Five Good Ideas

Five Good Ideas addressing diversity in grassroots non-profit organizations

Published on 27/11/2018

In this Five Good Ideas session, Maya Roy drew on her own frontline experience to talk about the benefits of addressing diversity in smaller, grassroots non-profits. She offered five practical ideas around: 1) Participatory community development as a solid human resources strategy; 2) Online tools that can help upskill your team; 3) Intergenerational job sharing for team building and mentoring; 4) Job shadowing and management training in today’s changing environment; and 5) Challenges arising from today’s backlash against vulnerable communities.

Five Good Ideas

  1. Adopt participatory community development as a solid human resources strategy
  2. Use online tools that can help upskill your team
  3. Think of intergenerational job sharing for team building and mentoring
  4. Practice job shadowing and management training in today’s changing environment
  5. Be aware of the challenges arising from today’s backlash against vulnerable communities

Five Good Resources

1. IF you are looking for online tools to skill up your staff, THEN consider OCASI’s Learn At Work. Its Positive Spaces training can be done in both French and English and will bring your team up to date around gender, sexual identity, and how to create a Queer positive environment.

2. IF you are trying to skill up your management team around human resources, THEN sign up for an account with Coursera. You can identify modules in its Human Resources course and tailor them to your non-profit setting.

Good classes to look at: University of California Davis HR workbooks around Setting Expectations and Team building through Coursera. The five courses are free, and combine workbooks you can assign to your staff, and podcasts and articles you can view together as a team and discuss. Apply the 80/20 to your HR stress and you will reap the benefits.

3. IF you are interested in exploring your impact and getting more clients, THEN consider integrated focus groups and explore Acumen’s free online courses on Social Impact and Human Centered Design.

Assign teams to work through the modules together and apply it to an existing project.

Also consider:

4. IF you are a racialized and/or newcomer leader, THEN RUN, don’t walk, to get Tina Lopes’ book Dancing on Live Embers: Challenging Racism in Organizations which explores systemic discrimination for leaders of colour. The checklists and sample policies at the back of the book are worth the price alone.

5. IF you are stressed by the double-speak of the non-profit sector in the Trump age. THEN visit Non-Profit AF. It is funny and honest, when you cannot be.

Also, become familiar with ProFellow, Everyday Feminism and Compass Point. Find leadership resources for gender non-conforming and self-identified women of colour who desperately need reciprocal leadership, supports, and self-care. Because you are doing this work at a very high professional and personal cost.

Maya Roy

CEO, YWCA Canada

Maya Roy is a diversity specialist with 20 years of experience in a variety of sectors in public policy development, public health, adult education and social work. She has extensive experience working in marginalized and disadvantaged communities, and is skilled in human resources, financial management, grant writing and project planning as well as in strategic communications and marketing. Maya is proficient in English, French and Bengali. Her work has taken her to Thailand, Brazil, India and the UK where she worked with NGOs to support human rights and violence prevention. Her essays have been published in Going Beyond the Journey (2013) by Insomniac Press, and she is the winner of the 2013 CASSA Gender Advocate Award and the Toronto Community Foundation’s Vital People award in 2014. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the Ryerson School of Social Work, and has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics. Maya was a member of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency.