In order to stand by the mission of diversity and inclusion, funders and funding must accompany the call for increased recruitment, research, and implementation. Investing in diversity and inclusion with funding support shows true commitment to transforming the workforce to reflect the population served. Many funders are beginning to recognize the value in funding initiatives solely focused on diversity. For example, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (2015), states: We believe the Fund has a moral obligation to do its part to address past and current injustices to groups that have been historically disadvantaged and socially, politically, and economically excluded… In pursuing our social change mission, we seek to manage our philanthropic programs and organizational culture in a manner that embraces diversity and inclusion.
D5, a coalition to advance philanthropy's diversity, equity, and inclusion, reinforces these ideals. As part of their mission, they assert, "As our constituencies become increasingly diverse, we need to understand and reflect their rich variety of perspectives in order to achieve greater impact." D5 sees three powerful impacts of funding diversity:
The AUCD network would benefit from the creation of and direction to funding sources that directly address diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence; this priority was nearly universally identified by stakeholders contributing to the development of this Toolkit. At the same time, current funding available to UCEDDs, LENDs, and AUCD Central Office can benefit from re-allocation in order to meet federal mandates and respond to priorities in diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. The impact of new funding, and use of existing funds, will not only enable key initiatives to be implemented, but also reinforce the importance of the energy behind these causes via fiscal allocation.
Require community collaborations, diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in funding opportunities. Require applicants provide related goals, objectives, and budget lines; and include in scoring guidelines.
Allocate core grant funding to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts to support all projects, in recognition of this core topic.
In developing grant applications from any funder, identify and highlight area of RFP that addresses diverse populations, cultural and linguistic competence, and/or inclusion. Focus on those sections of the application, using the opportunity to strengthen partnerships with and address needs of underserved communities.
Provide funding to implement Toolkit objectives and strategies to support diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence. Consider seed or supplemental grants to dedicate staff time to realigning budgets, personnel, community relationships, language accessibility, cultural brokers, and grassroots changes to impact sustainable improvement in this area.
Ensure funding and time provided for initiatives addressing diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence is substantial enough to pay for appropriate expert consultation, sustained network involvement, and technical assistance to plan and implement efforts that will make an impact and drive long-term change.
In developing budgets for grant applications, dedicate resources for participation by people who may not be literate, communicate verbally, or speak English. Dedicate budget lines to verbal and nonverbal language support including linguistic, interpreter, transcription, translation services, speech-to-text and text-to speech services. Dedicate resources to pay community members for their meaningful participation as content experts given their life experiences.
Join listservs to receive updates on funding opportunities and other resources related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.
Fund robust partnerships between UCEDDs/LENDs and Minority Serving Institutions, community colleges, and other settings serving students who are underrepresented in higher education to develop collaborative programs to address workforce diversity and inclusion, research to increase the field's understanding of the intersectionality between disability and race/ethnicity/language, and other programs to reduce inequalities for minorities with developmental disabilities.
Apply for minority pipeline grant opportunities.
Use targeted funding, endowments, unobligated funds to create needed positions.
Provide financial support to programs with strategic accountable plans to mentor support to trainees, faculty, and staff.
Provide funding for cross-UCEDD/LEND visits so programs can learn from each other's successes.
Require funded research to include racial and ethnic groups proportional to their representation in the population at large. Encourage other federal funders to do the same.
Provide one-year funding to consortium of network members and external experts to collaboratively create evidence-based "indicators of high performance" that identify proven practices such as cultural brokering, mentorship, etc. that are known to improve diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence.
Review existing budgets in every funded project; realign where needed to allocate funds for diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence efforts in all projects.
Increase funding in areas that address resiliencies and disparities, intersectionality of disability and other cultural identities, and diversity and inclusion scholarship
Provide funding for an online library of resources and information relevant to diversity, inclusion, and cultural and linguistic competence in disability training, research, service, and dissemination. This would expand what is currently available in the Interdisciplinary Technical Assistance Center (ITAC), UCEDD Resource Center (URC), and this Toolkit.
Provide funding to AUCD to periodically update Toolkit, so information stays fresh and current.
Identify areas where progress can be made without additional funding, and take steps to make improvements in those areas. When relevant funding becomes available, a record of progress in this priority area will be helpful to include in an application.