Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Community Foundation of Louisville
Ramona Dallum Lindsey, Vice President, Equity and Impact, Community Foundation of Louisville
The population isn’t made up of just one kind of person, and more and more companies understand that the workforce needs to reflect and mirror the population. Ramona Dallum Lindsey, Vice President, Equity and Impact for the Community Foundation of Louisville, shares about how the organization continuously works toward this goal.
What types of programming and outreach does your DEI team do?
I believe equity is achieved when every individual has easy access to all the resources needed to live life to its fullest. Over the past 5 years, our staff has completed work to better understand many isms: racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, and classism – all of which influence our daily decisions. This work helped our staff discover how our personal beliefs and values were reflected in our foundation culture. We are building on our personal learning to better understand the history, purpose, and tools of community foundations that either support or hinder equity. We intend to look critically at the ways we operate and make decisions across all Foundation departments. We want to uncover ways that we can better connect organizations, institutions, and people with resources, so they can live life to its fullest.
How have DEI initiatives enhanced your workplace and overall success?
We are recognizing that structural racism perpetuates the inequities that threaten the well-being of our community. We are learning with community members, nonprofit leaders, and other philanthropy professionals how we can change systems so more voices are involved in decisions which move resources to where they are needed. Instead of accepting tradition, we are constantly asking questions like, ‘Why are we acting? Who is harmed? Who is helped? What perspective is missing?’ These questions have helped us to rethink how we use our time, who makes up our staff and board and how we support others.
What short and long-term goals do you have for your DEI program?
The Community Foundation of Louisville serves Metro Louisville and our region by providing a way for many donors to use their resources to support ideas, passions, and energies leading to a community where all people thrive. Our long-term goal is to use our grantmaking and investing to move resources so people can decide for themselves how to live life to its fullest. In the short-term, we want to develop (with our staff, executive leadership, and Board) a shared language around racial equity, a recognition of internal structures prohibiting racial equity, and a strategic focus on philanthropy as an equity tool.