Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the National Genealogical Society

A Celebration of All We Are

“Diversity is where everyone is invited to the party. Equity means that everyone gets to contribute to the playlist. Inclusion means that everyone has the opportunity to dance.”Dr. Robert Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer, University of Michigan

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is committed to creating an organization that is welcoming to all people. Unfortunately, we recognize that the Society was not fully welcoming throughout its history.

We believe it is important that our Society understands its history, works to create a positive and inclusive culture throughout the organization.  We seek to expand access to education, research, and records for the diverse needs of the genealogical community.

We created this webpage to share our thoughts on why diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important to NGS, how these concepts benefit the genealogy community, and what DEI activities NGS is pursuing. We also hope this page helps NGS member organizations learn more about how diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to the future of our community.

NGS Mission Statement

To inspire, connect, and lead the family history community. We foster collaboration and best practices in advocacy, education, preservation, and research. We enable all people, cultures, and organizations to discover the past and create a lasting legacy.

What Does DEI Mean at NGS?

The NGS mission is a clear call to action to enable everyone to discover their family history. We are therefore committed to keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion at the top of our minds as we develop programs and lead NGS.

The terms diversity, equity, and inclusion are important concepts that can have different meanings to different people. To create a common understanding within NGS, here is how we define these terms.

  1. Diversity is the combination of cultural backgrounds, experiences, perspectives, and unique skills that are fully representative of America, make us who we are, and ultimately benefit NGS.
  2. Equity is the fairness of access, opportunity, and advancement for everyone across NGS.
  3. Inclusion is providing an environment where members of NGS feel valued, trusted, connected, and informed.

How Does NGS Pursue its DEI work?

The NGS Board established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee to implement board-approved recommendations in coordination with the Board, committees, staff, and volunteers.

The committee helps NGS realize its vision to be a society open to all people seeking to discover their family histories, be inspired by them, and give voice to their ancestors; and to work with other genealogy organizations on these important issues

The committee is focused on the following goals:

  1. Introducing the DEI strategy to the society
  2. Collecting better member data to assess diversity across the society
  3. Updating organizational, editorial, and marketing policies for inclusion
  4. Driving DEI partnership and member engagement initiatives

What’s New

Contact us at DEI@ngsgenealogy.org

Let us know how we are doing, share why DEI is important to the work of genealogists and family historians, and how NGS can be welcoming to everyone trying to trace their family roots.