ALA Academy recently added a new course — ALA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This course was created to: help our members recognize biased language and performance bias and implement strategies to overcome them; identify and properly use interrupters to create a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for all; and demonstrate the ability to coach others on the importance of inclusion and equity within the ALA.
This 30-minute module will lead you and your ALA unit to a more diverse organization, allowing the Auxiliary to help more veterans — creating a larger volunteer pool and improving community engagement and outreach. Having a diverse ALA membership gives us the ability to better relate to and address the needs of the community and also allows the ALA to have a broader voice in the communities we serve.
Throughout the course, you will learn why we stress the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the ALA and how doing so forms an environment where everyone feels accepted. You will discover how to recognize and combat different types of bias and stereotypes, and also gain insight to the types of impressions you may have about situations in which you are exposed to every day. Throughout the course, you will learn how to recognize, address, and overcome common stereotypes and biases, along with so much more.
The ALA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion course covers a variety of topics like defining diversity, equity, and inclusion; advantages of a diverse ALA membership; types of bias; observing equity; interrupter strategies to stop bias; biased language; and building an inclusive culture.
Your commitment to upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion within your unit will help the ALA build a more inclusive culture across our organization. Before you take the course, familiarize yourself with these definitions, which are used throughout:
Diversity is the presence of differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, ability, and age (among others). Diversity is about taking account of the differences between people and groups of people and placing a positive value on these differences.
Equity looks to ensure people have access to the same treatment, opportunity, and advancement, with an emphasis on identifying and removing barriers that prevent participation from some groups.
Inclusion ensures that those who are diverse actually feel and are welcomed by a group.
A bias includes words, phrases, and/or sweeping generalizations that do not fairly represent all individuals within a group.
A stereotype is an assigned generalization or preconceived characteristics attributed to a certain set of people. They can include oversimplified generalizations that may be untrue or only partially true.
WHAT IS ALA ACADEMY?
ALA Academy is a user-friendly online training platform that offers new learning opportunities for members of all ages. ALA Academy courses are free educational trainings that provide a deeper level of understanding about the American Legion Auxiliary as an organization.
The Academy allows for self-paced learning, peer sharing, peer mentoring, and opportunities for ongoing training. The courses don’t have to be completed all at once. You can complete them at your own pace and at your own convenience.
ALA Academy self-paced courses:
In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.