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Update on AMIGOS’ Organizational Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


Last year, we deepened our organization’s commitment to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. Today, we are providing an update on our progress toward the actions we outlined. 

This work remains critically important as the global community seeks to dismantle systemic inequality, racism, and oppression. For AMIGOS, this is integral to our vision of a world where all people share responsibility for our global community. Part of that responsibility is creating a safe and equitable world for everyone.  

Below are the actions we outlined in July 2020 and a report on our progress thus far. 

  • Action: Review of our organizational goals to ensure action on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
    • Update: The 2021 CEO goals and organization-wide work plan include developing a multi-year DEI strategy for all stakeholder groups: the AMIGOS Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and local chapter leadership. The DEI Work Group and the Senior Management Team are partners in this effort. 
  • Action: Launch a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Work Group comprised of staff representatives from all departments. 
    • Update: This group was launched in July 2020. The DEI Work Group is responsible for creating goals, supporting a multi-year work plan, and developing a system for evaluating progress, in partnership with our staff and organizational stakeholders. This group meets regularly and has accomplished the following:
      • Administering a DEI survey: The group developed, administered, and evaluated an all-staff survey to address six main categories: 
        • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
        • Belonging  
        • Freedom of Thought & Expression  
        • Professional Opportunities, Compensation, & Advancement  
        • Decision-Making  
        • Organizational Priorities in DEI 
      • Setting initial priorities: Survey responses were used to set high-level priorities for 2021: 
        • Assess and develop equitable hiring and salary practices, 
        • Create inclusive and equitable HR and internal policy systems, and 
        • Support the recruitment and inclusive nurturing of diverse volunteers. 
      • Securing external consultation to guide our multi-year DEI strategy: The DEI Work Group interviewed several DEI consultants and hired Zahida Sherman of Z Crown ConsultingIn consultation with Z Crown Consulting, we learned that the most effective, sustainable DEI efforts start with the leadership team. Accordingly, Zahida has begun working with our Senior Management Team to guide AMIGOS organizational and departmental priorities. As of April 19, 2021, she led two workshops for the Senior Management Team. During these workshops, initial work was done in the following areas:
        • Refreshing our organizational DEI commitment statement 
        • Drafting high-level DEI priorities  
        • Developing a draft strategy to review with staff and stakeholders  
      • Supporting Human Resources improvement: The group took part in hiring a dedicated Human Resources Manager. She has since joined the DEI Work Group and will be instrumental in furthering goals around equitable and inclusive hiring and Human Resources systems.  
  •  Action: Provide space and resources for learning, dialogue, and feedback from our staff at large and make time for staff to reflect and engage in action. 
    • Update:
      • A new policy was approved to provide staff eight hours for civic engagement to use at their discretion. Some examples of actions taken in 2020 include working at polls, voter registration, and phone banking. Moving forward, our team continues to explore ways to provide this space for staff. 
      • Updated the AMIGOS DEI web page to serve as the central hub detailing our organization commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion and sharing antiracism resources. 
      • The AMIGOS staff participated in a DEI Storytelling Session during our annual staff retreat. This gives an opportunity for all staff to tell their diversity story to form deeper connections within the workplace. Developing cultural competence and empathy allows for staff to learn about what makes them individually unique and connect with the AMIGOS mission. 
  • Action: Recognize Juneteenth and provide time off for staff to reflect, learn, and act. 
    • Update: As of 2020, Juneteenth is officially recognized as a paid holiday for our staff team in the United States. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865 — over two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — Major General Gordon Grander landed in Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and enslaved peoples were now free. While its celebration is rooted in Texas, it is now celebrated across the United States with rodeos, picnics, religious services, educational and historic services, festivals, family gatherings, and more. During this holiday, staff are encouraged to spend time in reflection, education, and action. Educational resources are provided. 
  •  Action: Share resources on antiracism and social justice, and implement a strategy to amplify Black voices 
    • Update: We made a new commitment to use our platforms to speak out on social justice issues. For the first time, we began to share social media posts on topics such as the work of young Black activists, the Black Trans Lives Matter movement, and Juneteenth. We also broadened this commitment to include a dedication to amplifying marginalized groups, such as posting about Pride and voicing opposition to hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
    • While we are glad to have shared increasingly diverse voices on our marketing channels, we do not believe this goes deep enough. We plan to share more posts in Spanish geared toward Latin American youth, collect and share more diverse perspectives on our programming, and amplify BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) voices by sharing content from diverse creators. 
    • A future goal for this commitment is to increase capacity on our team such that we can develop and implement a more comprehensive strategy for amplifying diverse voices on our platforms. We plan to define the impact of this commitment beyond showing support for diverse communities and demonstrating inclusivity for all of our volunteers and stakeholders. 
  • Action: Build racial equity and justice modules into the curriculum of our new U.S.-based gap program, the Civic Action Gap Semester, with plans to update the curriculum for all programs. 
    • Update: Racial equity and justice curriculum was included in the Civic Action Gap Semester administered in partnership with Tufts University Tisch College of Civic Life. 
    • Since then, the Programs team hired an expert consultant to review program curriculum to ensure alignment with AMIGOS values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The team is currently working to update curriculum so that it is inclusive to a diverse group of participants and stakeholders.

This work is ongoing. While we have taken strides, there is still much to do. We will continue to push forward in our effort to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world through our organization and mission. 

We commit to updating the AMIGOS community on our progress in these areas at a minimum twice annually, and we welcome your ideas or feedback.  



The AMIGOS Team 


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