An Everyone a Changemaker World (EACH) through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Valuing diversity and creating the space where all are seen, respected, and included is central to our core work of building an Everyone a Changemaker world. In fact, the ‘everyone’ in Everyone a Changemaker is not achievable without a deliberate commitment to inclusion, and that begins with Ashoka itself as we aspire to be the welcoming home of changemakers.
An EACH world is by definition, one where everyone has the capacity and opportunity to contribute and to create positive change. In this world, everyone is powerful, everyone has a voice, everyone has access to needed resources, and everyone can thrive. When everyone is a changemaker, there is no place for systems of oppression and hierarchy because no groups dominate or exploit others. In fact, when everyone is powerful the systems that perpetuate inequity get dismantled and rebuilt to enable equal access to opportunities and embrace the incredible range of perspectives, narratives, and lived human experiences.
A commitment to DEI and to EACH is mutually reinforcing: without a robust emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, changemaking risks becoming a skillset and mindset reserved for the privileged few — contributing to a new inequality (much like the digital divide) between those who have time and space and support to be changemakers and those who do not. Meanwhile, the closer we get to an Everyone a Changemaker world, the more that a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive society is possible in the first place.
In order to achieve this vision, Ashoka has launched a holistic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative led by a dedicated team, and informed by a global Taskforce that reflects the diverse cultures, countries, perspectives, and identities of our Ashoka community.
These are collective efforts and go far beyond the work of the DEI team.
The contribution of each and every one of us is essential to translate our vision into reality. In this journey towards a fully diverse, inclusive, and equitable world, we acknowledge that change starts with us, we recognize that we are all learners and that we have the responsibility to ensure that we embody our own values.
Ashoka’s DEI Strategic Plan
As a result of this initiative we will see equity being improved in procedures and processes that enable a fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of underrepresented groups.
In this work we see the opportunity to strengthen and enhance our networks, create meaningful synergies, and build bridges throughout the social entrepreneurship sphere, and maximize the impact of all of Ashoka’s programming.
3 Areas of Focus
Individual & Institutional Awareness/Learning Journey
Building a truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable organization will require all Ashokans (primarily but not exclusively- those who hold most of the power) to engage in the long and never-ending journey of eliminating our own discriminatory biases (conscious and unconscious) and of becoming aware of our power and privilege so that we can learn how to truly see, trust and welcome all of those who are different from us. This awareness & learning journey is an empathy-in-action effort that will make us better at seeing and engaging “everyone” in our EACH vision and mission. We must engage as many Ashokans as possible on the awareness & learning journey through workshops, training, and courageous conversations. Teams will be brought into the learning journey in a staggered/top-down way, in order to ensure all levels of the organization are more equipped to think through and make necessary changes related to DEI.
DEI informed actions
As a changemaking organization we understand that seeing things differently will bring about change to our processes and structures. It is a natural phenomenon and progression that we will enable and pursue through our DEI framework. We embark on this effort acknowledging that change is difficult, it requires time and patience, and it will need us to always be conscious of the different perspectives inside the Ashoka family. All DEI informed actions should take this understanding into account.
Assessment and Accountability
Assessing and measuring the impact of our DEI work is a crucial pillar of the DEI strategy. This will be our method of accountability (internally and externally) that will also inform, and course correct our strategy and actions. The DEI Team will build a data and assessment instrument that allows the organization to monitor its DEI metrics, both quantitatively and qualitatively, with the goals of leveraging these insights to move our work forward.