NCE’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Nebraska Cultural Endowment (NCE) exists to sustain, enhance, and perpetuate the arts and humanities in Nebraska by partnering with the state’s arts and humanities councils, the Nebraska Arts Council and Humanities Nebraska. We acknowledge that in order to sustain these activities and their positive impacts on society, Nebraska’s cultural practitioners, organizations, and funders must have the diverse and experienced leadership they need to fulfill their missions and advance the arts and humanities for their communities.
While many factors contribute to strong and effective board and staff leadership, NCE believes that Nebraska’s cultural organizations are better able to do their work effectively and with authenticity when they are intentional in building diverse, inclusive, and equity-focused leadership:
- Diverse: The individual leaders who compose nonprofit boards and executive leadership are a reflection of an organization’s values and beliefs about who should be empowered and entrusted with its most important decisions. We believe that organizations can better achieve their missions by drawing on the skills, talents, and perspectives of a broad and diverse range of leaders, and that the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences and cultural backgrounds strengthens board deliberations and decision making.
- Inclusive: The most effective organizations work to build a culture of trust, candor, and respect. An inclusive culture:
- ensures that all stakeholders are encouraged to bring their perspectives, identity, and life experience to their service or jobs.
- welcomes and celebrates differences.
- ensures that all leaders are engaged and invested, sharing power and responsibility for the organization’s mission.
- Equity-Focused: Board and staff leaders play a critical role in helping organizations understand the context in which they work and how best to prioritize resources and strategies based on that reality. An awareness of how systemic inequities have affected our society and those an organization serves enables us to avoid blind spots that can lead to flawed strategies, and creates powerful opportunities to deepen the organization’s impact, relevance, and advancement of the arts and humanities for their respective communities and stakeholders.
Nebraska’s cultural practitioners, organizations, and funders must have the diverse and experienced leadership they need to fulfill their missions and advance the arts and humanities for their communities.
– NCE Board of Directors
As stewards of the public good, Nebraska’s cultural organizations, regardless of mission or discipline, are called on to embrace and celebrate our common humanity and the inherent worth of all people. In doing so, we must also acknowledge that a climate of intolerance and inequity is a challenge to our democratic values and ideals. Divisions along economic, racial, religious, and political lines create a polarized society in need of healing. And the complex issues and dynamics at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality call for deeper thinking as we seek to understand each other.
Nonprofit arts and humanities organizations play a unique and vital role in bridging these divides and in brokering solutions. As a sector, we have the power to bring together communities and to speak out against and change longstanding systems and policies designed to benefit some groups while marginalizing, excluding, or harming others.
A commitment to diverse leadership within the sector will help guide the way that each organization articulates and upholds its purpose, its values, and its responsibility to advance the public good in the context of the arts and humanities, as well as how it allocates its resources to that effect. Our vision of a sustainable sector is only possible when it empowers all its stakeholders and values their diverse perspectives and contributions.
Our vision of a sustainable sector is only possible when it empowers all its stakeholders and values their diverse perspectives and contributions.
– NCE Board of Directors
Recognizing our own responsibility consistent with our mission, beliefs, and aspirations, NCE is committing to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the following ways:
Investing in our own learning and growth towards these ideals;
Acknowledging that we must understand and embrace the full diversity of our community and the societal realities that affect all of us in order to fulfill our mission;
Being intentional about our own board and staff diversity, our internal work to cultivate a culture of inclusion and accountability, and our actions to advance equity;
Engaging in and advocating for organization-wide thinking about how systemic inequities impact Nebraska’s cultural sector and beyond, and how each organization may best address that in a way that is consistent with its mission.
Through these efforts and consistent with our mission to sustain the arts and humanities for future generations of Nebraskans, NCE aspires to help unleash the full potential of Nebraska’s cultural sector to be a force for a more thoughtful, engaged, and just Nebraska.