by Anna Shelton
In the spring of 2020, the DACCD membership committee saw an opportunity to be more thoughtful about the way we reached out for new members.
We set the goal to have more inclusive membership in DACCD for the upcoming year. As part of those inclusivity efforts, we considered position types, representation from Centers, identities, length of service and more. We wanted to reach new staff members who might never have considered DACCD membership.
To start, we redesigned the recruitment messaging to be more visually appealing. We incorporated new ways of soliciting feedback and engagement, including adding a “Get to know DACCD” webinar (pictured below). But most importantly we listened to the ISR community and offered FAQ and other responsive resources, as well as enthusiastically sharing the recruitment message in new channels.
The outcome has been a remarkable increase in applications to DACCD, both general membership and in our subcommittees. We were delighted to receive applications from every Center at ISR, as well as gaining new members of differing abilities and experiences. Some of our applicants wrote:
- “I understand the intentionality necessary to create cultural change within our communities, but I know that a collective and empathetic effort is the only way to accomplish this goal”
- “I have lived and worked as a human service professional in a number of very different communities in Michigan, many of which are very different from one another.”
- “I have been successful at having these productive and engaging conversations with a diverse body of students.”
- “My experiences proved to me that it was okay to create your own identity outside of any predefined version of yourself. “
With applications like this, we knew the next chapter of DACCD was about to begin.
After the final vote was taken and new members were onboarded, we’re honored to say that DACCD now has our largest membership ever. These new members have hit the ground running. So many new offerings have sprung from DACCD subcommittees with energy and support lent by those new members.
This year, when you attend an event put on by the Social Justice or Perspectives committees, or come across the Accessibility committee’s inclusivity work, or you see a new book recommendation from the Community and Diversity Lending Library in the Weekly, or a myriad of other diversity related work, take a minute to say hello to the DACCD members behind the project.
And know that we encourage you, yes you, to apply for DACCD in June 2021.