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Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update

Alison McCarthyWe are committed to being open and transparent throughout our process of implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Spark. We have a lot of progress to share this month and hope it will be helpful to our staff, local community, peers, clients, and the people most affected by our work.

After announcing our DEI commitment and sharing our plan in January, we searched for and hired a DEI consultant, Maria Velasco from the Spring Institute. We feel lucky to have talked with so many incredible people; it’s heartening to see how many qualified folks are out there doing this work.

Here’s a list of names and contact information of the DEI consultants with whom we spoke. We are so excited to begin our work with Maria!

In preparation for our DEI “kickoff” with Maria, we conducted a literature review to identify tenets and measurements of organizational inclusiveness. Literature suggests that the essential components of inclusiveness are:

  • Fairness and opportunity
  • Belonging
  • Trust and respect

We then developed an internal staff survey that would incorporate these components and help us to better understand our baseline regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. We adapted three commonly used instruments to ensure relevance to our organization. They include:

We have administered the survey to staff, and are hoping for a 100% response rate. We’ll work through the results with Maria at our next DEI staff training.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share our efforts at developing a DEI project and proposal checklist – serving as a prompt for incorporating DEI principles into all Spark projects. As always, we welcome your insights and questions as we move forward on this journey. Feel free to use the chat box below with any comments.