Equity and Inclusion Working Group Update

As Philanthropy West Virginia’s Equity and Inclusion Working Group was first convened almost a year ago, we are sharing some of the internal learning, discussions, and changes we have made. The working group, including members and some partners, has helped us look inward to define, agree, and advance principles that center equity and inclusion.  

This has included setting long and short term goals.  These goals have been developed with input from the lived experience, our working group, and approved by our Board of Directors.  The adopted goals can be found HERE.

Philanthropy WV believes in not only talking about our priorities, but also digging deep into advancing the work necessary to bring these goals into reality.  Our work has been both internal and external to advance our mission of Strengthening Philanthropy in the Mountain State

Internally, this has been guided by the Equity & Inclusion Working Group to improve our internal practices and operations. Philanthropy WV applied the principles of equity and inclusion to our recent job search processes, and will be building on the lessons learned from that experience. We also plan to conduct a review of our internal policies to see where we can bring those further in line with our values. We are updating staff onboarding and training, new learning for our staff and board, and ensuring we are using our resources to support local businesses. 

Externally, we are developing programming to support our members. This includes:

  • Hosting a three-part “Reveal, Reflect, Recalibrate” learning series with Tamara Lucas Copeland over the winter of 2020/2021, 
  • Coordinating webinars on equitable access to health services during and beyond COVID-19 with the Partnership of African American Churches. 
  • Partnering with and supporting The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s 2020 Summit on Race Matters 
  • Incorporating discussions on equity in other programs offered to ensure that philanthropy is able to serve all populations including our rural communities who have historically been marginalized 

More learning opportunities are coming up and we hope that you will join us. This includes:

  • July 13th at 4:00 p.m. for a conversation with Jeremie Greer of Liberation in a Generation about closing the racial wealth gap, empowering communities, and creating an economy where everyone is valued. 
  • Hosting another learning to action series on “Reveal, Reflect, Recalibrate” with Tamara Lucas Copeland
  • Plans to bring center equity and inclusion in programming going forward, 

This work is to reflect our commitment to our values and vision of thriving communities for all. Expect to see sessions on this topic at major events like the Annual Conference and Appalachian Community Philanthropy Institute, as well as virtual opportunities for peer learning and support.

Thanks to the advice and guidance of the working group, we have created an equity and inclusion resource page for members on our website and a new voluntary self-assessment tool for our members. We look forward to making those resources available, and continuing to improve them with feedback in the near future. 

Philanthropy West Virginia is on a journey of learning and growth, and we know that many of our members are as well. We are excited to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another! We are available to share our lessons learned as this is long-term work and having partners in the journey makes it more transformative.  

Our thanks to United Philanthropy Forum’s grant support of the Equity & Inclusion Working Group to accelerate our work. Thank you to all who have shared expertise and lived experienced, reached out to express interest in this work, and thank you to our Equity and Inclusion Working Group for their ongoing support and guidance. 

If you have any questions or ideas to share, please email kate@philanthropywv.org or sharell@philanthropywv.org