DEI is More than Visual: It’s Personal
Who are you? How do you interact with the world? When are you at your best as part of a team?
These seemingly simple questions are actually landmines for many, perhaps most, of us when we think about our participation in life, and more specifically the workplace. Employers are not unique in raising the issues of diversity regarding the people we interact with, equity in how people are valued and supported, and meaningful inclusion of people who come from different lived experiences. We pick our friends, and sometimes enemies, based on some of these factors. We create communities where we feel at least the first two of those factors because we can relax in those communities and just be ourselves.
Add in the context of a “DEI Filter” in the hiring process and the nuance underlying those questions can sometimes be completely skipped over because the interviewer thinks they know who you are, how you will interact with the world, and what you will bring to the team based on how you look or their first impression of you and your experience as represented on a resume.
I regularly see discussions around DEI committee membership that openly refer to someone “representing the African American community,” or the “BIPOC community.” I wonder how those people feel about that tokenism. (Because, let’s be clear, if that is how their selection was approached, then they are literally serving as tokens to represent those communities.) How can one person be expected to represent the entirety of the richness, diversity, and lived experience of the African American community? Or any community for that matter?
Former Island Senior Resources (ISR) Executive Director, Cheryn Weiser, leaves the organization after an impressive 12 years in the role, turning the reins over to Michele Cato to continue the great work ISR has come to represent. Michele is an experienced leader with a background in nonprofit management and health and wellness services as well as a passion for serving vulnerable populations.
When asked about her replacement, Cheryn has said, “Michele's deep commitment to community and her understanding of the complexities of social service will make her an excellent leader for ISR.” June Nailon, Island Senior Resources Board President reiterates this sentiment in saying, “ISR is incredibly fortunate in bringing talent dedicated to excellence in community nonprofit leadership and management to Island County.”
Community Homes, a housing provider in King County for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), has selected Marci Muhlestein as their new Executive Director.
In discussing her new role, Marci has said,
It’s an honor to join the Community Homes team and pursue its mission of expanding unique housing options and providing exceptional housing education. Building strong partnerships within our collective communities increase choices and create opportunities for individuals on the path toward an inclusive, fulfilling life. At the end of the day, it’s the relationship with the individual as they become part of a community of their choice and create a safe place to thrive, enjoy life and be more independent. It’s about being part of their journey by simplifying the complexity of everyday experiences.
Co-written by: Ed Rogan & Michelle Saddler
After the surge in COVID-19 cases earlier this year due to widely circulating variants, new case numbers have been falling steadily for weeks now, causing many states to lift restrictions. In most areas of the country restaurant customers are returning to in-person dining, students are back in the classroom, travelers are going on flights and cruises, sports fans are returning to stadiums at full capacity, and employees are returning to offices that had been vacated for almost two years. Despite this re-opening, the world is far from the way things used to be, and the work environment is no exception.
After 11 years as Executive Director of Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, Cori Walters stepped down from her role, leaving big shoes to fill. In her time with Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, she helped to facilitate monumental changes to make the organization more successful in its mission to provide basic needs for the community and promote self-sufficiency. This has resulted in a strong foundation that grounds the staff team, board, and strategic partners in a firm belief that the future will be successful for Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
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