Interact for Health

Reflections on our equity journey featured in philanthropy journal

(Feb 5th, 2018)

We're excited to share learnings from our equity work in the December 2017 edition of The Foundation Review, a peer-reviewed journal of philanthropy.

In Looking in the Mirror: Equity in Practice for Philanthropy, Program Officer Jaime Love and former Evaluation Officer Ashlee Young describe the steps Interact has taken since 2015 to adopt an equity lens in our organization. We've reviewed and updated internal policies and programs, such as hiring practices. We've modified requests for proposals and other external work. And we've shared best practices with other funders, grantees and the community.

The article also looks at the equity work of the Consumer Health Foundation in Washington, D.C, and The Colorado Trust. Each organization's path to using an equity lens has been different, but have some things in common:

  • Each group hired external experts to help them begin their equity work.
  • Having common definitions and a shared language about who and what is the focus of the work is important to build understanding.
  • Equity learning is continual, be that by visiting members of the community to hear their own stories or observing other organizations' equity work.
  • Buy-in by an organization's leaders is essential.
  • Establishing an equity team with employees across departments and diverse by age, race and gender helps guide the work.

"Making change in an organization is never easy," Love says. "It is important to share our learnings so that others on this journey can learn what was helpful and possibly avoid some mistakes."

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