October 25, 2021 - Financial Beginnings is furthering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts by taking action: forming a DEI Committee to lead, oversee, and report out on DEI matters; establishing an equity statement; and crafting DEI goals.
The organization as a whole worked to establish an equity statement, which is:
We recognize a greater need to serve minoritized and marginalized populations stems from a long-rooted history of systemic oppression, which has excluded these populations from having equitable access to financial knowledge and sound resources.
The equity statement also guides the DEI committee, chaired by Financial Beginnings Nebraska Program Manager Karrissa Jyles.
"As an organization, we understand the challenge of recognizing and reducing barriers in the financial realm. We're excited to reflect the needs of the communities we serve by operating through a DEI lens--and our committee is making progress," Jyles said.
Overall, the committee is working to move DEI forward for Financial Beginnings and its key partners and stakeholders. Duties include:
- Develop and implement Financial Beginnings' DEI strategic goals
- Create common language for the organization as it relates to DEI
- Share best practices for DEI in human resources, education & training, organizational development, and hiring
- Serve as a resource for guidance and consultation regarding DEI
- Share professional development opportunities around DEI
The duties were set in motion starting in May, when the committee welcomed facilitator Nefertiti Beck to lead an all-staff meeting, which included board members, centered on defining DEI terms and discussing ideas in tandem with Financial Beginnings' vision.
Recently the committee finalized the organization's DEI goals, which are in the form of categories with purpose statements:
People - Financial Beginnings listens to and engages individuals who are diverse and representative of the learners we serve.
- Programming - Financial Beginnings strives for programs and volunteers to connect with diverse communities.
- Access - Financial Beginnings proactively works to identify and overcome barriers that diverse communities face accessing our programs.
- Process - Financial Beginnings creates and maintains clear processes and tools for incorporating the voice and needs of the diverse communities we serve.
"We are defining our role in creating a more inclusive and equitable society, particularly as we strive to deliver our financial education programming to additional underserved communities across the country," said Financial Beginnings CEO, Melody Bell.
Next up, Financial Beginnings USA and affiliates will develop their own goal for each category aligning with the goal purposes and with national initiatives.
"The committee is making great, important progress in furthering inclusive goals and creating and implementing a shared, actionable vision," Jyles said. "We are committed to creating equity, and ensuring our intentions have a meaningful impact for learners, stakeholders, volunteers, staff, and communities."