Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director; Patrick Drinan, PhD; Johanna S. Hunsaker, PhD


case study, diversity, ethnic inclusion strategies, Leadership studies, minority & ethnic groups, organizational transformation, San Diego (California), World Affairs Council of San Diego


The inclusion of people of diverse ethnicities in voluntary organizations is a challenging endeavor. Cultural diversity, rich traditions, historical perspectives, ethnic celebrations, religion, and language are lenses through which leaders of organizations can view the many uniquenesses, differences, and similarities among ethnic groups. The World Affairs Council of San Diego, from January 1,1989 to July 1, 1990, undertook an ambitious community project entitled, "Community and Citizen Involvement in Foreign Policy," funded by the Ford Foundation, to increase the participation of ethnic groups, women, and youth in the Council. In this research study, the ethnic inclusion strategies used by the Council are presented and an ethnic inclusion model is developed. The model is comprised of three stages: adoption, implementation, and organizational transformation and is presented for reflection and use by leaders of voluntary organizations. Ethnic diversity in today's post-industrial era is timely. As ethnic populations rapidly increase in the United States, ethnic inclusiveness should be the primary focus of organizations that want to be truly representative of society. Presented in this case study is an in-depth view of twenty voluntary organizations, located in San Diego County, which are representative of four ethnic groups; viz., American Indian, African-American, Asian-American (Filipinos), and Hispanic-American. Ethnic leaders of not-for-profit organizations were interviewed for their opinions and attitudes about ethnic involvement in voluntary organizations. The findings of the study indicated that many of the ethnic voluntary organizations in San Diego were largely expressive groups and mutual-benefit organizations. For a not-for-profit organization to include ethnic members in its organization, all council members must fully understand and participate in the project of ethnic inclusiveness. Future efforts to include ethnic participants in non-ethnic voluntary organizations ought to take into account their needs and interests, and redesign the organization accordingly.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access