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5 Steps Towards Starting a DEI or REI Committee at Work

With the expansion of racial equity movements across businesses and nonprofits, many organizations are looking internally to build a Diversity/Equity/Inclusion (DEI) or a Race/Equity/Inclusion (REI) committee to help initiate and steer ongoing growth and change in this area. Here are some steps to consider when pulling together your committee. 

Step 1: Leadership Support. 

A DEI or REI committee is most successful when the leadership team is on board with the initiative. Any role can start one of these committees as long as the committee is supported by leadership. 

Step 2: Gather Champions. 

Seek out others within the workplace who are not only passionate about the importance of diversity and inclusion but willing to put in the additional time to keep learning and help others learn. 

Step 3: Review of Resources.  

Ensure the success and advancement of your initiatives by having a location to file and gather resources. This will act as a point of reference for the committee and offer the committee some useful readings, webinars, etc., to share with others about this work. Check out our dynamic list of resources at our Racial Equity Hub.

Step 4: Plan and Host Your First Meeting. 

Every meeting should have a plan. This first meeting should also set a framework for a conversation to help: 

  1. Define race, equity, diversity, inclusion, and other vital terms, so all committee members have a common understanding of the language.
  2. Discuss the potential goals of the committee—what is it the group wants to accomplish?

Be sure to have someone take minutes or notes to document and share initial goals with all members. 

Step 5: Plan Your Next Meeting and Next Steps. 

The next steps are really up to your committee (and leadership). Perhaps, the committee, again, along with leadership, will choose to hire an outside DEI/REI consulting expert to facilitate conversations and initiatives. Maybe, there will be weekly articles written and disseminated across the organization’s constituents to help the ongoing learning and discussion of these topics. Your organization gets to decide how to educate internally and externally, and how to monitor and evaluate continued efforts.

Remember, the vast majority of us are learning together. Therefore, it makes sense to ask lots of questions and seek guidance to find the right answers. We must all continue to mentor each other, and success will grow out of this shared learning framework.

City's racial and ethnic equality task force members revealed

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James revealed the names of those who will be a part of the city's new Racial and Ethnic Equality Task Force. The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is humbled and honored CEO Brad Hurlburt and Board Chair Julie Fisher Cummings have been named task force members.