A MESSAGE FROM OUR EDI COMMITTEE CO-LEADS
Historically, diversity and inclusion was not always a priority for organizations. That changed after George Floyd’s murder and deep societal shifts around the world.
In 2020, I stepped into my role at SickKids Foundation eager and passionate about supporting an organization that had always inspired me. At the time, we had already been taking steps towards embedding diversity and inclusion into our culture, and we had the ambitious goal of becoming a leader of EDI in the not-for-profit sector. To drive this work, we are focusing on three areas: people, place and practice, which you can read more about on this same page.
We continue to evolve and refine our approach. For example, we recognize that everyone learns, processes and interprets information differently. We implemented different ways of engaging, including monthly listening circles along with external trainings from EDI experts, while empowering employee resource groups to organize their own Foundation-wide trainings. One of the pieces I am most proud of is the creation of a SKF Black Leadership Internship program, which is building a pipeline of future Foundation executives in Black communities.
EDI within an organization will always be an ever-evolving learning journey. However, we hope the pride we feel in our work will also be seen and felt by our peers and communities.
—Raia Carey, Manager, Diversity, Inclusion & Culture and Co-Lead, EDI Committee
On May 25, 2020, I, along with many others, watched in horror as George Floyd, a Black man living in Minneapolis, was murdered by a White police officer. We were all affected by Mr. Floyd’s death one way or another. For me, it was a reminder that racism continued to thrive in our society. When do we say enough is enough?
When I look at our sector, I see many opportunities to do better when fostering a culture of EDI in fundraising. My passion for this work stems from a belief that our sector and our fundraising practices need to be more reflective of the various, diverse communities that we serve.
Ensuring that our Board at SickKids Foundation is diverse, that our marketing reflects patients and families from diverse backgrounds and that our fundraising directly supports the EDI strategies at the hospital are meaningful steps in leading in EDI across the charitable sector. We acknowledge that there is more to do, but we remain committed to doing better.
—Leonard Nolasco, Associate Director, Major Gifts and Co-Lead, EDI Committee
Our EDI Committee works with four Working Groups made up of team members from across the Foundation. These colleagues help drive change by fostering an environment that celebrates individuality and embraces diversity so everyone can bring their authentic selves to the workplace.
EDI COMMITTEE WORKING GROUPS
Our Working Groups consist of EDI Committee members as well as other colleagues from the Foundation who are focused on different aspects of our organization. Our Working Groups include:
BlackNorth Initiative Working Group
Our purpose is to fulfill our commitment to the BlackNorth Initiative CEO Pledge to build a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We aim to create and foster a trusting, psychologically safe and inclusive workplace to increase our representation and retention of our Black colleagues. You can read more about our work here.
People Working Group
Our purpose is to build skills, knowledge and self-awareness to address EDI and foster mutual understanding, respect and growth to enable everyone to foster a sense of belonging. Our priorities focus on promoting and increasing internal awareness of EDI through extensive training opportunities and other communication channels.
Place Working Group
Our purpose is to cultivate a safe and positive physical and emotional environment for all that facilitates a culture of EDI. We maintain an organizational presence through Foundation-wide events, including listening circles, and by providing resources focused on mental well-being. We also build community partnerships, implement survey feedback from staff and remove identified barriers in physical and digital spaces.
Practice Working Group
Our purpose is to fully integrate EDI into the fabric and framework of our Foundation through policies, procedures and practice. We support employee retention and remove identified barriers during recruitment, implement guidelines to review our Foundation’s policies with an EDI lens and encourage the use of inclusive language.
Our journey toward a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Foundation requires ongoing learning. As part of this collaborative process, we are sharing some resources that our Foundation has found helpful:
Inclusive Meeting Guidelines
Gender Inclusive Language Checklist
BlackNorth Initiative Playbook
Questions, concerns or compliments. We’d love to hear from you.