15 Oct Mission Minute: Reverence and Diversity
The NHI Core Value of Reverence states that “we practice respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of life.” As an organization, we embrace and celebrate our diversity, both in terms of who we serve as well as our associates. Representing so many cultures, varying backgrounds, perspectives, knowledge, and experience greatly enriches the New Hope mission, programs and services.
A quote by the late author Maya Angelou comes to mind: “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” A tapestry of one color and one size thread would be very boring and certainly not as strong. New Hope is a beautiful tapestry interwoven with a legacy of inclusion, compassionate and dedicated associates, and an exciting, vibrant, innovative future. That is not to say there are not challenges at times, language issues, differing expectations or priorities, but the benefits of cultural diversity definitely outweigh the concerns which might arise. Several associates were asked what diversity brings to New Hope and here is what they shared:
“What diversity brings to New Hope is a blending of cultures, understanding, and the realization we have so much more in common than we have differences;
In the fall I see the forest with so many different trees.
Different colors, branches, leaves, even the trunks are different shapes.
Some trees grow fruit, others nuts, and some are bare of both.
Yet each tree is the same. It grows, dies, and sends forth seeds for new trees.
The trees grow roots deep, they provide home and shade for other living creatures.
In the fall I see the forest. How beautiful are the colors that blend so well together.”
“New Hope has worked towards achieving increased diversity in a holistic manner by hiring and accommodating individuals from diverse backgrounds. At NHI, diversity allows Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) to easily relate and communicate with their peers as well as other associates. It allows cohesive teamwork which produces results and encourages problem solving. NHI is a true example of a diverse workplace in Indiana, where staff feel appreciated for who they are.”
“One of the things that I love about New Hope is that we are surrounded by diversity which encompasses acceptance, respect and an understanding that each individual is unique. People bring culture, language and diverse attire into our clients’ lives. Clients bring neuro-diversity to our lives as well, teaching us that a different way of communicating or behaving can be folded into a full life. This atmosphere allows for me, as a practicing Jew, to be woven into the fabric of New Hope as it does for all individuals. Many times, clients and staff have asked me about Judaism, my culture and practices. These questions are welcome, and I enjoy sharing with everyone. We are all richer for the experiences we appreciate and share.”
“Regardless of the color of skin or race, cultural diversity is a way of living, built up by a group of people(s) where wisdom, knowledge and love are core values for humanity. That’s what it brings to NHI and we are all winners.”