Category: Articles

How is inclusion practiced?

How is inclusion practiced?

I came across this wonderful article recently, “All Voices on Deck: How Inclusiveness Can Help Define Your Leadership Style” by Rebecca Shambaugh. I highly suggest every person read it. Especially those who want to be leaders practicing inclusion.

Inclusion has been on my mind a lot lately (hiring processes will do that). It’s easy to think as non-profits that we’ve got this covered. And of course, we all use the words equity and inclusion so often that, why wouldn’t we? But these words are such a totem in our industry. I wonder what we miss by throwing them around so casually. The Shambaugh article isn’t written for non-profits but applies all the same – if not more since our work is in the name of social good.

Inclusion Confusion

From my experiences talking with many other non-profit professionals, our

Turns out inclusion is a lot like a community conversation…just everyday.

industry is pretty good at giving clinical definitions of equity and understands inclusion as a way to practice equity. But what does inclusion really look like? How do we practice it? Does it exist in both our programming and our organizations? When asking these questions, I’ve found it much harder to get a clear and tangible answer.

Recently asked what equity and inclusion means to me, I gave the same canned and romantic response I often hear from colleagues. I talked about bringing people to the table and said something about my shoes not fitting all feet. This re-played in my head for the next few days until I realized what was off about my answer. It was a regurgitation of definitions that didn’t speak to mindfulness or action. Many of us solidly understand the concepts and it certainly isn’t hard to intend to be inclusive. It does, however, take action and commitment to actually practice them.

When asked again, this is how I will answer:

Equity must go beyond intent (although intent should be examined–  doing this work out of privileged guilt makes it about you and not equity). It is not enough to be intentional. True equity requires us to engage in constant awareness, have humbling conversations, and most of all – create transparency in our actions. It is a constant cycle of listening, adjusting, and recognizing patterns of behavior and history.

But at any given moment, it should be easy to point to concrete actions – as a person or an organization. We are all, each and every human being, responsible for doing this. And this should be the ultimate requirement we have for our leaders. One of my concrete actions is my commitment to asking for and giving honest feedback – especially the hard kind that digs at my ego.

Taking actions

The article linked above outlines 10 solid actions for leaders to take. Shambaugh includes actions to increase equity across race, gender, cognitive styles and more.

If you prefer listening or watching to reading, try Chimamanda Adichie’s TEDTalk – The Danger of a Single Story. Another great resource that goes hand in hand with the Shambaugh article.

 

-Allison Mountjoy

Prioritizing Cultural Competency in Hospitals

A new article from the Harvard Business Review makes a case for hospitals to prioritize cultural competency. The article speaks to the importance of social determinants of health and addressing an often wide cultural and socio-economic gap between doctors and patients that can adversely affect health outcomes.

Pointing to cultural competency training as an immediate and tangible step hospitals can take, 3 best practices are outlined as the first places to start.

  • Be creative and expansive about addressing language barriers.
  • Be alert for, and responsive to, mental health challenges.
  • Be mindful of stereotypes.

 

https://hbr.org/2017/05/why-more-hospitals-should-prioritize-cultural-competency

Honoring Women Everywhere

In honor of International Women’s Day and in solidarity with Day Without Women, Global to Local is providing a paid day off for our female employees. This might sound like a small gesture, but if you take a look at our staff page you will realize that this really means our Executive Director will be working in an empty office on Wednesday. Yes, that’s right – until next Monday (when new-hire Jojo starts), we are an organization of 8 diverse women and a single man. While this is just one example of many where the non-profit industry is full of women, we still have a ways to go to achieve gender equity, even in the female-friendly non-profit realm. A recent study, Women in the Workplace finds that “women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to manager – so far fewer end up on the path to leadership – and are less likely to be hired into more senior positions.” Women also receive “less access to the people, input, and opportunities that accelerate careers.” As a result, the higher the professional position, the fewer women you see and the more imbalanced our organizations. This is also reflected in our cultural lens of the feminine “to be” versus the masculine “to do” (feminine and masculine: not to be confused with man and woman).

