top of page

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

Framework Purpose:

  • Explain SEEDS DEIB philosophy and approach for staff, partners, and clients in a digestible way

  • Provide understanding for folx at all sorts of places in their own DEIB journey and offer guidance to deepen in DEIB practice.

  • Create a tool to guide the organization towards stronger DEIB 

  • Share the intersection of Conflict Transformation and DEIB work in a clear and digestible way

 

Framework Components:

  • Context and revision process/frequency “living document concept” 

  • Statement of organizational commitment towards ongoing DEIB work 

  • Intentions and limitations of the framework 

  • Audience 

  • Key concepts and values -Framework itself

    • Assumptions 

    • Concepts 

  • Application and implementation/tactics/techniques 

  • Resources for implementation 

Context and revision process/frequency “living document concept”

In service of being a trusted organization, SEEDS models and embodies internal & external congruence with our values and practices. The DEIB framework is necessary for any nonprofit organization to thrive and stay in accountability. SEEDS believes this is as important and foundational as a budget, operating model, business plan or any strategic planning tool. Conflict Transformation (CT) and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). principles and strategies are intersecting, overlapping, and amplifying one another. Conflict Transformation is a pathway towards DEIB and DEIB are the values underpinning conflict transformation, therefore the two are inextricably linked.

 

This linkage is represented in SEEDS values and practices alignment with DEIB values and practices. During the past three years, SEEDS has taken significant and intentional measures to strengthen our DEIB both internally and programmatically. Recognizing that there is no “arrival” on creating more DEIB in our organization and programming it’s important to have a framework to guide us on this journey. As the organization continues to expand and grow, it’s important to codify our commitment and approach to DEIB into a framework that the organization will use as a guide to continue and deepen our DEIB.

 

The SEEDS vision is to see conflict as an opportunity for positive growth and transformation in society. Growth is an inevitable and necessary part of conflict transformation and DEIB work. Our tools must grow and iterate with us which is why this document will be a “living document” with an annual review by organizational and BoD leadership. Any significant changes will include input from organizational staff. 

As our organizational and collective understanding of DEIB expands and deepens it is our commitment to update the document to be relevant. Further, we seek to have the fluidity of the document add to the capacity for visioning what new growth is possible as the circumstances change and grow. A living document keeps our attention focused on what the world conflict practitioners are building for our society as a whole. This challenges us to develop best practices that grow forward into that new world rather than replicating old models that are not working. 

 

All staff and Board of Directors members are invited to offer input, suggestions for edits potential additions, and for organizational and BoD reviews. Requests can be brought to the ED. If any significant/substantial changes will be brought to the executive committee of the board for approval. We are committed to finding our organizational growing edges and to lean in where we find discomfort while utilizing the SEEDS learning zone model. 
 

Statement of organizational commitment towards ongoing DEIB work

Conflict Transformation (CT) and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). principles and strategies are intersecting, overlapping, and amplifying one another. Conflict Transformation is a pathway towards DEIB and DEIB are the values underpinning conflict transformation, therefore the two are inextricably linked.

 

This linkage is represented in SEEDS values and practices alignment with DEIB values and practices. During the past three years, SEEDS has taken significant and intentional measures to strengthen our DEIB both internally and programmatically. Recognizing that there is no “arrival” on creating more DEIB in our organization and programming it’s important to have a framework to guide us on this journey.

 

The work of CT is the implementation of DEIB work and has been for centuries. While some language may be adapted/adopted as society's understanding of DEIB work changes, the primary commitment has not changed. By committing to congruence with our practices SEEDS ensures that this work has not been and will not be done in a performative way.

 

Recognition and acknowledgments: 

  • SEEDS recognizes that in some of its roots in parts of the ADR and RJ fields there have been formal and informal ways that conflict resolution has been used to silence people, uphold the status quo and center white dominant culture. Also ADR originated as an alternative to our legal field and components of it came directly from this legal field. The legal field remains the whitest profession in the US. 

  • SEEDS acknowledges the history and legacy of nonprofits and the non-profit industrial complex. 

  • SEEDS is a business that operates in a capitalist system. This means that we operate within systems of oppression and extraction. 

  • SEEDS complies with all labor and HR laws. Sometimes our restorative approach to addressing harm feels undermined by our legal field. We are still committed to following labor laws and when possible offering additional, add-on restorative approaches.

  • The history of RJ in the US and its popularization is complicated. RJ is often implemented as only a process without the worldview. Often it is implemented with a colonizer's approach. 

  • SEEDS transformation work works within formal institutions such as schools, local governments, the justice system etc. We are not separate from these systems and do not believe that we can operate outside of them. Therefore there are many times that our DEIB work is slow-moving. 

  • This includes the history and impact of SEEDS (including past harms)

Intentions and limitations of the framework 

It’s important to share our intention for this framework while acknowledging that there is often a gap in intention and impact-especially in DEIB work. We also recognize that every tool is just that, a tool. It comes with limitations. Recognizing the limitations guides us to determine when /how this tool will be effective and identify other ways to address the gaps created by the limitations. 

 

Intention: As the organization continues to expand and grow, it’s important to codify our commitment and approach to DEIB. This framework serves as an organizational guide to continue and deepen our DEIB. Recognizing that there is no “arrival” on creating more DEIB in our organization and programming this framework will guide us on this journey.

 

Limitations:

  • People can interpret and implement any framework differently

  • Every individual has their own beliefs and approach to DEIB it is unlikely that any framework will encompass all that every individual past, present, and future would name as most important to DEIB work. 

