NASW Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Charter

Diversity refers to acceptance of and respect for the variety of similarities and differences among people, including but not limited to gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, race, Native or Indigenous origin, age, generation, sexual orientation, romantic orientation, religion, belief system, marital status, parental status, other family status, socio-economic difference, appearance, language and accent, ability and disability, mental health, substance use disorders, education, geography, nationality, work style, work experience, job role and function, veteran status, thinking style, and personality type. Inclusion of various diversity dimensions may vary by geography or organization.

Equity ensures that everyone has support and access to the resources needed to be successful, by identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of all staff and members.

  • Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions and systems, as well as in the distribution of resources.
  • Equity differs from equality. Equality refers to treating everyone the same but does not necessarily lead to equitable outcomes because diverse communities have diverse needs and have faced varying obstacles and inequities.

Inclusion is a dynamic state of operating in which diversity is leveraged and power is shared to create a fair, healthy, and high-performing organization or community. An inclusive environment ensures equitable access to resources and opportunities for all. It promotes a sense of belonging. It also enables individuals and groups to feel safe, respected, engaged, motivated, and valued for who they are and for their contributions toward organizational and societal goals.


NASW has established a diversity, equity, and inclusion committee (“DEIC”) of 20 – 25 employees, including senior leaders and national and chapter staff, who act on behalf of the organization to launch and support the diversity equity and inclusion (DE&I) process. The committee is a critical driver in fostering real organizational change, establishing a dedicated focus on diversity and inclusion priorities, and promoting the DE&I program. DEIC works closely with senior leaders to ensure tight alignment with the organization’s overall business strategy and to accelerate DE&I goals.

The NASW DEIC strives to create an organizational culture and climate in which all staff are valued, have a sense of belonging and connection with one another and the organization, and feel empowered to do their best work.

DEIC is charged with researching, developing, and proposing mechanisms that will help create a supportive, positive, and inclusive work environment for all staff at NASW.


  • PROMOTE and CELEBRATE diversity, equity, inclusion, and multiculturalism among NASW staff through a variety of mechanisms including but not limited to workshops, discussions, social gatherings, and cultural events.
  • CREATE spaces that foster respectful, inclusive, and equitable communication practices throughout and among all levels of staff of the organization and promote best practices engagement and belongingness.
  • SUGGEST the tools and resources to learn about, discuss, and ask questions about issues and topics related to DE&I including continuous training, guest presentations, and other educational and inspirational resources.
  • FACILITATE communication between all staff of NASW to share ideas and recommendations and assist in finding consensus when it comes to our DE&I needs, goals, and intentions.


  1. Coordinate the overall DE&I program and individually acting as DE&I ambassadors across the organization.
  2. Set and review measurable DE&I objectives and actively monitor progress against DE&I Key Performance Indicators (KPIs on an annual basis.
  3. Assist in the finalizing of the commitment to DE&I statement, definitions, purpose, and goals.
  4. Create opportunities for employees to have meaningful engagement with other staff, including NASW leadership and chapter staff, to promote cultural inclusivity and discuss issues relating to equity in the workplace. For example: breakfast/lunch with the CEO and/or directors, First Fridays with DE&I.
  5. Provide thoughts and feedback to NASW Senior Management Team (SMT) on issues of culture, climate, equity, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace, including recommendations and support regarding short- and long-term strategies to meet the organization’s current and future workforce needs. For example: effective recruitment, hiring, and retention practices.
  6. Formulate recommendations for the development of new policies and practice initiatives to support DE&I efforts or modification of policies and practices that may be negatively impacting diversity, inclusivity, and equity efforts.
  7. Create internal organizational learning opportunities in which staff may voluntarily participate and engage to deepen and develop personal understanding of DE&I at an individual and organizational level and provide incentives to encourage voluntary participation.
  8. Identify opportunities for the organization to engage with its broader communities to promote DE&I and social justice. For example: community volunteer activities, open house events, community or membership town halls.
  9. Serve as a communications vehicle across the organization by helping to develop the tone and method of internal messaging to staff on committee activities and efforts. For example: NASW internal staff newsletter.
  10. Conduct a self-assessment each year of committee effectiveness that describes accomplishments relative to developed goals and chartered responsibilities, including identifying challenges and barriers encountered during the period, and recommendations for solutions.


1. Chair or Co-chairs: The committee will select two co-chairs (one chapter representative and one national office representative) who will report to the NASW SMT. The co-chairs will be responsible for meeting scheduling and preparation, meeting facilitation, follow-up on action items, regular newsletter items, liaising with the SMT, etc.

2. SMT Sponsor: A member of NASW’s SMT will be appointed as the committee’s sponsor. The sponsor will support the committee by:

a) Providing guidance to the chairs

b) Acting as the link between the chairs and senior management

c) Assisting with decisions that may be beyond the authority of the co-chairs and committee members

d) Supporting co-chairs in presentation of recommendations to the SMT and/or the Board.

3. The Committee: The committee membership will reflect a diversity of staff. Including the co-chairs, 20 to 25 members will serve on the committee. For the inaugural year of the committee, VP of DE&I will select the co-chairs and committee members from among staff who express interest. Staff will need to have approval from their supervisor after review of current workload and consideration of any other factors such as alignment with individual professional development plans.

If more than 25 staff members are interested in serving, the SMT or its representative, along with the VP of Ethics Diversity and Inclusion, will develop a process to select membership with a goal of creating a diverse and inclusive committee. If volunteer participation is insufficient and/or the membership does not effectively represent the diversity noted previously, the SMT or its representative, along with the VP of DE&I, will solicit additional members.


The committee will:

  • Meet monthly for 90 minutes on a designated day of the month.
  • Hold additional meetings as needed depending on scope of activity/event/etc.