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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative Update

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Launched at our 2016 Annual Meeting, the Cultural Alliance’s DEI Initiative is working to make the cultural sector--and the Alliance itself--more diverse, equitable and inclusive. At the core of the initiative are the 50+ members of our DEI Affinity Group, who are volunteering their time to shape, inform and guide this work and ensure it reflects the needs of our members.

After working at a more macro level to help us articulate an overall vision for our DEI work (captured in our DEI Statement and Action Plan Summary), this summer we split the affinity group into five working groups, which will focus on specific action steps that will help us achieve our DEI goals. Each working group is facilitated by a Cultural Alliance staff member, who is guiding the group in determining its course of action. The working groups are:

  • Audiences (led by Vice President of Audience Engagement Roberta Johnson): This group is looking at how to diversify the people who attend or participate in cultural programming.
  • Boards (led by Vice President of Development Kelli Paul): This group is focused on diversifying cultural boards and building support for DEI among board members.
  • Funding (led by Chief Strategy Officer Michael Norris): This group explores how the distribution of cultural funding in Philadelphia can be made more equitable.
  • Organizations of Color (led by Digital Communications Coordinator Elizabeth Estrada): This group is focused on addressing the unique challenges of cultural organizations of color and the people who work at them.
  • Workforce (led by Chief Officer for Finance and Administration Stuart Adair and Manager of Membership and Administration Lauren Gilmore): This group looks at diversifying the cultural workforce and making our workplaces more inclusive.

At the October 4 meeting of the DEI Affinity Group, each working group convened in a breakout session and started to identify its focus and the specific activities its members want to pursue. Watch this space as events, programs and opportunities related to our DEI Initiative start to take shape.