to initiate change. Climate assessment will include inventory, planning and implementation phases. Organizations may engage in benchmarking, assessing gaps, determining best practices, and other mechanisms to develop a multiple points of entry infusion plan.
As an organization engages in efforts to transform climate policies, procedures and practices need to be considered. My skills can be utilized to review communication mechanisms, protocols and policies to ensure an equitable experience for all.
A comprehensive equity, diversity and inclusion plan allows institutions to avoid many of the pitfalls that come with approaching diversity as a sporadic commitment. Therefore, it is recommended that your organization develops an action plan for future equity, diversity and inclusion efforts. Once your organization has had the opportunity to expand their understanding of these issues during programmatic sessions there will be greater clarity as to the current challenges and opportunities within the organization. It is important to use this knowledge in the assessment phase and utilize it to develop a strategic plan for the organization’s future. After the strategic plan is implemented there should be an additional round of assessment to determine the effectiveness of the strategic plan and to adjust for future initiatives.