PCHF Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Journey

Filed in DEI, news by on August 16, 2021

On August 31, 2020, PCHF issued a statement supporting Black Lives Matter. Since then, PCHF has embarked on an internal journey to have tough and uncomfortable conversations on how to be and do better for all members of our community. The momentum came from our Governance committee who wanted to figure out how to have focused conversations with Board and staff surrounding these ideals. We have used several methods to engage and work on these values.

Internally, Board and staff watched and participated in facilitated conversations, about 13th and When they See Us.

We have also engaged in a series of conversations with a variety of consultants: Diversity in Action, Open Hearts: A Path for Racial Healing, and Just Strategies.  Participation was robust and honest. Through these conversations, we explored the historical context of racism from the beginning of our nation, and how philanthropy has traditionally and often used unconsciously used its power to decide what to support. We are now determining how to move forward with this knowledge and what our next steps will be.

The Board and staff has also wanted a stronger connection to the community PCHF serves. We launched our efforts by creating the Diversity Equity Inclusive (DEI) Wellness Committee. This committee has both members of the PCHF Board and the greater Phoenixville community who have helped guide this work. The goals of this committee are:

Identify demographic groups impacted by disparities and strategies for addressing,

  • Identify population health priority measures that should be improved,
  • Identify community-based organizations and other trusted community partners and how they are incorporated into the overall PCHF strategic plan,
  • Identify strategies to continuously monitor for improvement in health equity, and
  • Removing obstacles to poor health outcomes.

Out of this focus and not wanting to duplicate efforts we decided to collaborate with Pennsylvania Health Access Network and their BeHeard BeHealthy initiative, https://www.pchf1.org/posts/beheard-behealthy-phoenixville-phan/ . This multi-year initiative will create new ways for communities across Pennsylvania to participate in building healthier communities by making their voices heard through listening session, surveys, and advocating for community-driven priorities at the state and local levels. This is a perfect partnership to work closely with our community. We hope to listen to a variety of voices as they share their barrier to health. We will also gather data on our community’s barriers to health. This information will inform PCHF’s new strategic plan targeted for launch in early 2022. We have engaged community nonprofits to help support us in listening to these voices and lifting our community’s struggles: Orion Communities, Alianza de Phoenixville, The Clinic, Phoenixville Area Senior Center, Whitehall Apartments for Veterans, Phoenixville Communities that Care/Phoenixville Parks and Recreation, and Citizen Advocacy. We anticipate others signing on, too.

Lastly, during our main grant cycle (May 4, 2021- June 4, 2012) we added questions asking for demographic information about our applicant’s consumers. For the first time, we have been to get a snapshot of who we impact in the Greater Phoenixville Area through our support. Fifty-eight organizations provided us with the numbers served per year. Collectively, these organizations serve close to 100,000 community members. According to 33 organizations that shared who they serve by race and ethnicity, 49% of clients are White, 51% are Communities of Color.

We continue to do the hard work to be better and do better. We are open to your partnership so that we can work to make the greater Phoenixville region one of the healthiest places to live and work in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.




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