As JVC continues its journey towards becoming an anti-racist organization, we continue to work on the alignment of minds and hearts. In doing so, we will engage in training and development as individuals and as an organization, focusing on mental models (implicit change) to:
(1) understand this work more fully and develop a shared language, and
(2) understand our roles in this work, where we are and how we can build capacity to navigate cultural differences and affect explicit structural change.
This engagement to build capacity will continue across the organization for staff, management team, and board members and extend to JVs, and JV and FJV supports (i.e., Local Formation Teams, screeners, facilitators, etc.). This capacity building will take shape through several avenues to move us through transformative, relational, and structural change.
During year one, there has been a focus on internal work to strengthen JVCs organizational culture, while creating an inclusive learning and supportive environment. This internal work has and continues to require that each individual move past their comfort level and open their minds and hearts to historical realities. We engage with this work through several platforms:
The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) has been administered to all staff and is required of all new hires. It has also been extended to those constituent groups on the Strategic Planning Committee and to JVC’s Board of Directors. This assessment creates a baseline understanding of intercultural competence, identifying where one falls on the continuum and individualized development plans (IDPs) to help increase skills in navigating cultural differences.
Working definitions and anti-oppression resources to support a shared language and ongoing learning
Monthly restorative spaces provide an opportunity to listen, learn, engage, and support the healing from past harms and traumas
Our quarterly, antiracism learning experiences provide an opportunity for all staff to listen, learn, and engage in dialogue to deepen their understanding and commitment to antiracism
Monthly white caucuses provide an opportunity for those identifying as White to show up in community, and engage in identity work and dialogue to support this work in ways that move us from thought to action.
Monthly BIPOC affinity spaces provide an opportunity for those identifying as BIPOC to show up in community and engage in ways that are affirming and validating of everyone’s lived experiences without judgment, and without the white gaze.
These learning and supportive structures implemented, have, and continue to allow us to apply an equity lens across departments, making this everyone’s responsibility. Some progress and ongoing work to date includes:
✝ The mandating of Implicit Bias training for Management Team
✝ The creation and implementation of Implicit Bias training for screeners
✝ The reevaluation of written and interview processes to lift JVCs commitment to racial justice and better understand the applicant’s commitment
✝ The reevaluation of criteria for agency partners to align with JVCs named commitment to racial justice
✝ The implementation and strengthening of Racial Justice programming into all formation, specifically Orientation, Re-Orientation and Dis-Orientation
✝ The monitoring, support, and reevaluation of JV and FJV affinity spaces
“There is some 'low hanging fruit' in the DEI space right now that is important; but the true and necessary DEI work will be difficult and challenging. Please have the courage to go beyond the obvious and do that necessary work.”
Even the low hanging fruit has presented its challenges, which we have turned into opportunities to call people in, to listen and to learn together, pushing us to have courageous dialogue on race, racism, and a white supremacy culture that we all are swimming in. Building capacity to see the water is supporting our ability to acknowledge, define and do the necessary work together.
"Having any sort of strategic plan means that JVC is finally walking towards a vision, and it isn't ambiguously and ambitiously setting unrealistic expectations on its staff; the JEDI work will help to map out what is possible.”
- JVC Donor
The strategic planning process has surfaced so many questions that JVC will need to make decisions about through an equity lens. Acting on our commitment to racial justice will require us to ask and respond to questions that consider purpose, power & privilege, impact, long term implications, etc.; indeed, a lifelong journey with endless possibilities when we make and keep our commitment to JEDI.
“I am overjoyed to see the extensive work on anti-racism. Young people are so open to this. They will help to change our future.”
- JV Parent
The youth are our future, and we must provide them with the tools and resources needed to address the root causes of injustice. To help our JVs in this work, JVC will extend the administering of the IDI to incoming JVs, providing them with IDPs to support their journeys towards creating a more just and hopeful world.
at a pace aligned with where JVC is and learning of the structural changes that will need to be prioritized to move this work forward. The caterpillar becoming a butterfly encapsulates the transformation process. JVC’s egg is hatching, but the butterfly has yet to emerge. We continue to eat during this stage, learn and grow together, turning the lens inward and holding ourselves accountable to the self-work required to embed JEDI organizationally. This work cannot be done in isolation, and I am grateful for what we have accomplished in a short time and for the support of JVC constituents who continue to journey with us in pieces, not because they must, but because of their own values and commitment to racial justice.
This list represents the work of teachers, scholars, activists, and spiritual peoples. The work of anti-racism is an ongoing one that is meant to be a personal and individual journey, as much as it is meant to contribute to our collective healing and growth as a community.
But it starts with you taking the time for self-reflection, inquiry and confronting your own bias and harm you have caused throughout your life. We ask that if you further pursue the work of any peoples listed that you do so with the utmost respect of the labor, time and efforts of those doing this work, which includes not asking these individuals to "resource you" for free.
JVC Staff is committed to ongoing anti-racism work. As JVC’s Racial Justice Task Force works to build out a calendar for our training, curriculum and ongoing support needs for this work, the aim will be to do the following:
Facilitate active learning and conversation around the topics of race, racial justice, social justice, and identity.
Provide common language to build individual and collective capacity to discuss race, equity, power and privilege in the workplace.
Grow in individual and collective understanding and awareness of non-dominant identities and/or experiences
Provide an environment to more safely explore our individual and collective understanding of racial justice as it relates the past, present and future of JVC.
Expand upon and develop an awareness about inclusive and welcoming language and concepts regarding the intersection of racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQIA.
Ready to invest in transformative experiences for young leaders? Are you excited to build a robust program together?