Hendricks County Community Foundation Establishes DEI Task Force
In 2019, the Hendricks County Community Foundation (HCCF) conducted a county-wide needs assessment. This eight-month process, which included a Needs Assessment Survey and multiple community convenings, identified community unity as one of Hendricks County's greatest needs.
With funding from a Lilly Endowment Inc. GIFT VII grant, HCCF began the work to address three critical Community Unity issues: 1) increased civic engagement: expanding community efforts in diversity, equity & inclusion, increasing volunteerism, (public and nonprofit board service), and improving voter education and engagement, 2) more collaboration and increased efficiency of services in Hendricks County, and 3) a stronger sense of community pride.
In August 2021, the Community Foundation launched its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to review its activities, policies, and programs and promote inclusion and non-discrimination for all who live, work, and visit Hendricks County. William Rhodehamel, President & CEO, and Ryan Tanselle, Board Chair, lead the Task Force, which is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Directors for any changes in policies, programs, or procedures based on HCCF's DEI Policy. You can find that policy on the organization's website at hendrickscountycf.org. Rhodehamel says of the Task Force, "HCCF is dedicated to nurturing a diverse, inclusive, and accessible community, and that work starts here with this Task Force." The Task Force will also promote training and events to bring awareness of DEI matters to Community Foundation volunteers, staff, and the broader community. The first task for the group was to define its terms. You can find the list on the Community Foundation's website.
In December of 2021, the Board of Directors reviewed and updated the mission and vision of the organization to reflect this ongoing work. The new vision is that Hendricks County is a place where everyone has the opportunity to have a fulfilling life and the tools they need to build a stronger future together.
As HCCF continued this work, it became clear that a dedicated staff member was needed, which led to the creation of a new staff position: Community Inclusion & Engagement Manager. In May 2022, Bryan Chatfield joined the HCCF's staff, responsible for implementing HCCF's DEI policy and serving as a primary liaison between the Community Foundation and nonprofit organizations, community and corporate leaders, governmental officials, and others regarding HCCF's community unity work.
At this stage, the DEI Task has decided to continue this work as a standing committee and partner with other community leaders to play an essential role in making Hendricks County a more inclusive and accessible community.
Chatfield commented on his new role, "I am excited to join HCCF to expand its efforts in one of our most important core values: inclusion. I look forward to using the information learned from the 2022 Needs Survey to guide my work and the work of the DEI Task Force as we partner together to promote a more inclusive community." The 2022 Needs Survey is currently available through September 2, 2022 for anyone who lives, works, or plays in Hendricks County.
The Mission of the Hendricks County Community Foundation: To be a trusted community partner in understanding needs, aligning resources, and empowering people to address today’s priorities and create lasting impact. Our vision is Hendricks County as a place where everyone has the opportunity to have a fulfilling life and the tools they need to build a stronger future together. The Community Foundation manages assets of over $20 million in a collection of funds created by individuals, families, businesses and organizations for charitable purposes. In 2021, the Community Foundation gave over $2M in grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to local students. For more information, call 317-268-6240 or visit www.hendrickscountycf.org.