Diversity & Inclusion
At CIVICUS, we know that understanding, appreciating and cherishing diversity is essential to our mission to strengthen civil society and citizen action worldwide. As a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists, we strive within the CIVICUS secretariat and across the alliance to sustain an organisational culture that recognises, respects and values the diversity of our members, partners, staff and volunteers.
For us, this means putting in place, implementing and regularly reviewing policies and practices that safeguard against discrimination, acknowledge and respect everyone’s unique identities and belongings - including, but not limited to, a person’s nationality, citizenship status, geographical location, linguistic background, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, indigeneity, faith, religion, age, disability status, health status, HIV status, family/relationship status, caregiving status, educational background, employment status, social class and cultural identity.
You can read more about our commitment and actions towards inclusion in the CIVICUS Diversity Statement.
What do we mean by Diversity and Inclusion?
Diversity is about welcoming all of the dimensions that can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another, often referred to as "the mix." Inclusion is the proactive and mindful steps we take to make sure diversity happens, creating an environment where all different kinds of people can thrive and succeed.
Diversity is what you have. Inclusion is how you do it.
We know that to achieve the diverse and vibrant alliance we want and need to be requires sustained commitment and energy, meaningful interactions with our stakeholders, ongoing learning and measurement and the reporting of progress on our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
- The Diversity & Inclusion Group for Networking and Action (DIGNA) is an online platform that brings together change-makers and thought leaders passionate about strengthening an inclusive and diverse civil society – including CIVICUS members, civil society organisations, groups, and activists, and their allies. This working group seeks to understand, conceptualise and identify innovative practices on what diversity and inclusion (D&I) can look like within different thematic areas and operating models.
- CIVICUS has created a Social Inclusion toolkit as a resource for our members and networks.
- Beginning in December 2018, CIVICUS has organised multiple convenings on D&I such as the Global Learning Exchange on Sex Race and Power, ICSW session on D&I solutions, AGNA session on diverse and inclusive networks and an AGNA training on Feminist Leadership. Check out the CIVICUS D&I Journey here.
- CIVICUS has launched a pilot programme with a group of member organisations focused on increasing their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Case studies, tools and resources from this programme will be shared with the alliance at the end of 2020!
- Womxn human rights defenders have been at the forefront of successful campaigning for women’s rights and other social, political, economic and cultural rights across the world. Despite mobilizing mass protests, advancing human rights and enabling freedoms, WHRDs continue to face under-resourcing, violence, repression, stigmatization and erasure from the public domain. To support the work of WHRDs we regularly publish statements, interviews and videos to raise visibility for WHRDS at risk.
- We frequently support WHRDs to engage with key platforms to address their contexts, including (but not limited to):
- The annual Commission on the Status of Women
- Through campaigning such as #SheDefends
- International days such as 16 Days of Activism, International Youth Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, among others.
- Other multilateral fora at the regional and international levels
- Highlighting diversity & inclusion related learnings and thinking, and amplifying diverse voices in publications such as: the 2019 State of Civil Society Report on Challenging Exclusion
- The CIVICUS Youth Working Group connects young activists and spurs youth capacity, innovation and inclusion in key strategic inter-generational discussions and actions.
- Read a new research report, Holding the Mirror up to Ourselves: Diversity and Inclusion Practises and Trends in Civil Society Organisations – drawing on experiences across the alliance – outlining ten priority areas to address diversity and inclusion in civil society, designed to help all of use move forward in our D & I journey.