Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

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Objective: Create systems that perpetuate equity

Assistants of the Hollyhock´s leadership program celebrating
Three women in a garden smiling to the camera

Hollyhock held a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) committee 2019-2021. The committee consisted of a cross representation of staff members that provided recommendations to the Hollyhock Senior Leadership and Board.

The 2020-2021 committee included staff from a variety of departments and levels of the organization as well as a variety of identities including people who identified as: person of colour, white, male, female, non-binary, queer, hetero, able, person with physical disability, neuro a-typical, person with experience of low socioeconomic class, and middle class.

It included seasonal Cortes Island as well as remote workers. The committee met for 1.5 hours bi-weekly (with a holiday break) from September 2020 to March 2021. All committee members were paid either an hourly wage or were on salary. Discussions were based on this Deep Diversity Inclusive Workplace Continuum.

All recommendations were supported by the Senior Leadership and Board and a prioritized list is being committed to action.

Spring 2021 Recommendations (Priority List)

One emergent theme of the 2020-2021 committee was the need to focus on internal equity and the staff experience, recognizing class differences as a core longstanding issue in the organization. Many of the full 11-page list of recommendations are focused on internal JEDI, understanding that external action must emanate from a strong core. All recommendations were approved in principle by the Board and Senior Leadership, with a focus on committing to the following list of priority actions:

  • Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
    • Create and commit to a system for consistently sharing SLT discussions and decisions with the wider team, with opportunities for input and feedback
  • Managers
    • Make space for regular meetings with teams (provide a space for peer support and accountability for reporting back on issues)
  • Human Resources
    • Strike a “People & Culture” committee that has access to an HR consultant, with well-rounded representation of all staff
    • Hire an internal HR person to focus on people, culture, and retention / address relationship between “upstairs and downstairs” staff
    • Consider re-hiring a contract HR consultant to build out JEDI policies and culture
    • Create and execute a plan / clear and coherent system for annual reviews, regular feedback (tools/system for all staff to have input), and staff engagement/development
    • Create a clear and consistent system for hiring and welcoming staff (that is specific to remote / Cortes staff)
  • Staff Development
    • Facilitate space for staff to share their concerns actively and often
    • Provide training for managers so they can support staff growth and career development
    • Host an in-person JEDI committee taster/orientation for all staff
    • Host an all staff (weekend) facilitated retreat at Hollyhock with accommodations, meals, etc. (Give staff the guest experience)
  • Wages & Benefits
    • Provide living wage
    • Review wages/salaries with JEDI lens (e.g. across systems of oppressions and review total compensation), and correct unfair compensation
    • Give extended health benefits to all or more staff
    • Provide free food and meals for staff on campus. Allow staff to take extra meals from the fridge for free, and/or determine staff meal time after guests. Make sure staff have access to one meal during their shift.
  • Campus
    • Create a staff space
    • Do an accessibility audit of the campus (include accessible bathrooms)
    • Invest time and effort into vendor partnerships that support local entrepreneurs and organizations and to model equity work and learnings
    • Do a sustainability audit of the campus and strike a sustainability committee to create more policy around sustainability
    • Find ways to make travel to Cortes more accessible (e.g. shuttle from Vancouver)
  • Programs
    • Audit presenters and develop a baseline of equity training (ie. land acknowledgement, gender pronouns, etc) – Prioritize accountability, healing, and sharing over “othering” and cancelling
    • Gift the campus to an organization dedicated to equity for one week each year (Liberation Week)
    • Commit to posting all virtual material online (build a library)
  • Communication & Community
    • Post values statement and create JEDI portal on the website
    • Do assessment on our marketing to make it more accessible
    • Participate in Cortes Day and/or other island community events (ie. Friday market)

Spring 2020 Recommendations

  • Virtual Accessibility
    • Record a detailed how-to video and written document for audience members who are new to Zoom
  • Staff
    • Increase number of Wellness Days available to staff working during the pandemic

Fall 2019 Recommendations

  • Accessibility
    • Purchase additional golf cart, or allow pre-booking free use of golf cart for non-ambulatory guests. If this is not possible, consider recycling bins at kitchen deck; reducing the use of golf carts by kitchen staff.
    • Provide an extra radio for guests with walker/wheelchair/cane to use. This could be facilitated by a ride request policy for guest services/hosting to respond when needed.
    • Address physical accessibility in the new Campus Plan, consider accessibility retrofitting all doorways and stairs/ramp access
    • Offer a discount to those with medical mobility issues
    • Create a standard policy for service animals on campus.
    • Build day-use fee into the tuition fee
  • Tipping Policy
    • Review and amend the tipping policy with an equity lens, to maximize the proportion of tips received by employees directly contributing to the guest experience
  • Community
    • Opening the lodge throughout the winter for use by the Cortes Island community

Spring 2019 Recommendations

  • Hiring & Wages
    • Adopt an affirmative action or employment equity hiring policy
    • Review and create a standardized wage policy
    • Commit to becoming a living wage employer
  • Education
    • Include DEI education in the All-Staff retreat
    • Schedule a Gender 101 Workshop for outfacing staff, open to all staff
  • Accessibility
    • Turn the men’s dorm into a mixed dorm for all genders
    • Make tent rentals available
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Two women having a conversation in a library