ElderSource Adopts New Inclusion Statement
Inclusion Statements Are Good Business
From coffee shops, to Board Rooms, news headlines, to community events and public meetings, Jacksonville residents are participating in and hearing about conversations on the topic of acceptance and inclusion. And, of course, it goes without saying that these conversations are occurring all around the country.
In the past, we believed our organization, ElderSource, was all-inclusive – meaning our mission, vision and guiding principles demonstrated our commitment to presenting a workplace and implementing practices that made us accessible to anyone who needs our services and resources, volunteered for us or worked for us. Looking closer and using an interesting self-assessment tool, we realized we could do a much better job addressing this issue.
To this point, the ElderSource Board of Directors recently adopted the following Inclusion Statement, which we intend to incorporate in all aspects of how we do business, including but not limited to, new employee and board member orientation, interaction with our clients and vendors, posting the statement in common areas of our building, on our website and in social media posts, job applications, just to name a few.
ElderSource values all people – including but not limited to all nationalities, socio-economic backgrounds, abilities, races, genders, religious perspectives, sexual orientations and gender identities – in everything we do. We welcome the unique insights and perspectives of all persons in our quest to fulfill our mission.
Having this statement sends a clear message that we take inclusion seriously. One of our board members who has helped lead this discussion eloquently stated, “We just don’t want to invite people to the party. We want to ask them to dance.”
This is just the beginning of the efforts we are taking to make sure we are sincerely inclusive. I invite and encourage other CEOs and community leaders to examine the climate of their workplaces and consider crafting an Inclusion Statement in order to create an environment where all employees, customers and vendors feel safe, comfortable and certainly welcome to dance.
Linda J. Levin, M.S.G.
This piece was recently submitted to and published in the Florida Times Union in February 2017. Click here to view it on their website.