We began a significant journey in 2020 to improve all aspects of what we do at Harvest by working toward our mission through an equity lens. Our staff and Board of Directors completed a comprehensive assessment and several facilitated EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) trainings to gain a better understanding of how we can better serve Martinsville-Henry County.
Strategies for Action
After strategy sessions, hours of self-reflection, and learning how to embrace difficult and uncomfortable conversations surrounding this work, we strive to implement these strategies for action that will move our equity journey forward.
I. We will continue to develop trust and teambuilding practices with staff and board members to build EDI capacity.
II. We will better align our organizational processes, policies and strategic plan to advance equity.
III. We will promote and practice equitable grantmaking opportunities.
IV. We will improve communications to historically underserved communities.
V. We will work to explore our role in community conversations specific to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and promote learning opportunities for community stakeholders.
Equity in Action at Harvest
As a result of our ongoing equity journey, we have:
I. Overhauled Our Grantmaking Process
- Implementing a quarterly grants cycle with applicants welcome to apply at any time throughout the year. This process creates more flexibility and better aligns with the timelines of our partners — not ours.
- We’ve shortened the grants process making it easier for nonprofits to connect with us and discuss ideas, which helps us to better understand their project and work together on any potential barriers. This is especially important for new or smaller organizations that may be in need of support.
- We worked to refresh our application with a simpler process to make it more user-friendly and accessible to organizations of all sizes.
- We’ve added equity questions to challenge our partners to think about the dynamics of power, and who is benefitting from the work and who is not. This allows us to change the perspective and look down the road to see unintended consequences.
II. Reviewed Human Resources Practices
- Changed hiring practices by removing the advanced degree requirement and replacing it with experience.
- Being transparent with all salary and benefits for open positions to ensure that employees are paid a salary that reflects the compensation they deserve.
- Removing blind job listings to create transparent relationships with potential applicants that makes it clear with potential applicants that all are encouraged to apply.