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 60 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, tools and resources, along with baseline data to inform decisions and measure progress. Key accomplishments include:
- 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 efforts in the equity profile’s focus areas.
- The Network hosted more than 70 community members at its first Community Conversation in December 2016.
- Hosted Results-Based Accountability training for community members to promote a shared data platform.
- With the help of community members, crafted and published introductory equity toolkits for their organizations.
- Hired an equity coordinator to organize the work of partners and community organizations working to advance equity and inclusion.
- In 2019, partnered in facilitating a Civil Rights and NAACP speaker series spanning four months.
- Published the Advancing Equity: Community Efforts and Outcomes report, to recognize the work that partners and local organizations have done to reduce disparities in our community.
What We Are Working On
In 2018, we kicked off a series of workshops aimed at facilitating conversations among community leaders around diversity, equity and inclusion and how focusing on these issues can strengthen our region.
Workshops are tailored to different types of individuals from different sectors: nonprofit and civic leaders, mid-career professionals and human resources representatives, and high-level business executives. By reaching an array of leaders, we can foster equitable and healthy communities that are welcome to all people.