(Sent to JVC Community on 5/07/2021)
Spring is here, and I’d like to share with you what’s popping up at JVC.
Diversity Equity and Inclusion and JVC’s strategic plan
As part of our commitment to becoming an antiracist organization, consultants are currently working to help us identify where JVC is in that journey. Based on those findings, our consultants will facilitate training, provide recommendations, work with us to re-establish the culture of the organization, and help us build a DEI framework that will guide JVC as we engage in this never-ending work. This will enable us to tie together the various streams of work already underway: JVC staff and board, the JVs formation program, the JV mentor program, and creating affinity spaces for FJVs.
In April, we launched a strategic planning process. Driven by our staff, the process will include information gathering from different shareholder groups, establishing clear metrics for accountability, and working closely with our DEI consultants so that the plan is developed with a racial equity lens.
Both processes—DEI and strategic planning—will be guided by our consultants who have committed to meeting regularly to share learnings, optimize stakeholder engagements, and help staff to identify the DEI framework that will guide our work in the years to come. JVC has engaged the Fiovaranti Strategic Management consultant team to spearhead the strategic planning process and engaged Idaltu Counseling and Consulting, LLC for the DEI work. Our core team of consultants brings years of experience in racial equity work, coaching, strategic planning, and assessment and is committed to helping JVC along in this change process. Our consultants inspire confidence in this work we are undertaking.
Board Member Welcome
We wish to extend a special thank you to outgoing Board Members Mary Berner, Vin DeCola, SJ, Marcos Gonzales, John Staudenmaier, SJ, and Jack McLean. We are so grateful for their tireless efforts on behalf of JVC over the last several years. Five new board members were elected in March! We are proud to welcome them and look forward to their work to continue building a JVC for the future. The new board members are:
-FJV Denise Bennett-Walls (Tanzania 1997-98);
-Carlos Esparza, SJ,
-FJV John Giere (Belize 1985-87)
-FJV and former Interim President Kate Haser (Baltimore 1980-82); and
-FJV Izzy Shahmirza (Kansas City 2019-20).
In the March meeting, the board approved an amendment to our by-laws that establishes a seat for an FJV who has finished their term of service within the last three years. Izzy is the first FJV to be elected to that seat.
JVs and PJVs
This is the season for the volunteers to experience their silent retreats. The program team secured offsite locations to give JVs a change of scenery so that they can fully immerse themselves in the retreat experience. Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers as they move into their final months of service and plan for what lies ahead.
We have 169 incoming volunteers who have signed agreements and will start their program year at Orientation this August. Many thanks to the recruitment, admissions, and program team for their collective efforts as they continue placing volunteers to have a full cohort for 2021-22.
Annual Staff Meeting
I am very grateful for our staff. Each person has a deep commitment to JVC’s mission and our future. Each year, JVC staff holds an Annual Meeting that is a time for relationship building, staff development, and personal care. If you have Instagram, you can watch the recap JVC Staff did in our archived highlights section.
This year’s virtual Annual Meeting provided opportunities for growth and learning as we:
-Furthered our knowledge on the enneagram and how our different personality types impact our roles and interactions with each other;
-Increased our awareness to identify and the capacity to respond to microaggressions that we experience and witness;
-Learned Queer and Trans* affirming language to support our LGBTQIA+ staff, volunteers, and community members.
-Took time for self-care, including yoga and afternoon painting sessions.
Spring is a time of abundance, and at JVC, we are grateful every day for the ways the community supports our volunteers and us. There is much for us to be grateful for. There are many areas for growth, learning, and unlearning. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey. For a look inside our financials from FY20, we have officially published our annual report, which you can access on our website here.
To our Muslim siblings, we wish you a blessed Ramadan. And to the entire JVC community, we extend our deepest gratitude.