Completing the Inclusiveness Blueprint: CHC Inclusiveness Committee Completes Its Blueprint

The CHC Inclusiveness Committee met to hear the results of the sub-group meetings on the Board, volunteers, and fundraising. After the three groups reported out, the committee discussed some minor editing of the goals and action items.

"I see some overlap between the volunteer plan and the fundraising plan," said Hector. "Are you going to end up duplicating efforts?"

"No, our intention is to work together. When Luisa finds a volunteer who might be interested in events, she'll let me know, and I'll be keeping an eye out for Spanish-and Vietnamese-speaking volunteers," said Eleanor.

"We might share booths at recruitment fairs," explained Luisa. "But we'll coordinate all of our efforts. Perhaps we could clarify that by adding it as an action step."

"Good idea," said Hector. "That's the kind of practice we should be promoting throughout the organization. This will be a good start."

With those changes, the committee endorsed the recommended strategies.         

"Great work, everyone," said Joe. "Now we need to talk about who will write the actual blueprint. Normally, I'd throw this open, but I've already talked to three people who have said yes. Eleanor, Marcie, and Luisa, thank you for agreeing to take this on. I'll serve as the first editor, then the committee will get a crack at it. Finally it will go to the staff and the Board."

"That sounds good," said Luisa. "Just be patient with us if it takes a few weeks!" 

"Of course," said Joe. "Before you get started, we need to look back at our case statement." He passed around copies of the case statement and asked for feedback.

"I don't know if it's too late to do this," said Marcie. "I know we've been focusing on issues of race and ethnicity. But I think we should add a sentence about the importance of addressing the intersection of race and class, as it affects the staff, our clients, and our volunteers."

"That sounds like a good idea, but does it take us off in another direction?" asked Melody. "It's so exciting what we're planning to do this year. It wouldn't be good to distract people."

"I don't know, Melody," said Joe. "I think it could just serve to keep us open in the future. And I'm sure that those issues are going to come up in the three areas we've chosen to prioritize."

"I guess you're right," she said, and seemed satisfied.

There were no other modifications and the committee agreed to adopt the suggested change. After the meeting, Marcie, Eleanor, and Luisa stayed behind, reviewing the outline of the inclusiveness blueprint.

"How about if I write the Introduction, the Accountability Section, and the Conclusions?" said Marcie. "Eleanor, you were part of the information gathering - why don't you do the key findings?"

"Sure," she said. "And then Luisa and I can do the action plans."

"That's a deal," said Luisa. "Now, what's our deadline?"

They agreed to meet again in two weeks to go over their first drafts.

Two weeks later, Eleanor, Marcie, and Luisa finalized their first draft and submitted it to Joe, who edited it and sent it to the rest of the Inclusiveness Committee.

Once a complete draft was approved by the committee, Joe, Beth, and Jeff sat in a restaurant with Mrs. Dreyfuss. After finishing their meals, they ordered coffee and brought out a copy of the blueprint. They walked Mrs. Dreyfuss through the material, especially emphasizing the key findings and the benefits to CHC of becoming more inclusive.

"Well, I should have expected this after what we discussed about the fundraising," said Mrs. Dreyfuss, trying to absorb all that she'd heard. "This sounds like a lot of change for an organization that was doing pretty well in the first place."

Beth offered her perspective. "It is, but I think you'll admit that the potential benefits to us are huge. Most other clinics are way ahead of us on this, especially on expanding the inclusiveness of their Boards."

"They could just be making those changes to be politically correct," said Mrs. Dreyfuss.

"That could be part of it," said Jeff. "But I think a bigger part is in those changing demographic numbers. I honestly believe we need to get ahead of this curve."

"Besides," said Beth. "We'll still be continuing to do what works. We're just going to be changing some systems for the better, and adding some new activities."

"So what do you say?" asked Joe. "Will you support this plan and help us submit it to the Board?"

Mrs. Dreyfuss thought for a moment, running her finger over the numbers describing projected population changes in he next ten years. Finally she looked up. "All right," she said. "I'll do it."

Joe set up a special staff meeting to present the blueprint to the staff. Luisa and Marcie brought in a cake in from the bakery down the street. Written on the top were the words "Blueprint Accomplished!" in four colors of frosting.

Joe stood up and said, "We should be very proud of what we've done so far. Let's give the Inclusiveness Committee a round of applause!" The staff members clapped and accepted pieces of cake from members of the committee. As they ate, Joe asked them to walk with him through the outline of the blueprint and to ask questions about how the changes would affect CHC.

At the end of his presentation, Olivia Jackson raised her hand. "Joe, I'd just like to thank you."

"For what?" he asked.

"For your leadership," she said. "I've worked here awhile, and we've talked about a lot of these ideas over the years. But we've never brought them together in one place. It seems like this is really going to happen now!"

Joe smiled. "That's the plan, anyway. What happens next is up to all of you."