Barb Clark is the Executive for Business (part of their League’s core leadership team) of the LWV of Greater Lafayette in Indiana. She shared actions taken at their board’s leadership transition meeting last year to help them identify how their League could move forward with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.
ACTION: Seek diverse leaders
The League has three co-presidents or co-facilitators that are diverse in race, age, and background and are focused on different League areas. This has allowed the League to approach DEI work with a variety of voices and informed opinions.
RECOMMENDATION: Look for leaders that are diverse in background and experiences and are ready to focus on the work your League has planned.
ACTION: Make DEI a focus or at least the focus of a board meeting
The League structured their board leadership transition meeting last year as a retreat branded as “Forward. It included facilitated discussions on their non-negotiable values and goals for the League and what was getting in the way of progress toward them. They identified three issues to pursue further: engaging and mobilizing membership, embracing nonpartisanship as a practice, and welcoming DEI in every aspect of the League.
This was so successful a second “Forward” meeting for all members was held and participants developed actions related to specific program areas of interest. This included expanded resources for youth voters and conducting listening sessions with members of the community who are not represented by League members.
RECOMMENDATION: Dedicate meeting space, especially as your leaders transition, to discuss these issue and develop plans for the year that incorporate a DEI lens to all work your League is doing. Incorporate the ideas and voices of many leaders so that the League’s work is focused on what is most relevant and needed for your community.
You can hear about the work Barb and other League Leaders are doing on the recording of our October 2018 DEI webinar.
Veda Florez is the Communications Director of the LWV of the Bay Area in California. Twenty local Leagues across nine counties in the Bay Area make up this ILO. During an LWV-sponsored webinar , Veda shared three actions the League has taken as part of their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.