Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has become a buzzword in philanthropy, nonprofit and for-profit organizations. What does it mean for us? And what do we do about it?
What does it mean?
Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences—collectively and as individuals. We seek to proactively engage, understand, and draw on a variety of perspectives. We believe that the solution to the problems we hope to address through our grant-making can be found by affirming our similarities, as well as by finding value in our differences.
Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and parity in access to information and resources for all. We believe this is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.
Equality, in contrast, aims to ensure that everyone gets the same things. Like equity, equality aims to promote fairness and justice, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same things, which is often not the case.
Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people. We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to ensure all voices are heard, by lifting up those that have historically been marginalized.
What do we do?
- We work to ensure that people can access and engage with our foundation resources, information and application process.
- We work with an Advisory Group, consisting of individuals with different disabilities, to advise the Ability Central Grants Team and Board of Directors on issues related to Ability Central’s philanthropic initiatives, priorities, and types of support.
- Our grantmaking evaluation process gives priority to organizations and institutions with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.