In November 2021, the PSGA board created a plan to pursue our goal to reshape PSGA as a more equitable and effective professional association. Since then we have carried out a board-wide focus workshop to share and learn about each other’s experiences, define the root purpose of this work, and figure out what actions we can take to move the needle.
The progression of our efforts over the last 4 years includes, in roughly this order:
- Efforts to recruit more diverse board members and volunteers by networking in person and organizational outreach resulted in some small progress.
- Through candid feedback from our members, we became more clearly aware that our community needs to address microaggressions in order to ethically recruit and welcome new people.
- Our board and high level volunteers participated in a workshop led by black and brown consultants to assess our perceptions and reality and create a work plan to ongoingly monitor and improve, among other things, distribution of decision making power.
- We implemented a “hosted membership” program as a way to reach out to communities that are not currently participating in PSGA. Our goal is to broaden the array of perspectives and experience among members and in leadership roles.
- Our board and more active volunteers participated in a Right to Be workshop to learn how to effectively respond to disrespect and microaggressions in the workplace.
- We are implementing permanent hosted memberships for tribal entities in order to increase input from the tribes in our region.
- We are launching a DEI specific feedback tool (the comment box located below) which we hope will encourage people to share their perspectives and experiences. Feedback is anonymous unless people choose to add their name.
- We are working toward hiring a contractor to rebuild our website so that it accurately and efficiently conveys the benefits that all of our members are entitled to, encourages all members to participate in building the curricula and events topics that PSGA offers, and highlights tools put in place to disperse decision making and collect feedback.
Our most powerful tool, however, is the stories that our members share about their experiences. Our experiences are the only real measure of whether or not PSGA is a welcoming, supportive, and socially pluralistic environment.
We encourage everyone to use the webform below to share your perspective and experience. We hope that folks will share about their experiences whether they are specific events that have occurred in the community or general perspectives and ideas. Regardless of each of our relationship to institutional power and privilege, we are all connected to and affected by it in a unique way. Understanding our own experiences through this lens and hearing about other people’s experiences helps us identify, as individuals, ways in which we can best contribute to an equitable, pluralist community. Your contributions will be anonymous unless you choose to add your name.
- When did your privilege afford you different treatment than someone else?
- When did someone advocate for you? (Did someone with privilege help you?)
- Did you ever need to search to find your own sense of belonging?
- When did you discover a bias/privilege you had and how did you overcome it?
Have you ever felt pressure to conform or fit in?
- Did you ever witness an unconscious bias play out in the workplace?
This kind of work is new for most of us and the field of ideas is rapidly evolving. Along the way we are taking great care to not do more harm. We acknowledge this is a new practice for us and we appreciate any feedback as we work to improve this process overall.
Click here to visit our DEI Resources page.