Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

A Culture of Inclusion is Life at CPO

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. They’re more than just words for us. They’re the values guiding how we build our teams, cultivate leaders, and create an organization that’s the right fit for every person inside of it. They fuel our innovation and connect us closer to the people and communities we serve. More importantly, creating an environment where everyone, from any background, can do their best work is the right thing to do.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) encompasses the relationship, philosophy and culture of acknowledging, welcoming, embracing, supporting, and accepting those of all racial, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, religious, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more while creating equal access to opportunity and distributing resources based on needs.

Thanks to funding from Community Foundation of the Ozarks, we are proud to have a Community Diversity & Equity Director who has been charged with working to advance DEI across the community and creating infrastructure for other organizations and businesses to improve their DEI culture. Racism, discrimination and intolerance are roadblocks to improving the quality of life for everyone in our region, and we must do better as a community, state, and nation.

Here at CPO, we want to serve as a change agent, proactively addressing and promoting DEI by implementing the Inclusive Excellence Model within our organization and the communities we serve. This model drives systemic change and promotes inclusive organizational culture and opportunities. The model was first brought to Springfield and implemented at Missouri State University, and it has expanded to Springfield’s public entities and other non-profit organizations. We will work with our community partners toward the Inclusive Excellence Model’s ultimate goal—to prevent people of diverse identities from being left further behind and continue to make entities and organizations inclusive and excellent for everyone. Future plans include a three-session Inclusive Excellence in the Ozarks training that will be available to our non-profit partners and local businesses. For information about this training, please contact Darline Mabins at dmabins@cpozarks.org.

For a list of various resources that can be used to start conversations around DEI as well as a starting point to gain insight and understanding, visit the resource links below.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Resources:
Why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Matters for Nonprofits
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
Diversity Toolkit: A Guide to Discussing Identity, Power and Privilege
Cultural Intelligence
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Glossary of Terms
Social Justice Glossary
How Managers Can (and Should) address Race and Violence in the News
Creating a Community in which Young Professionals of Color want to Live in
Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide
Beyond Political Correctness: Building a Diverse Board
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Policy Template
Talking about Race
Anti-racism Resources
5 Ways to Show Up for Racial Justice Today


Mayor's Five Pillars of Change for Equity and Equality

We have adopted the Mayor’s Five Pillars of change. These guiding principles make Springfield more inclusive and improve equitable access to opportunities to all.

  1. Dialogue and Understanding
  2. Cultural Consciousness
  3. Advocacy and Partnerships
  4. Structural Systemic Barriers
  5. Personal and Organizational Accountability


To learn more go about these pillars, click here.