If you hear Groundwork Denver staff talking about the JEDI Committee, they’re not talking about a fan club for a famous sci-fi series. At Groundwork Denver, the JEDI Committee works to address issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization and beyond.
A work in progress
Groundwork Denver staff first identified the need for an internal committee to advance the organization’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts last summer. Since then, the committee has evolved through listening sessions, strategic planning, surveys, and discussions. Every step of the way, the JEDI Committee is committed to centering the voices of the communities with which Groundwork Denver engages.
“As we’ve formalized the committee’s process since last summer, we’ve started to take a hard look at ourselves internally,” shared Kelly Shinn, Groundwork Denver’s associate director. “ We’re exploring how to create internal and external accountability, and how to better center community members in our overall work.”
Momentum to move forward
Recently, Groundwork Denver secured funding to propel the JEDI Committee’s mission forward. With generous support from The Denver Foundation, the committee is working to deepen equity and inclusion through internal policy and practice changes. The project, called the Landscape Project, includes a framework for collecting and analyzing feedback from both internal staff and external stakeholders, such as Groundwork Denver’s youth program alumni.
“We are meeting consistently, carving out time, and putting this work in our budget as a priority,” explained Kelly, who serves as a co-facilitator of the committee. “We’ve also been holding ‘lunch and learns’, where we discuss topics ranging from colorism to privilege. The goal for these sessions is education, but also building community.”
Creating a shared vision
The committee’s next steps include honing its purpose statement and outlining a roadmap for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work. The committee’s work will align with Groundwork Denver’s larger strategic plan, which is in its formative stages after the culmination of the previous three-year plan. The JEDI Committee is currently focusing on the following five priority areas:
- Creating a roadmap for JEDI’s next steps
- Continuous conversation/feedback around racism and other oppressions
- Educating ourselves on privilege and oppression
- Centering community voices
- Equitable career pathways and representation in staff and board of directors
Groundwork Denver and the JEDI Committee look forward to including you on our journey forward. Follow us on social media and check back on our blog to see our latest workaround justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.