Commitment to Diversity Equity Inclusion

Our Continued Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In March of 2018, the Cultural Coalition in partnership with the Community Foundation of Eastern CT, initiated and hosted “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: A Regional Call to Action.” Facilitated by Minority Inclusion Project, the workshop was attended by roughly 100 nonprofit CEOs, board and staff members from more than 60 organizations in or serving Southeastern CT.  It was a largely white audience, which represents the leadership of our region’s nonprofits as a whole. The workshop’s intentions were to ask nonprofit leaders critical questions about the need for diversifying boards and staff to help institutions better align themselves with the communities they serve, stimulate dialogue and innovation, improve strategic thinking and decision making, and expand networks of dedicated talent.  A second workshop later that year served as a deeper dive for nonprofits to continue to advance DEI in their organizations, including our own.

In 2019, the Cultural Coalition was one of four organizations who participated in a 6-month Board Diversity Initiative with the Minority Inclusion Project. The result of the training was a DEI Action Plan for our organization and a public commitment to DEI, which states:

The Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition seeks to authentically represent the region we serve. As an umbrella organization serving hundreds of businesses, including small and large nonprofits, we are committed to being a role model for our partners. We believe diversity, equity and inclusion begins with the board in the board room, requires on-going education, and informs a more thoughtful decision-making process, which spurs collaboration and a culture of inclusivity. Diversity, equity and inclusion extends to staff, donors, volunteers, partners, and program participants. We acknowledge that diversity, equity and inclusion are important areas for growth. We are committed to making diversity, equity and inclusion evident in our organizational structure, policies, goals, programs and activities, and by doing so, we will be able to confidently and proudly serve as our region’s cultural coalition.

In February 2020, we adopted a 5-year strategic plan for 2020-2025, which included five major goals, including “advance diversity, equity & inclusion and serve as a role model for DEI.”

Today, in June of 2020, we continue our commitment to DEI and will take further action within our own organization to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in our region through arts and culture.

With that in mind, the Cultural Coalition will:

  1. Support, expand and invest in programs, activities and communications to engage in, cultivate and create pathways for social change and remove structural barriers to success through arts and culture.
  2. Increase board, staff and volunteer deployment into communities, especially communities that have been historically disenfranchised and underrepresented, to create new and/or strengthen existing relationships and networks.
  3. Accelerate our board recruitment goal to attract and retain at least 40% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) by June 2022 annual meeting with acknowledgement of other types of diversity, including age, geography, sexual orientation, etc.
  4. Engage the full board with a review and update to our DEI Action Plan and have Governance Committee and/or DEI committee oversee implementation and accountability
  5. Secure and invest resources to advance DEI, including for training, workshops, programs and activities

SCCC DEI Action Plan Report September 2019