Philanthropy means generosity in all its forms and is often defined as giving gifts of time, talent and financial resources to promote the common good. In order to do this work and improve our philanthropic efforts to better meet our mission, the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County is working to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in our giving circle and our grantmaking. I have invited my friend and colleague Judy Smith to guest write my column this month and highlight the important DEI work she is leading for the Women’s Giving Circle. – Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, WGC Executive Director
July 2, 2020
By Judy Smith, WGC Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Co-Chair
For Her Mind Magazine
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, abounding racial inequities, and increasing political polarization, Hina Naseem and I, co-chairs for the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County’s (WGC) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, are incorporating mindful leadership in all we do for the WGC and the Committee.
We are actualizing the DEI charter by moving from words on a sheet of paper to the implementation of a measurable action agenda.
Our goal is to ensure all WGC activities reflect the organization’s DEI commitment in practice, policy and governance. Our approach incorporates strategic thinking, team building, egoless actions, innovation, and presence.
The DEI Committee’s action agenda incorporates two tracks:
Track 1 – Learn and Reflect
Track 2 – Act and Dive Deeper
This approach acknowledges that each of us still has more to learn about DEI while knocking down unknown structural barriers that prevent us from closing any equity gaps in grant giving.
So, where does WGC stand with its DEI initiatives?
What can you expect in the upcoming months from the WGC’s DEI efforts? We have a busy summer agenda:
As I reflect on the task at hand, some moments present great joy and honor to be a DEI co-chair. Then, there are times when I am overwhelmed by the thought of such an enormous task.
Those are the times when I ground myself in the facts:
It is my hope that I have shed some light on the WGC DEI Committee and you too will see the value in joining Hina and I as we journey to be a part of WGC efforts to expand philanthropy and increase giving by local women to help local women.