And the Multicultural Outreach Award goes to...

NAMI Wisconsin diversity and inclusion efforts are beginning to get recognition!

We recently received news that our state NAMI organization was selected by the NAMI Board of Directors to receive the national Multicultural Outreach Award, an award that honors effective efforts to ensure that ethnic, cultural and other minorities are a strong, vital and valued part of the NAMI family. 

NAMI Wisconsin really began its diversity and inclusion efforts in 2013, when we were selected by the national organization to be part of the Build it Together initiative in which we assessed our organization's cultural competence, participated in a 3-day strategic coaching session in Washington DC, formulated a strategic diversity and inclusion plan and then began working to implement that plan statewide. The purpose behind the Build it Together initiative was to ensure that diversity and inclusion became a part of NAMI Wisconsin's everyday work and became embedded into all aspects of the organization. 

Now, a year and a half later, our organization is being recognized for our continued efforts to obtain this goal. 

“As a grassroots advocacy organization, our challenge in this multidimensional society is to effectively engage across groups to ensure that we remain the state’s voice on mental illness,” states Julianne Carbin, NAMI Wisconsin’s Executive Director. “Our priorities over the past year and a half have recognized that NAMI’s growth and strength depend upon our ability to meaningfully engage all communities in Wisconsin, especially those who are underserved.”

In selecting NAMI Wisconsin for this award, the NAMI Board wished to recognize NAMI Wisconsin’s exemplary efforts in championing diversity and inclusion for not only Wisconsin but for advancement of the NAMI organization as a whole. The NAMI Board applauded NAMI Wisconsin for the commitment the organization has made to embed diversity into everything that NAMI Wisconsin does.

We believe this award is also a reflection of the multicultural events we have begun to host, including the Diversity in Motion Flash Mob in the summer of 2014, which will happen again this July to recognize National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, and the HOME movie screening last February in honor of Black History Month in which NAMI Wisconsin partnered with 20 other community organizations that reach a diverse audience. NAMI Wisconsin also created a toolkit to share with other state and local NAMI organizations to hold their own HOME movie screenings. 

We will continue our diversity and inclusion efforts and invite everyone to say updated on these initiatives!

On July 6, Kyira Hauer accepted the Multicultural Outreach Award at the NAMI Convention 2015 on behalf of NAMI Wisconsin!