DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION

Overview

 

At Élan Youth Arts, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment is one where all youth membership, staff, board members, and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our ensembles and staff teams, both educational and managerial. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

 

We’re committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the entire arts industry of the nonprofit sector, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for youth membership, staff, board members, and volunteers. 

 

Diversity: We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms, including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status and political perspective.

 

Equity: We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment, and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status.

 

Inclusion: We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our organization is a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups in our organization and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.

 

Disclaimer:

 

Élan Youth Arts is not a law firm, law enforcement agency, or governing body.  We are an education based arts non-profit creating good faith initiatives and guidelines for youth membership, staff, board members, and volunteers.  The guidelines within this document are an extension of binding language found in staff and membership contracts, as well as Board of Directors by-laws.  

 

Though we are not a law firm, law enforcement agency, or governing body, Élan Youth Arts reserves the right to terminate participation and/or association if the actionable values of an individual or group of individuals do not align with the organization’s philosophy. 

 

If a violation of our guidelines results in or is caused by the breaking of law, the appropriate authorities will be contacted. 

 

 

 

 

Élan Youth Arts Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy

 

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, we strive to:

  • See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.

  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report organization progress.

  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.

  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.

  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our youth membership, educational and managerial staff, board, and volunteers. 

  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all participants and associates to embrace this notion and to express it in the organization’s interactions and through everyday practices.

 

Élan Youth Arts abides by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion in our organization:

  • Pursue cultural competency throughout our organization by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.

  • Generate and aggregate quantitative and qualitative research related to equity
    to make incremental, measurable progress toward the visibility of our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. Once the content is curated it will be added to our public outlets so others can access.

  • Improve our cultural leadership pipeline by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that reflects the diversity of American society.

  • Pool resources and expand offerings for underrepresented constituents by connecting with other arts organizations committed to diversity and inclusion efforts.

  • Develop and present sessions on diversity, inclusion, and equity to provide information and resources internally, and to members, the community, and the arts industry.

  • Develop a system for being more intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process. Train our hiring team on equitable practices.

  • Include a salary range with all public job descriptions.

  • Advocate for public and private-sector policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.

 

As we strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion in Elan Youth Arts in the future, here are some our efforts from the past:

  • 2013-present day: EYA offers tuition payment plans for membership 

  • 2016: Expanded Board of Directors to include more women and POC.

  • 2016: Revised member and staff contracts, as well as Board by-laws, to include language that prohibits actions that may exclude, bully, harass, etc, fellow members, staff, and board members. 

  • 2018: Began developing a whistleblower policy and incident reporting procedures, and created a Safety and Compliance Officer role within the Board of Directors.  Board members participated in SCPA roundtable discussion concerning member safety

  • 2020: Began process for creating a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy. 

 

In 2021 and beyond, Elan Youth Arts looks forward to:

  • Continuing to modify and improve our Safety and Compliance and DEI policies to reflect changes and/or continued education of our board, membership, staff, and volunteers. 

  • Partnering with our community to find scholarship opportunities for membership of diverse backgrounds.

  • Expand our management and administration to include more opportunities for continued growth.