Diversity & Inclusion
In 2014, the ALA Metropolitan Detroit chapter chose to renew their Diversity and Inclusion efforts and immediately went to the ALA National website, where we found a wealth of information from the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Our chairperson contacted Ruth Fry of the national committee. She introduced the ALA’s Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard and provided our chairperson with inspiration and information to support our efforts.
Our chapter board elected to adopt and utilize the national ALA’s Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard and Companion Piece as a guide and inspiration for our chapter. The board member’s and all committee chairperson’s agreed to utilize the scorecard in future planning and programming. The scorecard inspired us to adopt and publish our Diversity and Inclusion Mission Statement:
The ALA Metropolitan Detroit Chapter is dedicated to providing each chapter member with the tools and resources needed to “increase diversity and inclusion in the chapter and in our workplaces.” We strive to attract and retain talented and diverse members, and to create an inclusive environment where all members can contribute to their fullest potential.
Inspired by the scorecard, our chapter incorporated Diversity and Inclusion in our educational programing. In September 2014n our chapter educational meeting was a highly charged participatory presentation by Megan Johnson, Generational Humorist. We opened our meeting to members, co-workers, business partners and anyone working with multiple generations. The topic was “how to find balance, productivity and your sanity while working with multiple generations.” The speaker outlined the dominant generational forces in the workplace and how each generation’s “Generational signposts” drive motivation, influence company loyalty and delivery of customer service.
In each edition of our quarterly newsletter, the “The Legal Ledger,” we have published our “We Participate” seal and have published our Diversity and Inclusion mission statement as well as articles, helpful information and links to the National ALA Diversity and Inclusion website and toolkit. Topics such as the generation gap, what is diversity and inclusion and gender bias have been covered. We also raised awareness of such tools as the “ALA Guide to Cross-Functioning Mentoring” that are available on the ALA national website.
Our chapter’s Community Connection efforts strived to incorporate awareness as well. Our chapter chose to support the Wounded Warrior Project by having “Warrior Wednesdays” as fund raisers from Memorial Day to Fourth of July. For the holiday season our chapter joined with ABC Harley Davidson The Waterford Hog Chapter and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to help bring Christmas to a child in need. Both of these efforts provided chapter members, their law firms, business partners and participants the opportunity to interact with individuals who have had unique and diverse experiences and raise awareness about their experiences and needs.
As our chapter starts its new year we look forward to further incorporating the National ALA’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative and scorecard.
The ALA Metropolitan Detroit Chapter took 4th place in the 2015 ALA Diversity and Inclusion Scorecard Challenge.