Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Vermont Legal Aid believes everyone in Vermont should have equal access to legal services regardless of their race, ethnicity, language, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexuality, ability, mental health, income status, age or education.
We are committed to being accessible and welcoming and we pledge that all community members will be treated with respect and courtesy. We recognize the additional challenges experienced by those who are unfamiliar with the legal system or have limited English proficiency and will strive to work with them as partners to address their legal needs and the causes of poverty, discrimination and inequality.
We believe it is the responsibility of legal services organizations to help ensure that people who historically have been excluded from fully participating in the United States’ legal system have the same access to legal services as the most privileged in our society.
We believe that diversity produces a more dynamic, creative and thoughtful community. Accordingly, Vermont Legal Aid supports diversity of thought, culture and life experience among our staff and our community.
Further, Vermont Legal Aid seeks to leverage the diversity of our community to create an inclusive environment where members of the staff and our client community feel supported, listened to and encouraged to succeed. We seek to continually develop and nurture cultural competency as an organizational asset so that we may harness all of the community’s strengths and foster inclusivity.
Our commitment to cultural competency requires a practice of sincere inquiry and learning about the differences and similarities in our community and the ability to incorporate that learning into skills we apply in our work and our relationships. As a leader in the Vermont legal community, Vermont Legal Aid will be a catalyst for change by embracing diversity and promoting inclusion to ensure equity for all people. We are committed, through our practices and policies, to fostering cultural competence, inclusiveness, understanding, acceptance and respect in order to more effectively fight poverty, discrimination and inequality.