President’s Message for October 2016

van-morrison“Bright Side of the Road” by Van Morrison is a classic. One of the lyrics is “Let’s enjoy it while we can. Help me share my load, from the dark end of the street to the bright side of the road.” Think about our jobs as volunteer managers and advocates of volunteers. We are always striving and helping to “share the load” for our organizations by connecting volunteers to meaningful work. We know we can “enjoy it while we can” if volunteers are placed in assignments where they feel they are making an impact. When we have done a solid job of recruiting and screening volunteers we are on the “Bright Side of the Road.”

We have learned in our last two GRAVA sessions the importance of being intentionally inclusive. Our presenter, Jonathan Zur, challenged us to ask tough questions and to recognize that it’s hard to be intentionally inclusive because there’s so much that we don’t know, that we don’t know. We can “help share the load” by examining our own lens, asking tough questions and acknowledging the role of institutional bias. Start to have conversations about diversity and inclusiveness with the leaders of your organization. If we all start to do this, we will move from the “dark end of the street to the bright side of the road!”

If you missed the October Roundtable, please pick up a Diversity Organizational Audit Checklist when you check in at the November meeting. This checklist is a way for all of us to begin to “share the load” in regards to diversity and inclusion.

Make plans now to attend the IVM Day meeting on Thursday, November 3rd. It is going to be quite the celebration!

Hope to see you there.

Melissa M. Gilmore, M Ed., CVA
GRAVA President

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