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New Tool for Putting Diversity into Action

Recovery for All
December 2010

Multicultural Action Center Highlights of 2010Image

The NAMI Standards of Excellence on Diversity, Inclusion & Non-discrimination were created with an understanding that NAMI’s health and growth depends on our ability to reach and attract all the communities who need us and call for us to become diverse and inclusive of every sector of the population. The aspiration for this section of the standards is for the membership and leadership in all levels of the organization to “reflect the demographic composition of their respective state or community.” In support of NAMI state organizations and local affiliates to achieve this vision, the Multicultural Action Center created Let’s Talk: Diversity in Action.

This do-it-yourself toolkit provides NAMI state organizations and local affiliates with guidance to facilitate a 90-minute dialogue among key leadership and stakeholders to get started on the road toward diversity, inclusion and cultural competence—meant to be the first step of many on this path. The main objectives of the dialogue are to assess levels of diversity and, most importantly, start developing plans to improve in this area to ultimately meet the standard practices identified in the Standards of Excellence.

Let’s Talk was introduced to NAMI leadership during the NAMI 2010 Convention and piloted in late summer and fall with NAMI Kansas, NAMI Wisconsin (pilots held in both Madison and Green Bay) and NAMI Johnson County (Iowa). The toolkit will be finalized based on the feedback received from these sites and made available to NAMI State Organizations and NAMI Affiliates everywhere in early 2011.

Becoming a diverse and inclusive organization requires a concerted effort at the local, state and national levels. Let’s Talk: Diversity in Action supports NAMI’s endeavor to understand diversity and the important role it plays in our work, embrace and respect cultural differences and include different worldviews and approaches into our efforts.

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