2020 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Focus Group Report

2020 Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Focus Group Report

Dear Members of the One Spirit Community:

In 2019, One Spirit formed a task force to evaluate our successes and gaps related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our organization. A team of seven of us came together to work to identify the goals of our work and to move the organization forward towards achieving them. None of us could possibly foresee the year we would experience together as 2020 started. Nor could we have collectively imagined how it would impact our work directly and our relationships as both individuals and a team.

We created a plan to identify the pain points that were hidden within the organization as our major phase one goal. Additionally, as the year progressed, we focused on the work needed to become an anti-racist organization. We did a comprehensive search for a consultant and hired True North EDI, a highly respected firm, to help us do focus groups of graduates and students. They recently completed that work and submitted a comprehensive report to our taskforce. In the desire to be completely transparent, we are now releasing that report to you in its entirety.


We will be holding a Town Hall meeting on January 5th at 6:30 pm ET in order to hear your thoughts.


At this stage in our work, a number of members of this taskforce are now stepping down which will provide space for new voices to participate in this process. The next steps will be to analyze the opportunities presented in this report and work on a path forward for bringing them to fruition across the institution. For those interested in volunteering for this sacred work, we ask that you let us know. The final make-up of the taskforce will be based on experience and relevant skills, availability of time, and desire to have the taskforce represent the diversity of the larger community.


This group has grown together over the last 18 months and is proud of the work we achieved together. For those of us continuing on, we look forward to envisioning the next steps for One Spirit. To those stepping back, we express our deepest thanks for your work as well as your stated commitment to continue to be a resource as needed in the future.


Rev. Mark Fowler (stepping down)
Rev. Khadijah Matin
Rev. Wendy Van Allen (stepping down)
Rev. Brad Learmonth
Ilene Sameth
Rev. Ava Schlesinger (stepping down)
Rev. Cathy Bristow