Action Categories

Living the AIR Values and Inclusive Conversations

Challenge

Building a capacity for the authentic integration of diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence into our work.

Actions

To deepen staff understanding and enhance the skills needed to exemplify our values, AIR launched two learning and development programs:

  1. D&I Basics: Mission Critical, which is required for all employees and new hires, builds a shared understanding of AIR’s definitions of D&I, introduces the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion that exist in every workplace, and shares best practices for promoting inclusive and diverse
  2. Living the AIR Values series, which includes modules on unconscious bias, emotional intelligence, giving and receiving feedback, and respectful

AIR also developed the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards for Projects, Research, and Operations (CLAS PRO) to help staff better understand and use cultural and linguistic competence in their daily work. These standards add value to our interactions with clients and communities.

With support from the D&I Council, AIR’s D&I Office created a D&I Communications Toolkit to help AIR staff communicate internally and externally about how we accomplish our mission through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.

AIR designed Inclusive Conversations, which are carefully structured dialogues to explore D&I, social group identity and unconscious bias. The purpose of these small-group dialogues is to engage staff in authentic conversations about the dimensions of diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence and the role they play in our work environment. The strategy is for staff members to feel comfortable being themselves as they do their jobs and serve our clients.

Outcomes

These trainings and resources give AIR staff a greater understanding of D&I and increase their cultural competence when working with colleagues and external stakeholders. In 2019, nearly 75 percent of AIR staff used these trainings and materials.

Contact

Karen B. Francis, Director, Diversity and Inclusion
[email protected]

Quote

At AIR, diversity, inclusion and equity are essential to our mission and pivotal to our strategic goals. We need teams as diverse as the communities where we work to provide the research, analysis and insights needed to make the world a better place. We recognize that no one person or group is responsible for building a diverse and inclusive environment. It is up to all of us. We seek active participation from everyone at AIR to help create an environment where all our staff can bring their full selves to work every day. Over the years, AIR’s D&I work has reached every member of our staff—through organization-wide training programs, employee resource groups, and more—and we pledge to continue making progress on our D&I journey, in service to our staff, clients, community partners, and AIR’s mission.

David Myers
President and CEO, American Institutes for Research
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