Several weeks ago the Idaho Nonprofit Center issued a very clear statement about our commitment to learning and leading through diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Originally, it focused on addressing systemic racism, but at our core we recognize the need to dive deeper and address other injustices.
I am happy to report that we’ve made a significant amount of progress on our commitments and are adding to our list. We refuse to get lost in bandwagon enthusiasm and waning action. Silence is also a form of violence.
We promised to:
In addition to these commitments, our board and staff are close to completing the Wassmuth Center’s Human Rights Certification Course (just $35 per person and well worth the investment). If you have not taken this course I cannot recommend it enough.
I am always transparent, and I am/was intimidated by doing this work. Mostly because I know that A) there is so much work to be done, B) there is no defined ending, and C) I didn’t know where to begin. I think a lot of us don’t know where to start and also are afraid of doing it wrong.
While reading updates from friends and colleagues and their own work, I saw a quote that really resonated with me and gave me peace: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou
We committed to doing what we can. We are always learning, evolving, and promise to do better. In that spirit, one of the modules in the Human Rights Certification had a bonus article about using personal pronouns.
I’ve seen many an email signature that references someone’s pronouns and to be honest, I very much misunderstood the purpose behind them. After reading the provided article, and doing further research, I now understand why they are important.
Through Culture Amp, a great resource the Wassmuth course utilized, I found an article about using pronouns. One of the easiest ways to introduce the concept of gender pronouns into the conversation is to add them to email signatures.
What really stood out to me is this quote from Steven Huang, who is the head of diversity and inclusion at Culture Amp: “Most people have not been questioned about their gender identity. This is a simple way to show that I care about and respect the people who are in that minority who are questioned about their gender identity.”
I want to share that I am choosing to update my email signature, my LinkedIn profile, and my staff profile on our website with my pronouns. Many of our staff members also have chosen to do the same.
As we have promised, we will lead and learn through this work. This was something that I never fully understood, embraced, or would have even considered if not for the committed effort we’ve made.
We hope that it demonstrates our true commitment to taking action and reminding all of us that this work is important. We hope others will join us in making small but impactful changes in how we think and how we show up for others who need us as their allies.
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