October Meeting Recap

Great Discussion at October Roundtable

First a huge thanks to Rodney Lofton from Diversity Richmond for welcoming us into a friendly venue and giving us an overview of the many programs and resources available to the LGBTQ+ community through the organization.

We also learned that the highly successful Diversity Thrift store makes it possible for the organization to offer grants to other nonprofits.

Updates on professional development shared by members:

  • Whitney Guthrie has been accepted into the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program.
  • Sheryl Luebke attended a conference on Palliative Care which brought together hospital and hospice care workers and volunteers.
  • Kate Bausman participated in a FEMA volunteer management program.
  • Terence Barber, a new member of GRAVA, discussed what a great resource GRAVA has been in his professional development.

We were still buzzing about the amazing presentation on “Creating an Inclusive Environment” by Jonathan Zur, President and CEO of Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC).  Tawana Demery and Melissa Daniel Gilmore kept the momentum of the discussion going by briefly recapping that presentation and using a discussion group format to encourage all of our volunteer professionals to chime in.

Melissa reminded all to examine your own lens, ask tough questions, and acknowledge the role of institutional bias.  Both she and Tamara encouraged the group to watch the TED Talk featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which points out “The danger of a single story.”

Tawana provided a relevant anecdote about a simple conversation in a car on the way to a luncheon broke down longstanding coolness between her and a co-worker when they were able to frankly share information about their different cultural backgrounds.

With chocolate in our hands courtesy of our leaders, we broke into four groups for animated discussion of these 4 questions:

  1. What areas of diversity are most challenging for your organization?
  2. What is keeping you from being as effective as you want to be in addressing prejudice?
  3. What are some actions that you can take to foster greater inclusion and equity in your organization?
  4. What do you need others to do to foster greater inclusion and equity in your organization?

Thanks to Melissa and Tawana for leading the discussion, to Jen Miller for helping to procure this great meeting space, and as always, to Kate Bausman for a delicious breakfast. See you November 3 for a special International Volunteer Management celebration!

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