Meeting 16 – 10/12/21

Agenda:

  1. Updates – any issues of note since our last meeting
  2. Review (and recommend) JFI’s revised call to action
  3. Review (and recommend) JFI’s action plan
  4. Plan for next meeting

Notes:

1. Updates:

James would be staying on at JLF until Spring 2022 to facilitate finding a successor.

Mark had had useful learning from an UnLtd all-staff session on belonging where there had not been psychological safety in break-out groups, meaning it had been slightly counterproductive. This just highlighted how inclusion is a continuing journey, where we will unfortunately make mistakes, so we need to acknowledge these and keep on learning.

Nick’s new young trustees have bedded in well, contributing meaningfully to the strategy process. The Foundation is just working through its participatory grant making approach.

Sally is just preparing the statements acknowledging the Trust origins of its wealth. The board is looking to be proactive in seeing this through. Sally reflected on how valuable it has been to listen to the community her Trust serves: a young Asian woman mentioned how “Everything sounds right, it’s just not going fast enough.” Sally’s learning meant she was able to be open and listen to this, rather than getting defensive. The woman’s feedback was a great wake-up call for Sally.

2. JFI’s Agenda for Action:

We agreed it was worthwhile to review the Agenda for Action given that it has now been a while since this was first captured.

We discussed whether we should focus on us as individuals, us as CEOs, or us as organisations.

Mark thought that focusing on us personally meant that it would be harder for us to identify priorities common to all of us, and for these to be transferable to others outside the group.

Celia suggested two additional elements we should cover: the first is accountability and the second is reparative grant making. She wondered whether this call for different approaches to grant-making  is distinct from the existing sub-theme on changes sought in relation to grant-making.

Nick wanted to ensure that there were specific actions and priorities that we could put our names to.

Celia very helpfully clarified the individual-CEO-organisation question by confirming that the Agenda for Action was not about us, rather what People of Colour and Black-led organisations had told us they were expecting from white leaders in the sector.

This also meant the role of the action plan was clear – it would be our response to this Agenda for Action at an individual and a CEO/organisational level.

We agreed wording for our final sentence. “Our purpose is to deeply understand and engage with this Agenda for Action and to respond to it as bravely, collaboratively and accountably as we can.”

Celia is happy to edit the Agenda and circulate to the group in light of all this feedback.

3. JFI Action Plan:

There was considerable content in the action plan following input from all of us on multiple occasions. We agreed that it is important to distinguish between general principles and specific actions / priorities. The action plan should focus on the latter.

For individuals, we discussed focusing on an individual development plan for each of us. We would then share these with each other at each JFI meeting for peer challenge, feedback and support. We thought we could cover two of us at each meeting. Mark and Sally offered to try this out at the next meeting.

We agreed that we would use the Agenda for Action as the framing for each of us as CEOs, and then define our priorities against each of the headings, so that we have clarity and public accountability.

The distinction between the two plans as an individual and as a CEO is that the individual plan is focused on our own learning and development so we can be as effective allies as possible; the CEO plan is focused on our accountability against the Agenda for Action.

Changes to the action plan were captured real time in the live shared document.

4. Plan for Next Meeting:

We diarised two options for the next meeting to ensure maximum attendance: 1pm on 27th January 2022; 10.30am on 28th January 2022.

Celia kindly offered to chair the next meeting; Nick kindly offered to take notes.

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