Last fall we asked our clients to share the work they’re doing in the areas of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and, no surprise, they went above and beyond. We are truly inspired by their responses and our follow up conversations, and look forward to sharing these stories with you in a series of blog articles to provide practical ideas for your organization and community.

There’s no doubt that pursuing equity, inclusion, and justice (EIJ) is hard, long-term work. It’s important to acknowledge that we will face many challenges along the way and make mistakes. That’s OK. What matters is that we show up courageously with a willingness to learn.

In this final post of our series of articles about EIJ, we’ll share common challenges our clients have faced and the lessons they have learned to help you and your organization on your own journey.

Conquering our fears

One of the biggest hurdles to this work is overcoming people’s fears. So many are scared of doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or causing more damage.

Creating shared definitions

Clients of all types and sizes identified a lack of common language and terminology as a barrier to EIJ conversations, and agreed that creating shared definitions is a critical step in helping organizations going forward.
Understanding equity vs. equality
How does equity differ from equality, and why is it important to understand this distinction?
Redefining smart and knowledgeable
As organizations work to include new voices and lived experiences on their boards, it’s important to understand what type of knowledge is needed.

Acknowledging our biases

Acknowledging that we all have unconscious biases in an important step at the beginning of the equity journey.

Creating inclusion without tokenism

Intentionally seek out opportunities to meet people with different lived experiences and invest time in developing relationships that will help bring new voices to the room.

Committing resources

As always, limited resources is one of the biggest challenges, particularly for smaller organizations with fewer staff and lower budgets.

Read the full article about equity, inclusion and justice from Foundant Technologies at Exponent Philanthropy.