policy & Publications

Request for Proposals - DEI Consultant

Project Title: Development of NSGC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan

Proposal Deadline: January 31, 2020

Email proposals and/or questions to: Katie Strang (kstrang@nsgc.org) ATTN: DEI Consultant RFP

NSGC will accept questions about this RFP via email until: January 24, 2020

See more information regarding this Request for Proposals

Background

In June of 2018, the NSGC Board of Directors held a strategy session to enhance goal-oriented focus and optimization of the NSGC’s resources and potential impacts. Among the four areas of focus discussed and agreed upon by the Board of Directors was one titled Strategic Area of Focus 4: Diversity and Inclusion. This area of focus delineates the intention of the NSGC to “promote a culture of inclusivity that supports visible and invisible diversity, and leverage that culture to expand the perspectives represented in our field, build community and foster equity in genetic services” (NSGC Board of Directors 2018). To tackle the proposed goals within this strategic area of focus, the yearlong Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was initiated.

The NSGC Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was established in February 2019. Over the past 9 months, this group of 17 (14 members and 3 staff liaisons) individuals have analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of both the profession and organization to determine the best path forward for the membership, organization, and profession.

One of the charges of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force was to develop an NSGC Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  The recurring themes that came up in our discussions, and that helped shape the recommendations of the Task Force include acknowledging our past as a profession and a society, taking accountability, and striving for open communication and transparency. Through an honest examination of the strengths and weaknesses of both NSGC and genetic counselors, the Task Force developed the following statement, which is now included, along with NSGC’s mission and vision, as a foundational statement of our society:.  NSGC Statement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A guiding principle of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) is to integrate genetics and genomics to improve healthcare. As a society, we can only meet this goal by promoting the active participation and leadership of people with diverse identities, perspectives, and backgrounds. Starting within our organization and extending into the larger healthcare system, we seek to empower our members to advocate for themselves, each other, and the diverse people we strive to serve.

History and Responsibility

We know that a diverse and inclusive organization does not build itself, but must be created through sustained effort by leadership, staff, and each individual member. We acknowledge the history of genetic differences being used and misused to justify stark injustices and reinforce social inequalities. Within the membership and leadership of NSGC, we do not yet have adequate representation or inclusion of minority identities, a disparity that has influenced our policies and services. We are responsible for learning from the past in order to pursue equity in our profession.

Advocates for Underrepresented People

NSGC advocates for the wellbeing of all genetic counselors – present and future - and those who are served by these professionals. We recognize that individuals with underrepresented characteristics and identities face logistical, social, and historical pressures that impact their professional and personal lives. These characteristics include, but are not limited to; age, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, country of origin, culture, language, religion, spiritual beliefs, legal status, health history, and disability. Furthermore, the various characteristics of an individual interact to inform their experiences and perspectives. We strive for a culture of equity that addresses these pressures so that diverse perspectives are respected and empowered in our organization.

Commitment to an Inclusive Future

As professionals working at the forefront of clinical genetics, we are witnessing an era of rapid advancements. We recognize the duty to use our skills and knowledge for the benefit of all people so that disparities in healthcare are not compounded by the power of genetics. The skills of genetic counselors are exactly those needed to promote a diverse and inclusive organization: empathy, tailored communication, problem solving, advocacy, and the ability to support people of all backgrounds through important moments in their lives. We acknowledge the need to extend the same types of support we are trained to provide to patients and clients to ourselves and our colleagues.

We know that over 98% of human genetic sequence is identical and our shared humanity unites us. Each of us has the need to feel respected, supported, and that we have a place where we can participate in a meaningful way. We also know that each person’s unique perspective gives them power to contribute to the greater good. NSGC commits to valuing those differences.

Other charges of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force included:

  1. Define existing strengths and weaknesses regarding D&I for NSGC and the genetic counseling profession as a whole.
  2. Assess opportunities for optimizing strengths and overcoming weaknesses specific to NSGC’s position in the genetic counseling community, organizational structure, mission and strategic plan.
  3. Develop an organizational inclusion and diversity statement.
  4. Develop recommendations for recognizing D&I efforts through the annual NSGC Leadership Awards program.
  5. Develop recommendations to initiate D&I oversight and direction within NSGC.
  6. Make initial specific recommendations for NSGC’s short term 2020 D&I activities, including proposed budget and committee ownership
  7. Develop long term goals to guide the trajectory of NSGC’s ongoing D&I initiatives

Deliverables

  • Written Reports:
    • Review and assess the current status of NSGC’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
    • Present DEI best-practice resources, which can be utilized by NSGC members.
  • Written Plan: Work with NSGC leadership, membership and staff to craft and implement a DEI plan including timeline, which will address the Areas of Focus identified above, be effective, integrated and sustainable, and builds on NSGC’s DEI statement.
  • Meetings: The consultant will have at a minimum, quarterly scheduled meetings/conference calls

Timeline*

  • December 20: RFP release
  • January 31: Proposal due date
  • April 2020: Notification of award
  • April – May 2020: Conference call to finalize contract

*This timeline is subject to change and NSGC reserves the right to terminate the contract at will for any reason.

Contact Information

For additional information, contact Katie Strang, Senior Manager, National Society of Genetic Counselors at kstrang@nsgc.org.

Resources Available Upon Request

  1. NSGC DEI Statement
  2.  December 2019 NSGC Advocate Article: Summary of D&I Task Force activities
  3. NSGC Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Recommendations
  4. 2019 NSGC Professional Status Survey: A biennial survey of NSGC members that provides a detailed profile of the current genetic counseling community and identifies new and emerging trends within the profession

Contact Katie Strang at kstrang@nsgc.org for access to these resources.

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