As a youth-serving nonprofit, Denver Kids acknowledges the historical oppression and marginalization that has resulted in ongoing disparities in the communities with whom we work alongside. These communities have long been investing their time, expertise and cultural wealth to uplift society. We honor their cultural richness and that of our stakeholders by centering their voices in our programming, celebrating their invaluable contributions and ensuring that Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) is the foundation of our mission of working with youth.
We will uphold these foundational statements and fulfill our commitment to stand as collective supporters and advocates for the Denver Kids community’s thriving success.
We believe that identities and experiences matter
We value and celebrate the range of diversity, culture, and unique differences among the Denver Kids community. We are committed to honoring the voices, perspectives, and lived experiences of our diverse staff, students, stakeholders, and community members.
We believe in equity
Every student has the right to access opportunities, a quality education, and tools for their own self-empowerment. Every staff member and stake holder deserves systems that are founded on equitable and inclusive practices. As a community we must work together to address the consequences of a long history of prejudice that continues to negatively impact marginalized communities and intersectional identities.
We believe in fostering a culture of belonging
Denver Kids is invested in an organizational culture where individuals can be engaged, feel valued, and are encouraged to share their perspectives. We strive to create spaces of belonging that reflect the communities we partner with, and one in which everyone feels recognized and psychologically safe to be their full, authentic selves.
Learn more about Denver Kids’ DEIB Language here
Our Shared Language :
Denver Kids offers the definitions below to clarify its intent to include all individuals in ways that enable them to feel a sense of belonging to our community.
Accomplice: To be an accomplice, one must be willing to do more than listen; one must be willing to stand with those who are being attacked, excluded or otherwise mistreated, even if that means suffering personal or professional backlash.
Advocate: One who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or a marginalized group in society.
Ally: Being an ally doesn’t necessarily mean you fully understand what it feels like to be oppressed. It means you are taking on the struggle as your own.
Anti-Oppression is the strategies, theories, actions and practices that actively challenge systems of oppression on an ongoing basis in one's daily life and in social justice/change work.
Anti-Racism is the practice of recognizing and actively opposing racism in society with the goal to promote racial equity.
Belonging: Refers to the perceived support, feeling of connectedness, and experience of community among peers and colleagues within the association. Belonging is a process of building a foundation through diversity, equity, and inclusive practices that cultivates the cornerstone of engagement in our community
Bias: To give a settled and often prejudiced outlook toward a marginalized group.
BIPOC: An acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Conscious bias: Known bias towards an individual or group.
Cultural Competence: The ability to effectively communicate and interact with people across cultures. It requires self-awareness, and developing positive attitudes towards other cultures.
Discrimination: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Diversity: Refers to group social differences such as race/ethnicity, class,gender, sexual orientation, gender preferences, country of origin, dis/ability, cultural, political, religious, or other group affiliations.
Equity: Acknowledging and making adjustments to address the consequences of a long history of prejudice and discriminatory treatment that continues and has a negative impact on Black, Brown, Indigenous, and marginalized communities.
Emotional Tax: The combination of being on guard to protect against bias, feeling different at work because of gender, race, and/or ethnicity, and the associated effects on health, well being, and ability to thrive at work.
White Supremacy: The belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the Black race, and should therefore dominate society.
Our commitment to DEIB is a long-term investment and an evolving learning process. Denver Kids’ Inclusivity Committee will review this document annually to actively uphold our commitments.
Inclusive practices are those that include an active, intentional, meaningful, and equitable engagement across the diversity of our Denver Kids community. Recognizing our diversity while meaningfully engaging it facilitates greater awareness, knowledge, understanding of the complex ways individuals engage within systems and institutions. Building these skills and abilities among individual members will begin to address past injustices and lay a strong foundation for equitable success for our students.
Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.
Oppression: Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control.
Marginalize is to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position (that is, to the metaphorical margins of society). *includes, but is not limited to gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, abilities, language, immigration status, and religion.
Microaggression: A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority
Micro-inequity: A theory regarding ways in which individuals are singled out, overlooked, ignored, or otherwise discounted based on an unchangeable characteristic such as race or gender. Micro-inequities are subtle, often unconscious, messages that devalue, discourage and impair workplace performance.
Privilege: A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group
Psychological Safety: A belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.
Stereotype: A standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment.
Supremacy: The state or condition of being superior to others in authority, power, or status.
Systemic oppression: Refers to the mistreatment of people within a specific group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions.
Threat to Pet: Refers to Black women being treated as a pet as opposed to a professional early in their careers. Upon Black women demonstrating resistance to this pet status, and the treatment that comes with it, they become threats (this term is coined by Kecia M. Thomas, Associate Dean, University of Georgia).
Unconscious Bias: An implicit association, whether about people, places, or situations, which are often based on mistaken, inaccurate, or incomplete information and includes the personal histories we bring to the situation.
Workplace Inclusion: An atmosphere where all employees belong, contribute, and can thrive. Requires deliberate and intentional action.
Denver Kids operates at capacity— we have a waiting list for admission into our program. Especially in these uncertain times, the need is greater than ever.