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This week, I was invited to sit in on the GOTR Triangle summer board meeting. My main purpose for attending the meeting was to give an update on my access and inclusion project. I’ve created a few deliverables up to this point and it was time to share them! The main part of my presentation was the GOTR Triangle Access and Inclusion Snapshot. This document provides a high-level data analysis of the council’s diversity – primarily focusing on race/ethnicity and location of residence. While this was simply an overview, it presents some striking information about how well we are serving girls who reside in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties. It was really exciting for me to share these insights and give the board a preview of what’s to come. I also presented a draft of the GOTR Triangle Access and Inclusion Rubric, which will be a living document to help the council continuously evaluate progress in the access and inclusion, diversity, and equity arenas. I couldn’t be happier with how receptive the board was to my presentation and I’m looking forward to handing over my final report to them in just a few weeks!

A side benefit of presenting at this meeting was the opportunity to observe the organization from a bird’s eye view. I thoroughly enjoy my project, but a side effect is that I often get pulled down into the nitty-gritty of data evaluation and report preparation. It’s refreshing to get a glimpse of the bigger impact of my work! Although most of the meeting focused on access and inclusion, other topics of discussion included potential collaboration and expansion opportunities, finances, volunteer needs, and board recruitment. While many of us in the office work on particular projects within specific areas of expertise, each part is so integral to the overall functioning of the organization. From the inside, it’s easy to become solely focused on one aspect – perhaps programming, marketing, or development. From the outside, it’s simple to peg a nonprofit as an organization just asking for your money or your time. But it is much, much more than that. It is a carefully woven web of intentional functions and activities that make a direct impact in our surrounding communities.

Our Executive Director, Juliellen, closed the meeting by reminding the board how incredible it is that GOTR Triangle is finally at a point where we not only have the information, but also the capacity, to make thoughtful strategic decisions grounded in data. The council will be undergoing a strategic planning process in 2018, so all of the data evaluation work that is being done now will be foundational for those key decisions next year. It’s exciting to know that my projects, and other projects that are being completed concurrently with mine, will have a much larger impact than simply  becoming yet another data point in this age of endless information.

The GOTR Triangle board’s goal for 2017 is to “strengthen our roots as we strategically prepare for what lies ahead.” Not only is that an admirable goal, but it also permeates everything the council has been doing this past year. I’m endlessly impressed by the way this organization lives up to the Girls on the Run value to “recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making.” Perhaps the best part, though, is that they follow through on those decisions.

The opinions expressed here are solely my opinions. Content published here is not read or approved by Girls on the Run® International and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Girls on the Run® International.

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