Dear Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs colleagues,
For the past few months we have been working diligently toward our organizational goal to implement an action plan to fortify our commitment to a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all constituencies of the organizations.
Our first step was to form a Board Task Force on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. This group is dedicated to providing ideas and resources that encourage a thorough approach to all factors that shape our perspectives and lived experiences.
Further, I am pleased to announce that we will be expanding our efforts to include all constituencies.
We have also engaged the assistance of a best-in-class facilitation team from Littler Mendelson, a leading firm in labor and employment relations, to help us plan and achieve our efforts. We will be working with Cindy-Ann Thomas, a principal and co-chair of the firm’s EEO &Diversity Practice Group, and Kimberly N. Dobson, a highly experienced labor and employment attorney. Both Cindy-Ann and Kimberly bring a wealth of experience in addressing intercultural dynamics and challenges in the workplace; developing and delivering diversity , equity and inclusion training; and, optimizing employee engagement.
Additionally, I am pleased to announce that Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs Philanthropy Officer, Karman Pun, has volunteered to act as staff liaison for this initiative and will be reaching out soon with next steps including working to identify volunteers to participate in a facilitated discussion, more commonly known as a “Think Tank”.
Our facilitators, along with a collective group of cross-organizational constituents, will play a vital role in our commitment to our employing and serving people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and to advance equity and inclusion. From recruitment, to cultivating an inclusive culture, to actively listening to our constituents with compassion, we all have a role to play.
As a community, we will continue to learn, and we will continue to have the necessary conversations in order to better understand social disparities and inequality.
Finally, this dedicated landing page will be maintained to share our efforts and updates as more discussions and ideas are realized. As this effort gains additional momentum, we will be sharing updates with you as they happen.
President & CEO
Guide Dog Foundation and America's VetDogs