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D5 Highlights CMF's Diveristy Discussion and Assessment Tool

Thursday, May 14, 2015

In a guest blog post for the D5 Coalition, Debbie McKeon, Senior Vice President of Member Services at the Council of Michigan Foundations reveals the genesis of CMF's successful Is Your Foundation Leveraging the Power of Differences? Discussion and Assessment Toolkit. A longtime leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work, the Council of Michigan Foundations, along with the Forum Network, is a coalition member of D5, a five-year coalition to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy.

In her post, Debbie describes Michigan's toolkit this way:

Drawing on research findings that diverse teams outperform homogenous ones, we developed a discussion and assessment tool that we hope will engage all our members in the work of DEI by helping foundation leaders begin essential conversations about the power of differences. The assessment guides participants through a series of statements about understanding, commitment, conditions, and resources, asking them to evaluate where their organization stands with regard to these aspects of a diverse and inclusive culture.

Each topic in the assessment is accompanied by a brief explanation of “why it’s important” and a short case study of a CMF member organization showing “what it looks like.” Nonjudgmental categories of response — “Exploring (haven’t decided),” “Making Progress (somewhat true),” and “We Are There (true)” — were designed to encourage honesty and give leadership a clear view of the current landscape.

By aligning our learning services and resource hub offerings with the assessment’s response categories, we hope to give members an easy way to find CMF programs and tools that will serve them wherever they are on the DEI journey.

Read Debbie's full post at the D5 Blog and learn more about CMF's Is Your Foundation Leveraging the Power of Differences? Discussion and Assessment Toolkit.

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