LWVUS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization based on gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.
DEI – DEFINITIONS
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are mutually reinforcing. Increased inclusion is associated with increased equity; most organizations with higher inclusion and equity also have greater demographic diversity.
Diversity includes all of the similarities and differences among people, not limited to gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, appearance, language, accent, ability status, mental health, education, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, and political perspective or affiliation.
Diversity refers to population groups historically underrepresented in socially, politically, or economically powerful institutions and organizations. These groups include but are not restricted to populations of color, such as African Americans and Blacks, Latinx, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. They may also include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations, people with disabilities, women, and other groups.
A team can be diverse, and so can an organization. A person is not diverse. Diversity is about a collective or a group and can only exist in relationship to others. A candidate is not diverse—they are a unique, individual unit. They may bring diversity to your team, but they are not diverse. They are a woman and person of color and part of the LGBTQ community.
We commit to increasing diversity in the recruitment, retention, and retainment at the national, state, and local levels and in the leadership and executive roles.
Equity is an approach based on fairness to ensure everyone is given equal opportunity; this means that resources may be divided and shared unequally to ensure each person has a fair chance to succeed. Equity considers that people have different access to resources because of oppression and privilege. Equity seeks to balance that disparity.
Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems and their distribution of resources, including professional growth opportunities. Tackling equity issues requires understanding the root causes of outcome disparities within our society.
Equity prioritizes efforts to ensure the most underserved and marginalized have as much opportunity to succeed as the most well-served and advantaged. By considering the various advantages and disadvantages that people face, we work to ensure every person has an equal opportunity to succeed.
We commit to prioritizing equity in the work of the LWV staff, board, and members.
Inclusion is an ongoing process, not a static state of being.
Inclusion is the dynamic state of operating in which diversity is leveraged to create a healthy, high-performing organization and community.
Inclusion refers to the degree to which diverse individuals can participate fully in the decision-making processes within an organization or group.
An inclusive environment ensures equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. It also enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged, motivated, and valued for who they are and their contributions toward organizational and societal goals.
While an inclusive group is by definition diverse, a diverse group is not always inclusive. Being aware of unconscious or implicit bias can help organizations better address inclusivity issues.
We commit to making deliberate efforts to ensure LWV is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard, and everyone feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage our resources to advance our collective capabilities. We commit to actively challenging and responding to bias, harassment, and discrimination.
⏤Adopted by League of Women Voters of Michigan February 9, 2019
LWV Detroit Addition:
We, Detroit League of Women Voters, believe that democracy cannot truly exist without the inclusion of all races, nationalities, genders, disabilities, cultures, ages, religions, and sexual orientations. We cannot afford to exclude and not utilize the tremendous talents and experience of the diverse backgrounds that have come to the American shores. We, as advocates, in the fight for democracy, invite, encourage, and promote participation in our league of ALL people. Inclusion makes for a strong army and a healthier community. We are ALL in this together.⏤Adopted by the League of Women Voters of Detroit, August 2019