Diversity and inclusion are core values for Community Legal Services (CLS) and it is critical that we incorporate these values into all aspects of our work including advocacy, communications, workplace environment, vendor selection, hiring, promotion and retention. We appreciate and value ideas that come from a diverse work environment and want to bring diversity of thought, experience and expertise to everything we do. We believe that an inclusive work environment provides an atmosphere that allows all individuals to attain their greatest potential and achieve the greatest benefits for clients.
In order to carry out CLS’s core values, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee (“The Committee”) will foster a shared culture at CLS that promotes the goals of accepting, respecting and valuing differences that include attributes such as age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, ability, language, family circumstances and cultural backgrounds. Recognizing the particular impact of racism on CLS clients and staff, the Committee will devote special attention to issues of racial justice.
The Committee’s shared goals are:
- Foster an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe.
- Cultivate a diverse and inclusive staff.
- Strengthen and enhance CLS’s commitment to advancing the cause of racial justice in our individual client representation and policy advocacy work.
To achieve these goals, the Committee will:
- Promote ideas and events to further the spirit of diversity and inclusion.
- Engage all staff in conversations and trainings about diversity and inclusion.
- Develop policies and practices to recruit, support, promote, and retain staff with diverse experiences and attributes.
- Critically explore ways CLS can incorporate racial justice and diversity in our community engagement and outreach efforts and in our substantive work.
As the Committee develops, there will be subcommittees, and ad hoc committees as needed, to discuss and propose ideas on these topics for the Committee and CLS management to consider. The Committee will continuously evolve and be open to new ideas and exchanges in the spirit of ensuring that all CLS staff knows that their differences and similarities alike are celebrated and appreciated.