Building an Inclusive Culture with Yanira Castro

Are you looking for ways to build an inclusive culture in your nonprofit? Organizational culture can be a challenge for many nonprofit leaders. One of the main reasons is that every organization has blind spots. It can be difficult to see what your organization is missing, especially when you’re on the inside all day every day. 

In this episode, I sit down with Yanira Castro to chat about how she uses strategies to help nonprofits build an inclusive culture. She discusses how she uses respectful storytelling and ways to use language that is inclusive and nonexclusionary. Yanira also dives into how to use core values to set the tone and transform your culture. She also gives some great examples of what not to do when you’re building a culture of inclusivity.  


About Yanira

Yanira M. Castro (she/her/ella) is a speaker and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in telling inspiring stories to audiences ranging from national television shows to leading digital channels. 

Yanira founded Humanity Communications Collective in 2017 to inspire people with stories of joy and justice. The team, made up of amazingly talented women and people of color, is highly focused on digital engagement and storytelling, by reminding people to embrace technology, business, and life in a way that focuses on people’s humanity. Humanity Communications Collective has also shared important and groundbreaking client stories on CBS This Morning, ABC News, 60 Minutes, Essence, Now This!, O, The Oprah Magazine, and many others.


Read the podcast transcript here.


Episode Summary

In this episode, you’ll learn strategies for building an inclusive and understanding organizational culture for your nonprofit, including:

•Using respectful storytelling (8:40)

•Ensuring your language is inclusive and nonexclusionary (11:30)

•Filling in the gaps between the nonprofit team and the community they’re serving (13:50)

•Transforming the culture of your organization (17:10)

•Assessing your organization’s blind spots (19:20)

•Using core values to set the tone for your culture (23:50)

•Finding job candidates that fit your culture (27:50)

•Intentionally embodying core values every day (30:05)

•What not to do when creating an inclusive and understanding culture (33:15)



“There’s more power in telling a story that is centered in somebody’s lived experience in a way that showcases them as a hero of their own narrative and not the nonprofit being the hero.”

“Feedback can be tough, but we need to hear the tough things in order for us to really change, especially if we’re looking at changing people’s hearts and minds.”

“Values that we hold really build our culture in a way that people really enjoy.”



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