Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just words, but actions at Big Brothers Big Sisters Lincoln. They are at the core of our mission, values, and purpose.
We celebrate the diversity of backgrounds, lives, and experiences among our youth, families, volunteers, donors, community partners, and staff. We see young people as whole people, no matter who they are or what they have been through. We create a safe space where all voices and perspectives are present, acknowledged, and honored in determining our goals, policies, and practices; foster a workplace environment where people have confidence bringing their whole, best selves; and continue to center the lived experiences of our Littles as we do our work.
We recognize playing fields aren’t level, and equality is not the same as justice. We acknowledge our role and responsibility to dismantle inequities as we examine our policies, systems, programs, and services that cause harm and hinder people – as individuals and members of groups, communities, and larger society – and their capacity to flourish and thrive.
We affirm the innate dignity of every person across multiple spectrums – of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ideology, income, national origin, race, sexual orientation, and marital and veteran status. We believe that inherent in every child is the ability to be successful and thrive. We are working to ensure all individuals have invitations, access, and opportunity to find meaningful connections, work, and community with us.
We are committed to cultivating a safe and affirming environment where all people feel welcome, respected, and valued. We are applying a non-discriminatory, anti-bias, and anti-racist lens to who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We know this work is a long and challenging process that continually evolves. We will make mistakes and remain open and dedicated to understanding and change. We will always strive to do better, be better, and show up for all young people.
In an effort to hold ourselves accountable, we are announcing our new and ongoing commitments to create an inclusive culture and pledge to do more to support our staff, youth, volunteers, families, donors, and the greater community.
- Support Matches with conversations, education, resources, and training from the moment of acceptance into the program until the conclusion of the Match.
- Welcome and intentionally recruit volunteers and children of all races, gender identities, and sexual orientations into our program.
- Regularly seek out new perspectives on our DEI efforts through surveys, listening sessions, small groups, etc.
- Intentionally and strategically recruit and promote diverse staff and board members.
- Prioritize working with vendors that are minority and women-owned.
- Designate funds to assess, inform, and strengthen our DEI efforts through training, events, and community engagement.
- Establish a Youth Advisory Board to inform program design and identify innovative ways to support and engage youths.
- Establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee to research and implement additional policies focused on diversity, inclusion, and belonging to create a more inclusive workplace culture.
- Work to ensure that our sponsors, partners, and donors align with our core values.
- Hold ourselves accountable to make progress, track that progress, and communicate that progress to our staff, board, and community.