A coalition of economic development organizations working on diversity, equity and inclusion in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids corridor is offering a free assessment tool to area businesses.

Inclusive ICR co-chair Stefanie Munsterman says the group created a DEI index as a response to businesses that were asking for help. “They want to know what’s our baseline, what are we doing right now?” Munsterman says. “What are our areas for opportunities? What are areas of challenge? How can we do better? What are we doing well, and then what resources can we have in order to continue our growth on the DEI journey?”

Munsterman says the free DEI index will help show businesses where they may be struggling with diversity and inclusion, and afterward, they’ll have access to Inclusive ICR’s resources. “That’s where we can look at the online resource library that we’re building out,” she says, “which will feature local and regional and national tools, and to connect them to strategists who specialize in the DEI space.”

Munsterman says the library has affordable options businesses can take to improve, like working on community outreach and support for underrepresented groups. The index is available through May 13th.

(By Catherine Wheeler, Iowa Public Radio)