WOMEN’S VOICES NOW, INC.
Cultural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (CDEI) Statement and Policy
At its core, Women’s Voices Now is an organization committed to advancing all girls’ and women’s rights globally and locally through our programs. Cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our mission: Women’s Voices Now uses film to drive positive social change that advances women’s and girls’ rights, globally.
In the long-term, we envision a global culture shift in which communities and institutions believe in the value of gender equality, and adapt their behaviors and actions to support systematic advancement of all women’s and girls’ rights.
We believe that gender equality is a fundamental human right, and that furthering gender equality is essential to sustaining healthy, prosperous societies.
We acknowledge that Women and Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) with overlapping identities including race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, national origin, age, ability, religion, and indigenous heritage have and still face discrimination that impacts their access to equal and fair pay across all sectors.
Women’s Voices Now has historically sought to support women and girls, in particular women and girls of color and/or from low-income communities. We also acknowledge that gender exists on a spectrum. For programs and services geared toward women and girls, we invite anyone identifying as a woman or girl to participate.
Our commitment to cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion is guided by our strong belief that all human beings should be able to share their stories, use their voice, speak up about important issues through art and film, and have access to meaningful, relevant, relatable content. It is furthermore rooted in our assertion that we cannot achieve gender equality and racial equality through policy reform alone – culture shift is a necessity, and will only occur through the recognition, representation, and distribution of our diverse experiences, and the many triumphs and struggles that women and girls face around the world due to their gender.
We strive to continue to critically assess our processes and practices to further improve the diversity, equity, and inclusion of our organization, programs, and services.
We are committed to ensuring cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion at several levels, within:
- Our staff (including contractors and volunteers, as well as the artists involved in our programming);
- Our Board of Directors;
- The communities we serve (as defined below in our policy); and
- The content we produce.
As a small, but growing, organization, Women’s Voices Now is committed to assessing our CDEI standing, outlining clear goals, and implementing necessary changes. As we continue to grow in size and impact, and increase our accessibility to resources, we look forward to expanding the breadth of our CDEI goals, and ensuring these principles are integrated into everything that we do.
We implement our commitment to cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion by:
Staff (including contractors, volunteers, and artists involved in our programs)
- Reviewing, assessing, and updating job description requirements and language to intentionally encourage application submissions from a diverse applicant pool in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability status, religion, class, and indigenous heritage.
- Adjusting job posting strategy to cast a wider net and reach a more diverse audience.
- Presenting youth program alumnae with opportunities to get involved with Women’s Voices Now through internships and other paid training opportunities.
- Assessing organizational culture through anonymous feedback to guarantee discretion and ensure that the working culture is welcoming of a diverse workforce in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability status, religion, class, and indigenous heritage.
Board of Directors
- Implementing strategies to consider race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability status, religion, class, and indigenous heritage in Board Member recruitment.
- Considering alternatives to Board Member financial contributions/fees in the form of fundraising efforts, skills/expertise, in-kind support and connection opportunities.
Our Girls’ Voices Now program empowers youth ages 14-18 from low-income and underrepresented communities of Los Angeles County to find, develop, and use their voice for social change through filmmaking. Girls’ Voices Now works not only to increase gender parity, equity, and equality in the film and media industry, and society as a whole, but also focuses specifically on youth who are historically underrepresented in film and media, that is to say, youth who:
- Come from underrepresented minority groups, including African American/Black, Hispanic or Latina, Bi/ Multiracial, Native American/Alaskan, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander;
- Come from low-income backgrounds, specifically free and/or reduced lunch eligible;
- Have had a lack of exposure or access to the film industry and creative industries overall
For Girls’ Voices Now, we implement our cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion policies by:
- Serving underserved and low-income communities (based on annually updated research and data identifying the most arts-underserved areas, as well as average household income per zip code)
- Ensuring that program staff members and guest speakers reflect the diversity of our program beneficiaries and of Los Angeles County
- Collecting participant feedback regarding the individual program experience, and any opportunities to increase inclusivity within the program
Our Film Festival promotes emerging filmmakers making social-change films that advocate for gender equality around the world.
Our free Film Collection raises awareness of the struggles and triumphs of women and girls around the globe, inviting audience members to support gender equality through films in 40+ languages.
For these global programs, we implement our commitment to cultural diversity, equity, and inclusion by:
- Collecting and reviewing program beneficiaries’ demographic information anonymously to identify possible gaps in the diversity of filmmakers and/or audiences we serve, and of topics covered. We strive to promote content representing as many diverse experiences as possible.
- Adjusting our program, outreach, and communication strategies accordingly to reach areas and/or groups of people we are not currently reaching.
- Gathering feedback from program beneficiaries to inform how to reach and serve diverse communities better.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY ALIGNMENT
Women’s Voices Now CDEI Statement and Policy have been developed to be in alignment with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative Vision and Values.