These management qualities, summarized in the report, might be labeled ‘feminine’ and are embraced by remarkably few women and men alike but exist within us all:

  • leading with the power of language,
  • cultivating relationships, building teams that release the energy and potential of others,
  • building an inclusive organization that “makes the strengths of their people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant”

In the words of Francis Hesselbein: “some might call this feminine management, others would call it the enlightened way that we all must lead.”

For every women and man in the world, I would leave you with this: Gender inequity hurts everyone: women and men of every race, creed, and affiliation. We are being given a great opportunity to bring balance back into the world and break free from the boxes we’ve imposed on each other and ourselves – let’s take the opportunity.

My challenge to you for the month ahead is to read up on gender equity (I’m even giving you a list of great reads to make it easy). Start learning about the long history of women’s rights, patriarchy, racism (yes, racism is deeply tied to feminism – both systems of oppression), and gender fluidity. Read up, start observing, then start a dialogue. Stumped for dialogue? Start with the question: what could the world look like if we started to value feminine qualities more?

In Solidarity,

Allison

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Suggested Reading:

If you can’t find time to read:

Seattle: An Epicenter of Global Health

It isn’t a coincidence that Global to Local started just 13 miles south of downtown Seattle. Health has always been at the heart of Seattle, as Dr. David Fleming, VP of Public Health for global health organization PATH, explained last Tuesday. Early local inventions include the heart defibrillator, Doppler ultrasound, Sonar, and the wireless telephone (yes, cellphones are medical innovations too). Seattle has also become home to many of our nation’s heavy hitters in the global health industry, including PATH, Gates Foundation, Health Alliance International, UW Global Health, Washington Global Health Alliance, and many more.

It is the collaborative spirit behind our innovations that drive us to develop solutions to health disparities. In Dr. Fleming’s words, “we’re culturally wired to imagine, to be visionaries, to be partners. To innovate.” It is in this same spirit that Global to Local was formed almost seven years ago. From our very inception, we have represented collaboration across not just public and private sectors, but also the very communities we exist to serve. Spanning organizations, companies, experts, community groups, and professionals, we were created to design a sustainable model of care for communities in the US that face similar barriers and inequities to those our global health organizations serve overseas. We are proud to say that Dr. Fleming, along with PATH, has been with us since the very beginning and continues to be one of the ‘brightest minds’ he references us bringing together.

Striving for Health in S. King County

G2L first heard from Monica Davalos, a mother and long-time Tukwila resident, at a “Community Conversation” where she shared her family’s daily challenges with health. Monica’s common experiences has given her the insight that has allowed her to be successful in her role as G2L’s Latina Community Health Worker. Together with G2L, she channels the concerns and issues community members face and uses this platform to continuously listen and amplify the marginalized voices of others to bring better health to S. King County.

For more about Monica’s journey from community member to community health worker at G2L, check out: http://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/in-s-king-county-an-extraordinary-effort-to-bring-better-health/

Global Health at Home: Learning From Best Practices

Global to Local - News

Global health is premised on taking responsibility for all people in a given location—around the world, in the United States, and at all levels of income.

G2L is working with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Partners In Health, and others to build a sustained initiative to apply global health concepts across the US. In March we will be hosting our first conference, bringing together healthcare and public health professionals to present our framework for community-led health.

Grab a sneak peek at what’s ahead this March from Harvard Magazine. This featured article showcases the importance learning from global health in the US.

Featured in Devex: Building Community Voice & Participation

We published an opinion piece for Devex last month that neatly summarizes our approach using our Community Health Worker program as an example of how programs evolve at G2L. With a focus on enhancing local voice in program development and implementation, G2L Executive Director Adam Taylor shares 3 key elements of success: hire and invest in local people, adapt solutions locally, and find donors who believe in community. He stresses the last element by saying “a community-led approach asks donors to also believe in the power of community, and invest in building community voice and participation.”

Read the full article at Devex.