Roles and Responsibilities of Senior Staff/Management Staff

The senior management of an organization, regardless of size, needs to be integrally involved with the design, development, and implementation of the inclusiveness initiative. Most organizations will find that an in-depth inclusiveness initiative affects all areas of the organization, and, thus, should consider how to most effectively involve all managers in the initiative, especially those parts of the initiative targeted to each manager's department.

Staff members who serve the organization in the capacity of director of programs, director of human resources, director of operations, director of fundraising, director of marketing and communications, and other similar positions will likely be heavily influenced by the outcomes of an inclusiveness initiative. Some organizations may choose to have senior or management staff take the lead in their focus areas; for example, in a larger organization, the director of communications may lead his/her staff through working on Marketing and Community Relations.

Since each organization's work is unique, you will need to decide for yourself which managers' work is most likely to be influenced by an inclusive initiative, how their work will likely be affected, and how best to involve your organization's management in the initiative.

Research has shown that the level of commitment to inclusiveness from the CEO/ED, whether white or a person of color, is a key factor in becoming more inclusive. NOTE: The Denver Foundation recommends that organizations that do not currently have a strong, deep commitment from their leadership not go through these materials at this time.

If your organization does not have a strong commitment from your CEO/ED, you may wish to have board members of other staff talk with your CEO about why you feel inclusiveness is important.

You may recommend that your CEO/ED talk with colleagues in your field who have strong inclusiveness practices about their work, including the benefits and challenges of an inclusiveness initiative. You may also wish to work through Creating the Case for Inclusiveness as an exercise to clarify the benefits of inclusiveness for your organization.

The price of the democratic way of life is a growing appreciation of people's differences, not merely as tolerable, but as the essence of a rich and rewarding human experience.     
     Jerome Nathanson