The Inclusive Dubuque network formed in 2012 after business leaders began to take notice of challenges related to diversity, equity and inclusion in the community. Individuals were having trouble accessing needed services and connecting to parts of the community, neighborhoods were experiencing struggles related to demographic changes, and businesses were reporting difficulty attracting and retaining a diverse workforce. Research tells us that Iowa is becoming increasingly diverse, and that regions working toward equity will have stronger and more resilient economic growth—for everyone.
Inclusive Dubuque is a peer-learning network of partners dedicated to creating an informed, equitable and inclusive community where all people—regardless of race, age, culture, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, class or disability—are respected, valued and treated fairly. The network includes more than 50 organizations and individuals across sectors including faith, government agencies, nonprofit, business, education and more.
What Has Been Accomplished
The Inclusive Dubuque Network works collaboratively to eliminate bias in our community by providing and supporting equity learning opportunities, equity tools and resources, and baseline data to inform decisions and measure progress. Some key accomplishments include:
- Facilitated leadership alignment around a shared agenda
- Conducted a Community Equity Profile in 2015 to learn about the lived experiences of diverse groups and discover what disparities exist. The Profile engaged 584 participants through dialogues and 1,995 online surveys were completed.
- Over 90 Network and community members joined partner-led sector groups to address new challenges and bring the racial/social equity lens to existing programs and efforts in the seven focus areas of the equity profile.
- Hosted Results-Based Accountability training for community members to promote a shared data platform.
- Hosted or supported four equity learning opportunities in 2016.
- Published introductory equity toolkits for community members to use in their organizations.
- Published the Advancing Equity: Community Efforts and Outcomes report, to recognize the work of partners and community organizations working to advance equity and inclusion.
- The Network hosted more than 70 community members at its first Community Conversation in December 2016.
What We Are Working On
In 2017, Inclusive Dubuque will focus on launching a shared data platform and conducting a community climate survey to inform decisions and measure its impact. The Network is also planning three additional Community Conversations from February to May.
The Peer-Learning Council is developing equity learning opportunities to offer to the community. This council will focus their efforts on creating a five-year equity education plan to provide opportunities for partners and community members to deepen their personal and organizational understanding of equity and inclusion.