Lately, the subject of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) has risen to new heights. The ideas, philosophies and concepts behind DEI are bigger than life, and being raised in many communities, organizations and industries. Now, as a participant in the cooperative movement, your leadership is needed in the DEI arena more than ever.
During the 33rd World Cooperative Congress, the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) will hold a vote that will determine the approval of DEI as a Cooperative Principle. The Congress will take place in December, so our time to influence the ICA's vote is now.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) and Civic Federal Credit Union (Civic), and the Vice Chairman of the AACUC, I am focused on ensuring the organizational culture and priorities of these organizations reflect the values of their members.
Celebrating our differences is a powerful way to bring us together. That’s why we are continuing our longtime commitment to developing programs dedicated to DEI by sharing our latest initiative — an 8th Cooperative Principle.
"If we believe the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion are important to our communities, then let’s declare it."
The seven original Cooperative Principles are a set of philosophical tenets illustrating cooperatives’ core values, economic model and governance practices. The application of these principles into everyday operations distinguishes cooperatives from other organizations. Absent from these principles, however, is a specific focus on DEI.
Through the adoption of a new 8th Cooperative Principle — Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — we seek to demonstrate that DEI initiatives are not just the right thing to do morally and socially, but also make good business sense.
With a Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we are showing the world how successful our practice of ensuring and encouraging diversity in a business can be. Diversity can be good for the bottom line of any business, and we want you to join us in the success.
The time has come for us to give our DEI work the spotlight it deserves: to make DEI the main event. And we need your help doing so.
Join us in the commitment to DEI and make your voice heard to the ICA. Be clear about what your organization stands for. Join us and the numerous others leading their members and communities in this important crusade.
We made it clear to the world that this is not a passing fad for us. Let's be unambiguous about what we stand for. I hope you’ll join us in this important call to action.
Time for A New Cooperative Principle: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
The Cooperative Principles were originally written in 1844, when the world looked different. By establishing an 8th Cooperative Principle, we are saying that diversity, equity and inclusion is an ideal that should be pursued.
Cooperatives believe we are stronger when a proactive effort is put forth to engage everyone in governance, management and representation. The call to action is to simply engage in a conversation on how to make our public and private systems work for everyone. This is a movement whose time has come for action.
By ensuring a diverse staff that possess the skills and experience needed to face any scenario they’re presented with, organizations will be better positioned for success. Diversity expands the pool of capable candidates with valuable talents. Inclusion opens the door for advancements within the organization and the movement as a whole. Working together, diversity and inclusion create a powerful force for credit unions’ success.
A prime opportunity has come for the cooperative movement to further distinguish itself from other industries. To this end, we invite all cooperatives to pledge their commitment to embracing the 8th Cooperative Principle of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
To show your support of the 8th Cooperative Principle, download and complete the Resolution and proclaim your commitment by providing your organization's name and email address. Upload your organization’s logo to be added to the "Wall of Support."
Cooperatives have shown the world their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by embracing the 8th Cooperative Principle. Join us in celebrating these DEI leaders of the cooperative movement.