Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit
Diversity is critical to AAUW’s mission. Issues of equity — from fair pay to sexual assault to access to health care — affect all women, and women in marginalized groups often disproportionately experience the effects of these issues. To succeed in empowering women and girls, we must have diverse voices contributing different perspectives.
As a membership organization, AAUW depends on our ability to attract and retain new members. To continue to grow and thrive, we must be responsive to changes in our demographics and include individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
This tool kit provides in-depth resources for you to help your branch become more diverse and inclusive.
Whether you are a diversity officer, president, program vice president, membership vice president, or another leader, you will find sections of this tool kit directly applicable to your work.
Becoming more diverse and inclusive is hard work. It requires constant education, assessment, and action. As we approach this work, we should remind ourselves that becoming diverse and inclusive is a process, a commitment we make that will entail trying new behaviors, making mistakes, and creating change slowly.
As you read through the tool kit and begin your work, please note that AAUW’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is available to support you, answer your questions, and connect you with additional resources. You can reach the task force by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit PDF PDF — 833 KB
Diversity Planning and Structure
As you embark on diversity and inclusion work as a branch, it will be helpful to have identified one person who can lead the charge. If you don’t currently have a branch diversity officer, use this chart to help you identify someone who could take on this role.
This two-hour activity will take you through the process of creating a diversity and inclusion plan.
Recruitment is one of the most direct ways that you can diversify your branch. This resource will help you focus on the perspectives of the individuals you want to recruit and teach you how to have conversations with potential members.
Does your branch recruit new members only to see them not return after the first or second event? This resource gives you an overview of what being an inclusive branch means and steps your branch can take to address this challenge.
Are you wondering what programs can invigorate your branch and diversify your membership base? This resource will help you hold programs that reflect the interests and highlight the voices of diverse people to attract new members you wouldn’t otherwise reach.
Collaborating with diverse organizations in your community can help you increase your AAUW impact and recruit new members. This resource will tell you how to identify, reach out to, and collaborate successfully with other community groups.
Are your branch events accessible for people with disabilities? Make sure you are holding inclusive events and meetings for all members and potential members by using this resource. It will help you select an accessible space, solicit and respond to requests for accommodations, and support attendees.
A critical part of making your branch more diverse and inclusive is to engage members in a dialogue on these topics. Talking about these topics shows your members that diversity and inclusion are serious priorities and that you are open to having difficult but necessary discussions on the topic. These activities will help you celebrate the diversity of your members, as well as engage in deeper conversations on power and privilege.
The tool kit was written in collaboration with the 2013–15 Diversity and Inclusion Task Force: Co-chair Patricia Gaston, Co-chair Penny Larsen, Kay Brocato, Turea Erwin, Kathy Johnson, Margaret Keen, Elba Moise, Anita Nahal, and Heide Parreño.