A lot has been said recently in the blogosphere about the topic of diversity and inclusion within the association community. So I was very happy to learn that ASAE was taking the conversation to the next level with the Diversity and Inclusion Conference in Washington, DC next February. As a DELP Scholar, I feel this is long overdue. Here are some of my hopes and dreams for this upcoming event.
This doesn’t mark the end of the conversation at ASAE conferences. D&I programming is still needed at the Annual Meeting, Great Ideas, and other activities.
This conference extends the preaching beyond the choir. Those of us who have an interest in diversity and inclusion have already heard best practices, lessons learned and so on. This program should seek out the skeptics who may even question the need for such a conference.
Being brave enough to have the uncomfortable conversation. How can we learn to work together when we don’t take the time to understand each other? We all stereotype. We need to own up to it, deal with it and move on.
Social media is utilized. If no one is actively tweeting, facebooking, and/or foursquaring about this conference, we will be missing a golden opportunity.
To recognize the visible and invisible forms of diversity. This must become the mindset moving forward.
Giving those who are not CEOs or senior staff the opportunity to participate. To have a thoughtful conversation about diversity and inclusion, shouldn’t we have feedback from across the spectrum? I’m sure lower level staff can contribute to the conversation as well if not better than the CEO.
This conference becomes part of the regular ASAE schedule. If the association wants to show leadership with this topic, this conference has to continue beyond 2011. We can no longer afford to just pay lip service to diversity and inclusion.
By the way, if you’re interested in becoming a content leader at the Diversity and Inclusion Conference, RFPs are due this Friday October 1. More information can be found here: http://www.asaecenter.org/Forms/2011DiversityConferenceRFP/index.cfm Spread the word and get involved!