Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy for "SHINE: Shining on Autism across the Spectrum Inc" also referred to as "SHINE Inc."

Effective Date: 03/2023

1. Purpose

SHINE Inc is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that fosters respect, fairness, and equal opportunities for all individuals involved with our organization. This policy outlines our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and sets forth the guidelines and expectations for all members, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders associated with SHINE Inc.

2. Definitions

a) Diversity: The recognition and celebration of the unique qualities, perspectives, and experiences that individuals bring to our organization. This includes, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and cultural background.

b) Equity: Ensuring fair treatment, equal access to opportunities, and resources for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or identities, to promote their full participation and success.

c) Inclusion: Creating an environment that embraces and values the contributions, voices, and perspectives of all individuals, where everyone feels welcomed, respected, and empowered to fully participate.

3. Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

a) SHINE Inc is committed to fostering a culture that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our organization. We believe that a diverse and inclusive environment contributes to the success and effectiveness of our mission.

b) We strive to create an organizational culture that values and respects individuals from all backgrounds and identities, and actively works to address and eliminate discrimination, bias, and barriers to inclusion.

c) SHINE Inc is dedicated to integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into all aspects of our operations, including governance, programs, policies, and decision-making processes.

4. Guiding Principles

a) Non-Discrimination: SHINE Inc prohibits discrimination, harassment, and exclusion based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, socio-economic status, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by applicable laws.

b) Equal Opportunity: SHINE Inc is committed to providing equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or identities, in all areas of our organization, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and volunteer assignments.

c) Accessibility: We strive to ensure that our programs, services, events, and facilities are accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable the participation of individuals with disabilities.

d) Inclusive Language and Communication: SHINE Inc encourages the use of inclusive language and communication that respects and values all individuals. We promote the use of preferred pronouns and strive to avoid language that reinforces stereotypes or perpetuates biases.

e) Education and Awareness: We are committed to providing ongoing education, training, and awareness programs to all members, staff, volunteers, and stakeholders to foster a greater understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion and to promote inclusive practices within our organization and in the broader community.

5. Implementation and Accountability

a) The Board of Directors and the Executive Leadership of SHINE Inc are responsible for ensuring the implementation and compliance of this policy.

b) All individuals associated with SHINE Inc, including but not limited to members, staff, volunteers, partners, and stakeholders, are expected to adhere to this policy and actively contribute to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.

c) Complaints of discrimination, harassment, or violations of this policy should be reported promptly. SHINE Foundation will investigate and address such complaints in a fair, impartial, and confidential manner, taking appropriate action as necessary.

6. Review and Revision

a) This policy will be reviewed periodically to ensure its alignment with the evolving needs and expectations of our organization and the community we serve.

b) Revisions to this policy may be made as necessary, and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

By adopting this Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy, SHINE Inc affirms its commitment to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where all individuals have equal opportunities to thrive and contribute to our mission.

Christina McCollough, Executive Director