  • There is often a gap between intention and impact that we see in implementing DEIB strategies. 

 

THE FRAMEWORK: Key concepts, practices and values

Key Assumptions/Conditions:

These are the assumptions under which SEEDS developed and implements this framework:

 

  • SEEDS operates in a world and society with systems of inequalities and oppression.

  • SEEDS, like all organizations in the US, therefore replicate some of these dynamics in our organization and service delivery

  • Increased diversity of all kinds -lived experience, identity, cultural background, age, ability, neurological makeup, etc. are an asset to be fostered and celebrated.

  • Our organization is strong only when our team is diverse (this is a value and also experience and science show us this!) 

  • Org culture, practices and norms must iterate, grow, shift etc.

  • There is no arrival…we are on a lifelong/org long journey

  • Power With” instead of “Power Over”

  • Collective liberation, where everyone’s freedom is bound up in one and other

  • Non-paternalistic: those closest to the conflict are closest to the solution

  • Everyone is the expert in their own lived experience 

  • Being embodied to break down separation/isolation etc as the antidote to oppression 

  • Mutuality and collaboration instead of individualism

  • Commitment to personal transformation in service of community-addressing our assumptions, being non-judgemental. 

 

Belonging and beloved community

  • Beloved community is our goal. Bridging is the pathway to this goal. We bridge to heal trauma. We employ a trauma-informed approach. 

  • Belonging and beloved community means belonging for everyone. Including and especially those we don’t agree with and believe are harming our world and vision of the world. 

  • We work within and outside of formal institutions and systems to create social change 

  • Joy, gratitude and celebration 

Generative and relational human engagement, vision, and decision making 

  • Centers relationship and embraces each person’s truth as their own (no one universal truth) this is impacted by each person's perspective, values, lived experiences and ancestral/generational history

  • Promoting conflict positive relationships and teams

  • “Process is as important as outcomes

  • Moving at the speed of trust -slow down to speed up

  • Deep listening and empathy

  • Normalizes and makes space for all emotions 

  • Non-adversarial social change and equity approach

 

Shifting narratives 

  • Beyond binaries: both/and instead of either/or. Holding many truths and narratives. 

  • Paradigm shift away from good vs. bad to understand the complexities of human experiences, emotions and actions. No heroes and villains  Strengths-based approach. 

  • Naming and addressing power dynamics & identity politics present in the room 

  • Elevating underrepresented voices and ensuring all voices are present for decisions, considerations, process design etc. Equity vs. equality. 

 

Accountability & transformation 

  • Teaching and practicing accountability processes, values and language. Understanding and tending to impact. 

  • We must address harm to fully find creative solutions to conflict (systemic, historical, relational, etc.) 

  • Active, with applied practices (ie attribution)

 

Collective Liberation

  • offer repair models for addressing harm

  • We work both within and outside of formal systems and institutions to create change

  • Acknowledging that implicit and explicit bias exists, and informing our behaviors

  • Needs-based analysis and clear effective communication are the way towards equity 

  • Personal transformation in service of the collective good. We belong to each other  

  • Breaking down/unpacking assumptions and owning/addressing our biases

  • Cultural humility-it starts with me

  • Community of practice: ongoing muscle development and need each others support towards accountability. 

  • Uplifting each other’s humanity and dignity

  • Tending to impact, acknowledging intent 

Application and implementation techniques

  • This is a lens we apply to strategic planning, board development and business development

  • This is a lens for all curricula and process design

    • Example: When staff creates and/or updates curriculum and training materials they use this framework as a guide. 

    • All curriculums teach about power/privilege and conflict from an intersectional lens 

    • Celebrate the ways that adversarial conflict engagement has made huge social movements, while sticking to our non-adversarial approach. 

    • All curriculums (regardless of topic) explored 

    • Have progressive movement space conflict transformation curriculum so that we are not only accessible to mainstream workplaces/groups

  • Program implementation: Analysis of community needs and program design elements and implementation decisions utilize this frame

    • Example: use of community agreements, land acknowledgment, cultural humility, etc.) 

    • Land acknowledgment 

    • Multi-cultural communication agreements 

    • Pronouns handouts

    • Trauma-informed

    • Cultural humility lens 

  • Accountability to those we serve, our partners, volunteers, staff 

    • Sliding scale fees encourage people to think about generational wealth and other structural inequities, not just income 

    • Our assessments for schools include racial equity questions and our blueprints help schools develop an anti-racist parallel pathway (ie how will they address the systemic racism) 

    • Maintain racial diversity of BoD

    • Model restorative harm repair internally and externally 

  • Hiring processes center these values and include this framework 

    • Example: All first screening asks about racial literacy. No formal educational requirements in JD. Salary ranges posted from start…etc. 

    • Example: Explicitly invite lived experience considered for experience for the role 

  • Policies and procedures use this framework to develop and implement

    • Example: Bereavement is used for whomever someone decides is important to them not with a formal list of who is family. 

  • Used to make budgetary and financial decisions 

    • Example: Model budgetary transparency by having managers fully understand  the budget for their programmatic areas and provide updates to staff (take ownership) along with ARM & SC (goals, what actually happened, the plan to move forward, the why)

    • Consider staff needs in addition to profit needs

Resources for implementation (assigned to everyone crowdsource)

 

Screen Shot 2022-12-12 at 1.26.34 PM.png
Screen Shot 2022-12-12 at 2.02.44 PM.png
bottom of page