Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential concepts of our organization. LWVNC is committed to supporting actions that enhance these concepts in our work, our membership, and our programs. We encourage you to read the LWVUS DEI Policy.
We echo LWVUS' acknowledgement that our organization was not welcoming to women of color through most of our existence. It is important to understand this history as we strive to do better. (Read Facing Hard Truths About the League's Origin on the LWVUS site.) "The Untold Story of Women of Color in the League of Women Voters" – written by Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, a North Carolina resident and former national president of LWVUS – adds a new dimension to the conversation.
We view diversity – in our membership and leadership – as a strength of the organization. The more diverse our members, the greater is our breadth of understanding of the issues that impact our citizens. We become stronger with increased diversity, when everyone has the same opportunities (equity) and when disparities that affect justice and fairness are dissolved (inclusion).
LWVNC has established a DEI team to help local Leagues develop and expand their DEI programs, tailored to the needs of their communities. Each community's needs are different, so the state League offers a variety of resources to help address the issues most relevant to local Leagues' members and localities.
We will be expanding the DEI Resource List as the state team learns of newly available books, articles, podcasts, webinars, speakers, etc. Please check back each month to find new materials that may be useful to your local League. LWVNC will also be planning League events to help foster institutional and personal growth in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Stay tuned to learn more about the next LWVNC DEI event.
If you have feedback about our DEI policy or actions, the LWVNC Board of Directors wants to hear from you. Reach us at board [at] lwvnc.org.
– Jennifer Rubin, LWVNC President
LWVNC's DEI Policy
LWVNC is an organization fully committed to achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion in principle and in practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to the organization’s current and future success in engaging all individuals, households, communities, and policy makers in creating a more perfect democracy.
There shall be no barriers to full participation in this organization on the basis of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, race, native or indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, culture, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, socioeconomic status, language, accent, ability status, mental health, educational level or background, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role function, thinking style, personality type, physical appearance, political perspective or affiliation and/or any other characteristic that can be identified as recognizing or illustrating diversity.
League DEI Past Activities/Success Stories
Charlotte Mecklenburg League members Dr. Kelly Boykin-Eaves and her mother, Maxine Eaves, were recently cited for pursuing the name change of East-West Hill St. near the Panthers Stadium to Good Samaritan Way in honor of Good Samaritan Hospital built in 1891. It was the first private hospital to provide services to Black residents. Dr. Boykin-Eaves is chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee. Maxine was recently featured in Queen City News for her community activism.
The Women’s Issues Action Team of LWV Charlotte Mecklenburg is moving ahead with its survey of pay gaps between men and women who work in some of Charlotte’s largest companies. Two UNC-Charlotte interns helped develop a scorecard on which results will be posted. Team members, working with the Coalition for Pay Equity organized by the League, want to influence large employers to lead the way on paying women equitably, as well as get smaller employers to commit to pay equity.
- Watch the Wake County League's April 2022 Timely Topics session on the intersection of race, stress, and health.
- Watch LWVNC's Health Policy & the League event held in March 2022. Featuring Dr. William Munn, senior policy analyst at the NC Justice Center, on the topic of "Health Inequities in North Carolina."
- Helping First Offenders Find an Alternative to Jail and Police Record, February 16, 2022. Caitlin Fenegan, Director, Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department, discussed the mission of the department to safely reduce unnecessary pretrial incarcerations, increase jail alternative and diversion opportunities, reduce number of individual behavieral health issues facing justice involvement and incarceraties, reduce recidivism, reduce racial and economeic disparities, and to increase public safety by previding treatment and support for individuals lnvolved in the Orange County criminal justice system. Learn more about the meeting by viewing this YouTube video of the event.
- Watch LWV Charlotte Mecklenburg member Kevan Woodson describe the Reimagining America Project: The Truth, Reconciliation, and Atonement Commission of Charlotte
Mr. Kokou Nayo, Church World Service, presented the process of refugee resettlement in the US. In addition, he reviewed the resources the Church World Service offers refugees to help them adjust to a new and very different home, including helping them attain citizenship and voting rights in the US. The Church World Service is one of the organizations working to settle Afghan refugees in the RTP area. YouTube video of the presentation.
Watch LWV Lower Cape Fear's program with authors James L. Leloudis and Robert R. Korstad discussing the story of race and voting rights in North Carolina, from the end of the Civil War until present day.
- Watch our Sept. 2021 DEI webinar on the Wilmington 1898 Coup d’Etat and Massacre
- Watch LWV Lower Cape Fear's program with Kimberly J. Cook, PhD, to learn the truth about Critical Race Theory: what it is, what it is not, and where it is applied in education.
- Watch LWV Piedmont Triad's Rightful Presence, a guiding framework for social justice science teaching that pushes beyond equity as inclusion.
- From LWV Lower Cape Fear: DEI Activities and Initiatives
- LWVNC DEI Webinar, Recorded May 2021 – "What’s the League’s Stake in Racial Justice?"
- Written Recap of "What's the League's Stake in Racial Justice?"
