Leading and advocating for equity and social justice.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Philosophy
The Eagle Valley Community Foundation addresses each of our core focus areas through the lens of equity, inclusiveness, building economic power, and leveling the play field for all people in our community.
All of our programs are tailored to the culture, neighborhood and needs of the community with a focus on building upon the strengths of each family and individual we serve. We know that low-income individuals and people of color are disproportionately impacted in their opportunities to gain economic power and attain self-sufficiency due to challenges surrounding childcare, transportation, access to health care, and affordable housing. We are working with individuals, families, and community partners to actively address and identify solutions to these barriers.
We are using our strength and our voices to work for transformational change by:
- Actively assessing the needs of the community and responding while bridging the gaps of inequality.
- Sustaining, upgrading, or building new partnerships that are strong, strategic, transparent, and effective.
- Fostering an inclusive and engaged community through trusting, reliable relationships with the community we serve.
- Developing expertise around complex issues that impact quality of life in the Eagle Valley and collaborating with partners to build systems, understanding, and gather resources dedicated to strengthening our community.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Highlights
We are the proud recipient of a The Women Foundation of Colorado’s Women & Girls of Color Fund Rural Grant. EVCF joins the Women’s Foundation of Colorado in rejecting the problematic philanthropic norms that cause women of color to receive just .5% of all philanthropic dollars. Women of color have the experience and community knowledge to best lead our communities into an equitable future.
In 2020, Melina Valsecia took over as the Executive Director of the Eagle Valley Community Foundation. With broad experience in community organizing, advocacy and strengthening leadership of the Latinx community, Melina has a vision to build an inclusive community where the Latinx population in Eagle County is empowered as leaders and where economic opportunity, innovation, and the ability to thrive within Eagle County can be attained by ALL community members.
As a female Latina leader, Melina has had her own experiences of discrimination and has a keen understanding of the issues impacting many people of color and their ability to advance within our community. She brings this lens of empathy and determination to her role as ED. Through a community-informed approach, the lenses of racial justice, equity, diversity, inclusiveness, building economic power drives each aspect of our work.
We have a diverse staff who have experiences as customers, volunteers, and as donors. These perspectives help to shape how we serve, while recognizing that we are neither the experts nor the authority on the issues in which we work. We enter every partnership and conversation with compassion, humility, and a spirit of learning.
In 2021, EVCF hired a Director of People & Culture who is a regional leader in DEI work and human resources, to actively engage and support employees in participatory decision-making, building an inclusive and diverse workforce, and ensuring that implicit bias is addressed in order to build an environment that embraces racial justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. All staff meetings are conducted in English and Spanish and collectively we create informal and formal spaces for open dialogue related to JEDI topics. Through employee recruitment, we take a multi-cultural approach and prioritize hiring diverse staff to enhance EVCF.
In addition to the ongoing JEDI work we are doing with our staff, we have recently created a Board Recruitment and Governance Committee being led by a woman of color, who is also a board member. She is working with the committee to build greater diversity on the board and to further assess how JEDI work can be better integrated in all board education and training to align with the work of staff and volunteers. We honor and value diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds and are committed to making sure decisions are made and informed by diverse colleagues, partners, and communities.
of rural nonprofits have no board members who are people of color. Although rural America is less diverse than the nation as a whole, two-thirds of rural counties consisted of at least 10 percent people of color, one-third were over a quarter people of color, and 10 percent were majority people of color in 2020.
1 out of every 10 employees
With 1 out of every 10 employees working for a nonprofit, a large portion of our nation’s workforce is feeling overworked, under-resourced, and disengaged. Leaders in particular (60 percent of nonprofit leaders) reported feeling “used up” at the end of the workday, according to DDI World’s Global Leadership Forecast for 2021.
There are over 65 nonprofit organization in the Vail Valley — we are better together!
$1 = $9
For each dollar you have given, we have been able to leverage an additional $9 in resources and financial support for our community.