Our Committment to Inclusion and Diversity
Letter from our Executive Director and CEO, Matt VanAuken
Dear Friends of Developmental Pathways:
Over the last weeks, like many of you, I have been reeling from the devastating event that took place in Minneapolis. As the CEO of one of the largest nonprofits in Colorado and someone blessed to lead a team of over 700 individuals making a difference every day, I feel compelled to reach out to acknowledge the tragic death of George Floyd and the need for continued action and dialogue against racism in our communities. As a collective organization, we are built on inclusion, diversity, and the potential of all people. Our mission to empower people to live meaningful lives spans ability, socioeconomic status, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and race. While we work towards full participation in community life for people with disabilities, we feel it’s essential to support the black community in advocating for equality and justice. We want to be an organization that elevates marginalized voices and stands for the underserved. We believe that work starts here within our immediate sphere of influence.
I wanted to let you know that I will be taking bold steps towards more intentional inclusion and diversity in our organizations. We are working to create a plan that will include things like the first-ever CEO Diversity Council and staff forums to discuss navigating these social injustices and how they impact our organization, our staff, and those we serve. We are also in the process of finding and partnering with an external consultant who will help us shape our companies ongoing commitment to this critical issue in a thoughtful and impactful manner.
Thank you for your time and attention. We will continue to provide updates to all community members and partners in the coming months regarding our efforts in diversity and inclusion.
We are committed to racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our organization and our partnership with the I/DD community. Our work is rooted in the firm belief that all people deserve respect and dignity, where we embrace and celebrate varied identities, preferences, and perspectives. These values are essential to our organization’s excellence and to achieving our objective of a more equitable and inclusive community for all. We will ensure our systems, policies, practices, actions, and communications are equitable, including how we attract, hire, engage, develop, promote, retain, and retire BIPOC and other underrepresented or marginalized talents. We intentionally engage in an ongoing process of active learning and growth to advance a culture reflective of a shared purpose and belonging.