Michigan Genealogical Council

Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in a Genealogical Society
Prepared by Brenda Leyndyke, President Michigan Genealogical Council

Some ways to make members feel safe, comfortable, and welcome at your meetings and events:

  1. Create diversity and inclusion policies.
  2. Be welcoming to all-welcome all interested parties to your meetings, including nonmembers.
  3. Accept people for who they are.
  4. Make meeting spaces accessible to all.
  5. Publish your policies and statements in newsletters, and on your website, and social media channels.
  6. Reach out to your community by diversifying your monthly programs -feature speakers that have broad cultural perspectives.
  7. Have a mini class and spend time each month learning about different cultural traditions.
  8. Partner with diverse community organizations on meetings and activities- for example, have an LBGT program. Coordinate with your local LBGT organization.
  9. Be mindful and open to communication where issues can be discussed and improved upon.
  10. Recruit diverse board members.
  11. Treat people the way they want to be treated.
  12. Mirror the community you serve.
  13. Reevaluate the images you use in your newsletters and website. Do they feature a mixture of races, genders, and religions?
  14. Keep language gender neutral. For example, use the words “friends” or “people” instead of “ladies and gentlemen” or “guys”.
  15. Host a cultural fair, ethnic food festival, or cultural art exhibition.
  16. Recognize heritage holidays and occasions.
  17. Evaluate yourselves or ask attendees to evaluate the diversity of your organization. Seek their ideas.
  18. Check in with your members, ask them, “how are you are doing today?”
  19. Use diverse vendors-actively seek out businesses owned by minorities.
  20. Hold your meeting at diverse venues -African American churches, mosques, or cultural centers in your area.

For more information

  1. National Council for Nonprofits: Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matters in Nonprofits. https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/why-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-matter-nonprofits
  2. W.K. Kellogg Foundation: Racial Equity Resource Guide Glossary. http://www.racialequityresourceguide.org/about/glossary
  3. Board Source: Beyond Political Correctness-Building a Diverse and Inclusive Board. https://boardsource.org/resources/building-diverse-inclusive-board/