DEI in practice: Going beyond a statement with Michelle Okere

The Small Nonprofit

26-03-2024 • 41 mins

Does making your nonprofit feel inclusive seem impossible?  Today,  we're getting real about diversity, equity, and inclusion in our sector. I spoke with Michelle Okere, an inclusion specialist and nonprofit powerhouse, about how to build anti-racism into your organization's core.

Michelle shared her own experiences facing systemic barriers, strategies for meaningful communication, and why empowering your frontline staff is the key to success.  An accomplished leader with a strong commitment to community, Michelle's insights will help you take actionable steps toward a more inclusive workplace.

Key Episode Highlights:

  • It starts with communication. One of the biggest obstacles to inclusion is staff, volunteers, and service users not feeling heard, understood, or involved at every level of decision-making.
  • Meaningful land acknowledgments can be a step toward action. Don't just rattle off a stock statement. Michelle shares how to make them a bridge for deeper conversation, relationship-building, and systemic change.
  • Fear stops progress. We talked a lot about the fear many well-intentioned folks have of "saying the wrong thing" when it comes to building inclusion. Michelle helps us break that barrier down and just start the conversation.
  • Inclusion isn't optional, it's foundational. We can't make those big promises of supporting marginalized communities, and then fail to build inclusive structures, policies, and practices into every aspect of the organization.

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