Interview with Dr. Alise Hagan, DEI Committee
Updated: Nov 20, 2021
1) What is the role and purpose of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee and how does this support the Junior League of Lafayette Mission?
The Junior League of Lafayette is guided by its Mission and the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. Within the Strategic Plan, the Junior League of Lafayette commits “to the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion values within the League.”
Ultimately, the League is working to foster a culture of acceptance and inclusion. The DEI Committee is responsible for ensuring the strategic goal is achieved through long- and short-term initiatives.
2) What is the importance of the recently approved DEI Statement?
The DEI Statement was recently approved by the Board of Directors and Members -- a true demonstration of the League’s commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
The statement reflects the core values of our members and illustrates what makes Junior League of Lafayette unique: we embrace individuals as assets and strive to be an inclusive organization where each member can be their authentic self and experience a sense of belonging.
The DEI statement is an example of what can be created when a group of diverse women come together as their full, authentic selves. Each member of the six-person committee was able to share and contribute her experiences and dreams for the League, and together, this statement emerged. I believe the reason it resonated with our full membership is because of the diversity of our committee membership.
3) How do we become more diverse and more inclusive as a League? What ARE we doing to become a more diverse and inclusive league?
In order to change the culture, the DEI committee is focused on education and communication. The list below reflects the action and work completed this year.
● Create and adopt a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement. Having a shared statement around DEI prioritizes the values and provides a guide against which all other DEI initiatives can be measured.
● Review internal forms and communication.
● Provide training and resources to members including a national speaker, Weekly Wednesday “Meaningful Curiosity” reflections, and Chair training presentation.
● Gather and analyze DEI membership data to inform decisions on member satisfaction and engagement, retention, and other valuable data.
4) Why is this committee important to you?
For over 60 years, the Junior League of Lafayette has brought women together to impact change. We continue to evolve to meet the needs of our community, and it is essential that the League engages the full potential of each individual member and recognizes our individual strengths as assets.
Research shows that “team performance improves by 50% when everyone feels included.” Thus developing a culture of inclusion is essential if we want to continue to excel as an organization of trained volunteers.
Personally, this committee is important to me because it demonstrates the power of diversity. I am humbled (but not surprised) that our remarkable group of six women from different ethnicities, religions, life experiences, marital statuses, and educational levels came together to develop a statement that will be with our League for years to come.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement for Junior League of Lafayette:
Junior League of Lafayette welcomes all women who value our Mission. We are committed to creating an organizational culture that embraces individual differences as assets. We strive to be an inclusive organization where each member can be their authentic self and experience a sense of belonging. We seek to ensure each member of our organization has training, resources, and support to develop cultural competency.