VEAP embraces diversity and is committed to pursuing a more just, equitable and inclusive society for all people. We respect and value all dimensions of diversity including differences of preference, perspective, race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender identity and expression, language, marital status, sexual orientation, economic status, religious or non-religious background, ability and all other visible and nonvisible differences.
As a community based nonprofit, we have a responsibility to break down barriers, address historical and current inequities and injustices, as well as proactively engage all people in our community. We strive to create a space where all people are welcome and seek to foster a culture of respect, human dignity, learning, openness and integrity. Our mission calls us to work together and our vision challenges us to embrace all. All means all at VEAP. We can accomplish more in partnership with others.
When our entire community is reflected in our volunteers, staff and leadership, and we enable all voices to be heard, then our services will be stronger, we will be more effective and we will advance our vision: A thriving community where all are free to pursue their dreams!
VEAP’s Equity Statement
We recognize that both advantages and barriers exist and that not all people start from the same place. We strive to identify and eliminate the barriers that prevent all people from pursuing their dreams and thriving in our community. We believe in fair treatment, access, opportunity and resources for all people.
What do we mean when we say DEI?
Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences, both visible and invisible. These varied identities and differences could be race, ethnicity, gender, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, tribe, culture, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, ideas, perspectives, values and more.
We believe the solution to the problems we hope to address through our services can be found by affirming our similarities, as well as by finding value in our differences. We seek to proactively engage, understand, and draw on a variety of life experiences and perspectives.
Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all by identifying and eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups.
We believe equity is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity. We seek to provide dignified services that are accessible to all in our community.
Inclusion builds a culture of belonging and understanding by actively inviting the contribution, participation and leadership of all people.
We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to create balance in the face of power and privilege differences. We believe an inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. We seek to be accountable to the most marginalized in our community and commit to serving with compassion, curiosity and self-reflection.
Learn more about DEI at VEAP:
Gender pronouns: why we use them and what they mean
VEAP’s pursuit of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (an open letter from VEAP’s CEO and DEI team)
Minnesota nonprofits look for new ways to diversify their volunteer ranks (Star Tribune)
Inequity & Injustice: what’s happening in our community?
Student Hunger in the Suburbs