Avalon is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as evidenced by our client list. We have long worked with nonprofits dedicated to strengthening the diverse fabric of our society, including LGBTQIA issues, women’s health, voting rights, and inclusivity in the arts. And, through our work with social service organizations, we are intimately familiar with the significance of diversity in poverty response. We are proud to support these missions through volunteer work, donations, and sponsorships—and, of course, strategic fundraising!
We currently have formal non-discrimination and non-harassment policies that codify these requirements, and a process for educating staff. Avalon is woman-owned, was early to formalize inclusive benefits for same-sex spouses and transgender persons, and works hard to incorporate best practices for diversity and inclusion in hiring, advancement, and human resources. We provide our staff with paid time off to volunteer, vote, and celebrate Juneteenth.
DEI Task Force
We believe strongly that a substantive DEI commitment is not static. Rather, we embrace continuous improvement that touches everything we do: our team culture, company policies, our work product, and each of us individually. We are committed to taking a harder look at how we do business, how we advise our clients, and how we take care of our staff to ensure we are walking the walk.
To accomplish this, Avalon launched a formal DEI process in 2020, and created the following vision statement:
Our vision is to grow a compassionate company of diverse, authentic, and empowered champions who foster a culture that embraces differences every day, and where each Avalonian is supported and inspired to reach their full potential and in turn, informs the perspective of our work.
We have identified four DEI pillars: internal education, hiring and advancement, inclusive culture, and client work. We take a monthly “Pulse” survey to anonymously assess employee experience, including DEI topics. In addition, the task force communicates regularly to the full staff – to share resources, show our work, and explain what DEI means for day-to-day work at Avalon.
This process is led internally by a DEI task force, and we are guided by a consultant and guest speakers with expertise in helping companies better reflect DEI values. Avalon leadership is actively involved, and the group is open to every Avalon employee who wishes to participate.
DEI Approach to Client Work
Avalon’s DEI approach to client work begins with the clients we choose for partnership. We seek and pursue work with clients who share our DEI values, and whose missions align with ours. We decline work from organizations that are not a good fit.
We spend time immersing ourselves in our clients’ programs to ensure that we honor what DEI means to them and how they serve their communities. We take steps to understand the voice of each organization so we can reflect it in their creative and list selection.
We are aware of exclusionary practices in direct marketing and are committed to challenging them. To that end, for every client and every campaign, we strive to provide:
Additionally, with the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacting communities of color and ongoing racist injustices permeating our society, we stand with all of our clients and the country to continue the critical work of undoing the legacy of racist policies that impact people of color.