JVC Northwest is committed to racial equity, inclusion, and justice. The call for equity and inclusion stem from and are intrinsically linked to our mission as a Jesuit Catholic organization. Because we hold that the Divine grounds all things and creates all things good, we are all equal in the eyes of this Divine. Any historical, current exclusion, or inequitable treatment of particularly but not exclusively Indigenous and people of color does not fulfill our Jesuit Catholic mission.
To do this equity work in deep and comprehensive ways, we need to be intentional and authentic. After we received the results of the equity assessment that we commissioned through Resolutions Northwest, a local equity-consulting agency, JVC Northwest took up the task of developing a comprehensive short and longer term equity plan. To create a plan that we believe best represented the results and recommendations of the consultants, we worked closely as a staff and Board of Directors over a period of many months to capture the critical issues that needed to be addressed. We have been intentional in our process and are still receiving guidance and leadership from professionals in the equity and inclusion field.
We also want to be accountable to constituent requests for information. Therefore, we are sharing some of our working documents as a starting point for showing what we’ve done so far and what we still have to do.
Our institutional commitment to continually work for diversity, equity, and inclusion within all facets of our organization. We recognize that this work is ongoing.
These are the recommendations of Resolutions Northwest, based on their survey of numerous JVs, former JVs, and some partner agency staff. Due to privacy concerns, we’ve redacted direct quotes from survey takers.
DEI Plan and Timetable
These are our goals to institutionalize equitable practices, which grew from the recommendations by Resolutions Northwest. This is a working document and goals may change over time. Please note those action items that have already been completed and will continue.
Equity Research Project Update
In 2019, JVC Northwest was awarded a grant of $50,000 from the Raymond Family Foundation to support an equity research project to examine our Jesuit Volunteer program model and how our work could be more equitable. The goal of this study is to strengthen our understanding of the long-term effects of JVC Northwest’s involvement in local communities as we seek to co-create and re-define our mission, vision, and theory of change, engaging communities and leaders in meaningful dialogue framed within equity and social justice. We released a Request for Proposals in October 2019 and received proposals from prospective equity consultants in December 2019. Working with the Mission and Planning Committee of the board, staff reviewed proposals in January and selected The Improve Group and Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC) as our consulting partners on this project.
The Improve Group and BPC are well-qualified to conduct this research, having years of experience conducting culturally responsive research and evaluation in partnership with communities most affected. Both firms provide services to a national clientele from the public, private, nonprofit, and Tribal sectors, and BPC is a Native-led organization. The study design is being developed in the spring and will use a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to ensure community members have thoughtful and thorough opportunities to share feedback in a purposeful way. Implementation of the study will take place June through August, with data analysis and findings completed by November.
Call to Action
Engage in this equity work with us! JVC Northwest is not a monolith; we are an organization formed by thousands of people over the last 60+ years whose intentions were and are to live out the values of: Community, Simple Living, Social and Ecological Justice, and Spirituality. We cannot do equity work without our larger community, especially community members most impacted by inequity and injustice. We welcome your feedback and invite you to share your comments and observations in this survey. Also, if you’d like to receive our Quarterly Equity E-Newsletter, please sign up below.