Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Our Work
The Alliance is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its areas of work, including its legislative advocacy and engagement.
We believe that eliminating inequities, dismantling systems of oppression, and supporting initiatives that are led by and in support of historically-underrepresented and excluded communities are key to improving the lives of children and families in Vermont, and therefore, central to our work.
With the support of Alliance staff, the Executive Committee, and the Equity Subcommittee, the Alliance encourages its members to incorporate these principles into their activities, in order to build a representative and effective early childhood advocacy community.
Currently, the Alliance is taking action in several key ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion:
- Community Outreach and Engagement: Alliance staff are conducting a variety of community outreach and engagement activities, in order to build and strengthen relationships with diverse partners across the state. The goal of these efforts is to ensure that all Vermonters in the early childhood community are represented in the Alliance and have access to the Alliance’s advocacy support.
- Education: Alliance staff, the Executive Committee, and the Equity Subcommittee are engaging in peer conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion during their meeting time. These discussions are a first step in cultivating a practice of reflection, examination, and exploration on how to incorporate these principles into our work and lives.
- Internal Operations: Alliance staff, guided by the Equity Subcommittee, are reviewing and revising the Alliance’s internal processes to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. These processes include the Alliance’s agenda application, job descriptions, and performance measures.
These definitions are based on language from UC Berkley, D5 Coalition, and Independent Sector:
Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. We embrace a broad definition of diversity that includes race, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, political affiliation, and physical appearance.
Equity is the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and dismantle systems of oppression that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems, as well as in their distribution of resources.
Inclusion is the active, intentional, and ongoing act of creating groups, systems, and environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.
For questions about these definitions or more information on how we use them in our work, please contact Alliance Executive Director Matt Levin at firstname.lastname@example.org.