With the help of Diversity Dimensions Consulting, the League of Women Voters of the US has developed a series of materials and resources for use by local leagues in promoting objectives of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). There are webinar recordings, exercises and activities, and references to all kinds of materials, including print, webpages, and podcasts.
These resources are available through links on LWV’s website; however, for many users they are not easy to locate and sort through. We are referencing them here, with simple links. The LWVNC DEI Statewide DEI Committee hopes that you will find these useful.
Summary of DEI Materials on LWVUS website
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Guide
In an effort to assist all members in embracing this commitment to DEI we want to educate, enlighten, and provoke discussion around this topic. The following is a guide to DEI materials we feel are most relevant to this goal. It consists of internal resources created by LWV members and staff and external sources recommended by the LWVUS DEI Committee.
The objective of this section is to provide a basic overview of what DEI is, what we mean by common DEI terms, and why DEI is so important to our League work.
Intended Audience: Those new to DEI work; those new to the League
The objective of this section is to provide resources to assist with education and evaluation of DEI at an individual level.
Intended Audience: Those who understand the basics of DEI and want more on how to commit to and understand DEI as an individual.
The objective of this section is to provide tools and education on how Leagues can apply a DEI Lens to all of their League work and center DEI in that work.
Intended Audience: All League Members. It is recommended that the resources in this section be used as part of DEI related League meetings and trainings.
The objective of this section is to offer supplemental resources for those who have reviewed and applied the other resources and are looking for ways to deepen their DEI education and be a strong voice for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Intended Audience: Individuals who feel educated and empowered to take their DEI work to a deeper level.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Modules
These modules were developed as part of a grant program and have been made available to all Leagues to use.
The purpose of this module is to offer a deeper understanding of what we mean by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and how it is connected to the work we are doing.
The purpose of this module is to offer a deeper understanding of what a DEI lens is and how we can apply it to our work.
The purpose of this module is to offer a deeper understanding of how to commit to DEI on a deeper level, use it to engage with your community and your League and how to set goals with a DEI lens.
The purpose of this module is to offer a deeper understanding of how to collect information to understand the diversity of your community, membership, and engagers.
The purpose of this module is to offer a deeper understanding of how to be equitable and inclusive in how we work in our communities and lead our organization.
Native American Women and the Suffrage Movement
This webinar explored what intersectionality is, how it presents itself in our lives, and where it may present itself in our League work.
DEI Lens and Governance
The LWV Governance Committee led a presentation and discussion on the DEI policy and League work through a DEI lens.
Working Across Generations
This webinar defined the different generations, discussed some common assumptions made of them, and offered tips on how each generation can learn from each other and work together.
Applying a DEI Lens to Data Collection
This webinar examined demographic collections and offered best practices regarding when to ask for this information, how to ask for it, and how to use and store it.
This webinar discussed gender identity including terminology, the history of gender identity, and how it relates to League work.
Event Planning Through a DEI Lens
February 18, 2021
This webinar offered tips on virtual event planning with a focus on applying a DEI lens to planning.
DEI and Nonpartisanship
January 21, 2021
This webinar explored our nonpartisan and DEI policies and how they function together in our League work.
League DEI Work
November 19, 2020
This webinar offered guidance and resources for League members who provide DEI leadership for their League.
Being Inclusive In Our Understanding of Holidays and Our Calendars
October 22, 2020
This webinar examined holidays through a DEI lens and discussed how individuals and Leagues can be more inclusive in how we discuss and display holiday imagery and how we calendar meetings and events.
September 24, 2020
This webinar explored microaggressions, how they form, how to recognize them, and how to prevent them.
A More Inclusive Look at the Right To Vote
August 20, 2020
This webinar looked at a more inclusive timeline of women winning the right to vote and what it means for us and being a welcoming and inclusive organization to all.
Understanding and Partnering With Native American Communities
July 23, 2020
This covered partnering with Native American communities. It included brief background on how to learn more about Native American history, building relationships with Native American communities, and Native American voting rights.
May 22, 2020
This webinar focused on equitable community partnerships and discussed what can create barriers to them and how they can be fostered.
Event Planning Through a DEI Lens
March 19, 2020
This webinar focused on applying a DEI lens to our event planning. Additional guidance was offered on virtual meetings.
Building Inclusive Suffrage and Anniversary Programs
February 20, 2020
This webinar was presented by members of the LWV of Ohio on how they planned their 100th Anniversary events through an equitable and inclusive lens.
January 30, 2020
This webinar focused on the idea of ‘covering’, or feeling pressured to hide/alter ‘mutable traits’ of your social identity in order to “fit in” other majority spaces.
December 19, 2019
This webinar featured questions and conversation topics submitted by registrants on a variety of DEI topics. The LWVUS DEI committee, LWVUS staff, and webinar participants provided feedback, advise, and further conversation on each.
November 21, 2019
This webinar explored how to recognize why DEI focused conversations may be uncomfortable or difficult and how to navigate those kinds of conversations.
