Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

At Arts for Learning Connecticut, a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and organization is one where all staff, Teaching Artists, board members, partners, students, families, and volunteers—whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or ability—feel valued and respected. 

We are committed to a nondiscriminatory and anti-racist approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement throughout our organization. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We are committed to modeling diversity and inclusion for the arts, education, and non-profit sectors, and to maintaining an inclusive environment with equitable treatment for all.

To provide informed, authentic leadership for cultural equity, Arts for Learning Connecticut strives to:

  • See diversity, equity, and inclusion as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our staff and the arts communities we serve.
  • Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report relevant organization progress.
  • Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
  • Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.
  • Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.
  • Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
  • Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership within our board, staff, Teaching Artist community, and volunteer community.
  • Ensure our compliance with applicable laws, policies, and standards relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all employees and representatives of Arts for Learning CT to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.
  • Ensure that AFLCT’s arts learning programs fit within an equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, culturally responsive framework; and provide support to Teaching Artists in further developing programs to meet this framework when necessary.

Arts for Learning Connecticut will pursue the following specific goals in FY24—as aligned with our strategic plan—to further our commitment to this effort and the framework laid out above:

  • Substantively join in the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of the networks and organizations we belong to and affiliate with, including: Young Audiences Arts for Learning, the Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven,  Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, CT Office of the Arts, CT Humanities, and any other programmatic or funding partner doing meaningful work in this context.
  • Share publicly (on our website and in printed materials) our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including parts (or all) of this statement, as well as outside resources that support and illustrate this effort.
  • Understand, appreciate, and celebrate the diversity represented among our staff, board, Teaching Artists, and students, and make a conscious effort to reflect further diversity in those groups where and when needed and appropriate, including through the expansion of a mentorship and training program for underrepresented emerging Teaching Artists (Emerge).
  • Prepare our leadership to be intentional and conscious of bias during the hiring, promoting, or evaluating process.
  • Ensure our Teaching Artist Agreement is written according to this policy and is updated for the FY24 cycle.
  • Identify the demographics of our Teaching Artist community and investigate any inequalities related to booking and payment that might correlate with those demographics.
  • Identify the demographics of our student customers and set FY24 programming targets related to those demographics: at least 50% of the students we serve in FY24 will be BIPOC
  • Ensure that our Higher Order Thinking (HOT) Schools partners meet our equity profile: with at least statewide averages of FRPL or BIPOC students: 45% and 50%, respectively.
  • Develop and implement the Arts Learning Framework—through content creation, internal professional development for teaching artists, outsider professional development for Teaching Artists and staff, and programmatic alignment—and strengthen AFLCT’s capacity to provide programs that are aligned with best practices in Culturally Responsive Teaching, Social and Emotional Learning, and Universal Design for Learning.
  • Ensure at least 15% of staff identify as BIPOC by end of FY24; with plans to increase this to 30% in FY25.
  • Reconsider this policy and update these related goals annually. 

This updated policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was approved by AFLCT’s Board of Directors on 9/13/2023.

We want to acknowledge that Arts for Learning Connecticut’s office is located on the traditional lands of Quinnipiac and Wappinger Peoples past and present. We have gratitude for the land itself, as well as for the people who have stewarded it throughout history and present day.