Hello everyone,

It’s been over a month since George Floyd was murdered and a lot has happened since then to lift the demand for racial justice in America. We have all experienced this differently but I bet you also saw many emails from companies and organizations come through your inbox with titles obviously meant to convey a message of solidarity within. Did your organization write one? What has their social media feed looked like? What internal conversations have been had at your organization or amongst your colleagues? How has it made you feel?

I’ve had more conversations with people in our profession about how our organizations responded (or didn’t) and how we feel about that than I ever did before. The conversation always includes how or if we feel that we can voice concerns or be part of pushing for positive change.

As for DOVIA-LA, we didn’t write an email, we didn’t put up a social media post, but we didn’t turn away. We wanted to be sure that when we sent a message to you all that it was backed up with some action that we could invite you into and we’re starting with our next meeting on July 24th.

The workshop is titled Liberatory Workplaces: Cultivating Anti-Racism in Volunteer Programs. It can feel uncomfortable to mix topics like race and the workplace and that’s part of what we need to untangle. We are not all confident in our ability to speak out or up. For some, we can start by listening, learning and trying to do better for our colleagues, the people our organizations serve, our friends, family and others we don’t even know. For people of color who would prefer to be grouped in a breakout room together, we’ve added an opt-in option on our registration page for this meeting. Visit our events page for details and to register.

Education Day August 21st will be the next time. Since it will be virtual, we were able to cast a wider net to bring together industry experts and peers to talk about volunteer programs in relation to past economic crises but also our current concerns of Covid-19 and racial justice. We’ve made sure to curate a day of engagement and connection because we know Zoom fatigue is real.

That won’t be the last time but I would also like to invite our members to volunteer for DOVIA-LA. This association is led by a board of professionals volunteering our time and, real talk, we are also struggling with diminished capacity to achieve during these difficult times. As volunteer engagement professionals, we know the power volunteers have to pitch in a couple hours here and there and yet, together, drive positive community change. I’d love to hear from you if you have an idea or skill you’d like to build on.

Please share this invitation with anyone else who you think would be interested in joining us for the first in what we hope contributes to a true culture shift.


In Solidarity,

Kate Ekman (she/they)

President of DOVIA-LA