New toolkit helps businesses and nonprofits build diversity, equity and inclusion learning plans for staff
For immediate release
DUBUQUE, Iowa — As the Dubuque region grows more racially and ethnically diverse and communities grapple with issues of racial justice, area business and nonprofit leaders have expressed a desire for their staff members to better understand issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
The challenge is that many don’t know where to start or have no experience building such a learning plan for their employees. That’s why the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Inclusive Dubuque team has created the new DEI Toolkit, a collection of resources that local organizations can use on their DEI learning journeys.
“A few years ago, the Community Foundation was in a similar position to other organizations when it came to DEI learning,” says Clara Lopez Ortiz, the Foundation’s equity coordinator. “Our staff members wanted to better understand these issues to better serve the community, so we built our own learning plan from scratch. This toolkit is an effort to share what we are learning on our journey so others can benefit from our experiences as they create their own plans.”
The DEI Toolkit includes links to articles, activities, research papers, videos and other resources that cover topics that the Foundation has discussed during its staff training sessions, including systemic racism, LGBTQ+ issues, DEI terminology, DEI-focused data and issues related to local populations. As the Community Foundation’s DEI learning continues, new topics will be covered and added to the toolkit.
"All of the resources in the toolkit are ones that the Community Foundation staff have used in our own staff workshops,” says Lopez Ortiz. “They come from our team’s personal research as well as recommendations from community partners. We welcome others to contact us if they have resources they propose to add to the toolkit.”
The Community Foundation’s DEI learning journey began in 2018 after staff attended a training hosted by the Foundation called Race Forward. Since then, the Foundation has devoted approximately one workshop per month to learning about DEI issues.
During the workshops, guest speakers from local organizations, such as the Fountain of Youth Program and the Presentation Lantern Center, talk about their work and issues facing Dubuque’s diverse residents. In other instances, staff with personal interest in specific topics like housing, gender identity and food insecurity lead activities and discussions.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this type of learning,” says Lopez Ortiz. “But by sharing experiences, knowledge and resources, we can empower others. The result is a community that is engaged and equipped to support all people who call Dubuque home.”
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The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque envisions a vibrant and inclusive Dubuque region where everyone can thrive. Since 2002, we have inspired people to give back to their community, and we turn this generosity into lasting change across our region, increasing access to resources and opportunities that help all people succeed.
Visit dbqfoundation.org to learn about the many ways we are building a strong, thriving Greater Dubuque for all.