DEI Lens & Our Advocacy
October 30, 2019
This webinar explored how to view and apply a DEI lens to the mission impact and advocacy work we do.
September 26, 2019
This webinar explored what Intergenerational Equity is, how Leagues and League members can be inclusive and welcoming of members and engagers of all ages and how different generations can learn from each other.
Acknowledging the Past, Reimagining the Future
Past LWVUS President Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins presented this webinar speaking about the courageous and often overlooked women of color, and how we can move forward to actualize our values as individuals and as an organization.
Making a Personal DEI Commitment
July 25, 2019
This webinar explored how each of us should make a personal commitment to DEI and use it to enhance our League work in this area. The webinar provided resources for doing so and all participants were asked to commit to doing at least one thing over the next six months.
June 27, 2019
This webinar explored the concept of a DEI lens, how to view your League work through it, and how to expand that work to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Examples were provided on mission impact work through a DEI lens.
May 24, 2019
This webinar was presented by Dr. Cori Wong.
Dr. Cori Wong serves as Assistant Vice President for Gender Equity in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity at Colorado State University and Director of the Women & Gender Collaborative, a presidential initiative to improve the campus culture and climate around gender. Passionate about intersectional feminism as a means for liberation and political transformation, Dr. Wong centers education, critical reflection, and dialogue across difference as strategies for individuals, groups, and organizations to create supportive and inclusive cultures where all people can thrive. She demonstrates that when done well, the work to get there can be as fun and exciting as it is important and challenging.
The Power of Words and Common Definitions
April 25, 2019
Using our DEI policy and our definitions of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion this webinar covered the words we use in our DEI work and their meaning. We discussed the importance of knowing what specific words mean and when to use them and how similar words have important distinctions.
The Danger of a Single Story and Calling In
March 28, 2019
This webinar covered Chimamanda Adichie's The Danger of a Single Story TED Talk with discussion on how the single stories we hold can impact how we welcome others and build relationships in all aspects of life, including our League work. The concept of "calling in" was presented and LWV staff facilitators and participants on the webinar shared thoughts and suggestions.
Series of spotlights on Leagues that are doing DEI work with recommendations on how other Leagues can do the same kind of work.
The League of Miami-Dade County in Florida represents a diverse community, many of whom are not American citizens yet. Their recent past president, Marisol Zenteno, spoke with us about how the League educates their community on American government by teaching Civics 101 lessons to citizenship classes and speaking on the importance of civic engagement, registering to vote, and voting.
The League of Women Voters of New York has worked with its local leagues to identify areas that are underserved or have low voter turnout and find new ways to reach out to disenfranchised voters.
The League of Women Voters of Arlington, VA received the James B. Hunter Award from the Arlington County Human Rights Commission in December 2019. Their president, Joan Porte, shared with us how the Arlington League has worked to fight housing discrimination, increase voter turnout, and connect with underrepresented constituencies.
The LWV of Ohio has been working to engage the next generation of voters, equipping them with the necessary tools to resist gender bias and demonstrating the organization’s commitment to intergenerational diversity, equity and inclusion.
Joanna Lindberg is the Get-Out-the-Vote co-chairperson for the LWV of Greater Omaha. She shared with us the different ways that her League has applied a diversity, equity and inclusion lens to their voter education and voter turnout efforts has made their work more impactful and how it has strengthened the League.
Mary Buelow is the Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the LWV of Janesville in Wisconsin. She shared with us how her League has worked to educate its members and leadership on race-related issues in order to make their DEI work within the community more impactful.
July 15-19, 2019 is National Disability Voter Registration Week. We spoke to Leagues from all over the country about the steps they are taking to empower individuals with disabilities and to create a more accessible and fair democracy for the larger communities the League serves.
Betsy Cushman is the Voter Service Chair of the LWV of Dearborn/Dearborn Heights in Michigan . She shared with us how their League has worked to partner with local Arab-American and Muslim communities through their Youth Voter Registration Project and offered diversity training to their volunteers to assist with voter registration and engagement.
Nancy Leifer is the President of the LWV of Montana. She shared with us how DEI was the focus of their recent State Convention by highlighting three aspects of DEI work. She also shared how this inspired a focus on Native American voting rights as part of their mission impact work.
Erin Grunze and Ellen Penwell are staff members for the LWV of Wisconsin. They shared with us a series of activities their League has done to promote internal change and strengthen their mission impact work by applying a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens. Erin Grunze and Ellen Penwell are staff members for the LWV of Wisconsin. They shared with us a series of activities their League has done to promote internal change and strengthen their mission impact work by applying a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens.
Barb Clark is the Executive for Business (part of their League’s core leadership team) of the LWV of Greater Lafayette in Indiana. She shared actions taken at their board’s leadership transition meeting last year to help them identify how their League could move forward with diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.
Veda Florez is the Communications Director of the LWV of the Bay Area in California. Twenty local Leagues across nine counties in the Bay Area make up this ILO. During an LWV-sponsored webinar, Veda shared three actions the League has taken as part of their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work.