NTEN’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
NTEN believes the diversity of experiences, ideas, individuals, and organizations in our community and the sector makes us stronger. To create a more just and engaged world, we must embrace and celebrate diversity, practice inclusion, and exercise our role as a champion of equity.
We recognize diversity in many ways, including but not limited to:
- Class and economic circumstance
- Disability, mental illness, and neurodiversity
- Education and professional experience
- Geography and community size or location
- Physical appearance and body size
- Race, ethnicity, and country of origin or nationality
- Sex, gender, and gender identity
- Sexual orientation and identity
While we are committed to addressing diversity as an intersectional issue, we believe the foundation of this work is rooted in racial equity, due to the dominance of white supremacy in all systems of oppression.
We accept that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) means a commitment to constant learning—we will make mistakes, but we are determined to learn from them and to improve.
To be transparent and realistic, we also acknowledge that our capacity as an organization means we cannot always implement inclusive measures to the level that we may like (such as providing content in multiple languages). We are accountable to ourselves (both as staff and board) and to the community, and create regular opportunities for reporting on our work, progress, mistakes, and plans.
The work of becoming an antiracist organization in tandem with the work of creating an antiracist world will take all of us and will not be accomplished in a year or even a lifetime. Our commitment to this work is with a long-term view and to engrain that in our operations we have both staff positions with a focus on equity and a cross-organizational DEI Team sharing responsibility for pushing the organization forward. Additionally, we have DEI committees on the board and within the community, distributing power and access for our collective responsibility to this commitment.
We encourage and invite your feedback and partnership. To support accountability and to be accessible as we continue to do this work, we hope that you will share your ideas, questions, and experiences with us. You can do so by contacting us at email@example.com at any time, or you can submit anonymous feedback by using this online form.
Our DEI Team, community committee, and board committee all meet regularly. If you would like to join one of these meetings to observe, join the conversation, or even add something to the agenda, you are welcome to do so—just contact us for scheduling.
What NTEN’s DEI Commitment Means for Our Work
Intentional practices and policies for diversity, equity, and inclusion enable us to better reach our mission and engage a range of perspectives, voices, and experiences in all that NTEN does. We expect that all NTEN community members – those participating in any of NTEN’s programs or engaging with our community groups – similarly make commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion to make our shared work and our world better.
In addition to notes included in statements below, NTEN uses these practices with a critical eye, looking for opportunities to learn and improve. Additionally, we review and evaluate our actions and practices related to all of these policies at least once a year. Reporting of those evaluations and outcomes may be communicated on the NTEN.org website or in other channels for community feedback.
Staff, Board, and Volunteers
NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, hiring, orientation, and retention practices to employ diverse staff and create opportunities for every staff member to be their best and whole selves through their work with NTEN.
We expect all staff to recognize that they represent NTEN in-person and online, in the office and beyond, with words and actions that meet our Commitment and lead by example for our community. This includes not speaking on panels or at events where the speaker lineup is not diverse and ensuring that written contributions we author include a diversity of voices and perspectives.
Board and Volunteers
NTEN creates volunteer opportunities that accommodate diverse voices, perspectives, abilities, and time commitment levels. We regularly review and improve our processes for recruitment, selection, orientation, support, and service to reflect NTEN’s Commitment.
We expect all volunteers to act inline with NTEN’s Commitment when in service to NTEN and to recognize that NTEN can choose to discontinue service at any time because of words or actions taken outside of the NTEN volunteer role that are counter to our Commitment.
Online and Offline Organizers
NTEN creates volunteer organizer roles to increase the number of leadership positions available and actively works to support diverse community members in those roles. NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, orientation, and retention practices to support diverse organizers. We support organizers serving successfully in a number of ways, including resources in the Handbook, regular opportunities to learn together, and staff support whenever needed.
We expect that all organizers recognize that they represent NTEN when operating in their role and as such are guided by this Commitment, including but not limited to the co-organizers they recruit, venues where they hold events, speakers they invite to present, format of and non-presentation content of events, and their use of accessible and respectful language. Organizers should share the NTEN Speaker Resource guide with event speakers to support successful presentations.
NTEN evaluates and improves member benefits, NTEN programs, and our engagement opportunities to be inclusive of diverse individuals and organizations.
We expect that all members engage in our community inline with NTEN’s Commitment and Code of Conduct.
NTEN uses our Commitment to help us ask who is not included and identify what barriers we create that may exclude diverse voices. NTEN regularly reviews and improves our recruitment, selection, orientation, and support practices to engage diverse speakers and create an inclusive opportunity for new practitioners and leaders.
We expect that all speakers recognize that they represent NTEN when presenting in NTEN programs and as such are guided by this Commitment, including but not limited to the presentation materials they use, the examples they include in presentations, the participation expectations they set for attendees, in recruitment of co-presenters, and their use of accessible and respectful language. Speakers should use the NTEN Speaker Resource guide to support successful presentations.
Sponsors and Exhibitors
NTEN creates opportunities that are inclusive of different types of organizations, technology services, organizational budgets, and organizational goals so that diverse providers can be elevated as sponsors and exhibitors through NTEN events and content.
We expect all sponsors and exhibitors to operate with their own Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and representatives will be subject to the NTEN Code of Conduct.
Vendors and Contractors
NTEN employs open processes for selecting contractors to increase the likelihood of hiring diverse vendors and service providers, including but not limited to the following practices: public RFP processes, outreach to niche and alternative networks, and reviewing our RFP (and other requests) for inclusive policies, language, and expectations.
We expect all contracts we enter, whether for facilities, catering, decorating, or other services, to meet the standards set in this Commitment. We expect all individuals delivering services to NTEN and our events to recognize that they represent NTEN and will be subject to NTEN’s Code of Conduct.
We modeled our statement on the The Council on Foundations’ statement and thank them for their work in diversity, equity, and inclusion.