The Inayati Order is currently developing a statement of intent addressing diversity and inclusion in our global organization. The following is a living statement that represents an evolving process that will continue as we gain a better understanding of the issues through dialogue and experience. This process also includes the development of practical ways to ensure that we follow through on effective strategies to develop diversity and ensure the inclusion of diverse constituents and perspectives. We are in the process of circulating this draft statement throughout our organization to encourage and include participation and input. We recognize that cultural differences and practices must be considered as we proceed, and welcome insight and responses that contribute to an inclusive whole that will strengthen and enhance our work throughout the world. In the Plan below, in bold, we include our proposed initiatives for 2017/18.
Inayati Order Statement of Intent and Plan for Diversity and Inclusion
Statement of Intent:
We commit to developing diversity of participation in our activities and work among all people, recognizing that the wide variety of personal experiences, values, and worldviews that arise from differences of culture and circumstance make us stronger as an organization and more reflective of humanity as a whole. Such differences include, but are not limited to: differences in ethnicity, gender and gender identity, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, socio-economic status and religion; cognitive diversity; and cultural diversity. We seek to develop an inclusive approach in all the activities and work of the Inayati Order through active outreach, communication and understanding. To accomplish this, we recognize the necessity of increasing awareness of and working to remove barriers that exist on individual, group and societal levels, and which have historically led to marginalization and exclusion. We commit to the growth of understanding and awareness, so that we may know, understand and serve the whole of humanity better, rising above distinctions and differences which divide us and offering harmony, understanding, inspiration and healing to all who wish to receive it.
The scope of this statement applies to all Inayati Order work, including programs, retreats, trainings, teachers, operations, staff and publications.
1) Post the Statement of Intent and Plan for Diversity and Inclusion on the organizational websites.
A) Gulrukh will review this plan with the Inayati Order Boards in other countries as she meets with them, to encourage them to review it and adapt a version that is appropriate to their country and cultures.
2) Distribute the Statement of Intent and Plan for Diversity and Inclusion to IO participants.
A) In particular request a review of this statement and plan from a diverse membership of the Inayati Order
3) Sincere efforts to have the Diversity and Inclusion Work Group (DIWG) reflect a diverse population.
4) Include the Statement of Intent and Plan for Diversity and Inclusion in publications.
5) Encourage and offer training in diversity and inclusion and related efforts among IO representatives.
A) Training: initiating some training by including diversity and inclusion as a topic in our upcoming leaders meetings, for example, offering a one hour session early in the meeting during which participants can engage in exercises to increase their awareness of Diversity.
B) Pilot Program: institute a pilot training program somewhere that looks at how we can do this in our own organization, within the Dimensions of the Heart framework in Murshid’s teachings: Assess, Understand, Sympathize, Ideal. We need to look both at effective practices and increased awareness of the privilege structures that tend to constrict diversity and limit inclusion, and how these can be made more flexible, permeable and inlcusive. Begin developing in 2017 and implement in 2018.
C) Suggestions: encourage and empower leaders to try things and let us know how things worked out. We suspect that not much is actively occurring in the way of outreach and that ideas of good practices can be offered to provide leaders with a place to start.
6) Assess each activity and undertaking to determine that appropriate efforts are included in the planning and delivery of the work to reach a diverse population.
A) Job Descriptions: the Message Council job descriptions are due to be revised, and will include a focus on the development of diversity and inclusion within each Activity in 2017, begin evaluating in 2018.
B) Open a conversation with the Esoteric Training Committee re: how to address diversity and inclusion in leadership training.
7) Include sharing of information about work and activities in forms and avenues that will reach a diverse population.
8) Ensure that those who approach us are welcomed and included when they participate in work and activities.
9) Develop opportunities for diversity in participation and feedback at all local and national events.
10) Address diversity and inclusion among the Board, teachers, and participants in the work and activities.
11) Continue to assess needs for plans and initiatives in diversity development and inclusion on a regular basis through the ongoing work of the organizations.
12) Review and revise the Statement of Intent and Plan for Diversity and Inclusion as needed on a yearly basis.